In Memory


In Memory of

Paul Eugene Walsh Jr.

August 25, 1939 - November 16, 2017
WALSH, Paul Eugene "Gene,", 78, of Midlothian, Va., died on November 16, 2017.
Gene was born in Greensboro, N.C., to the late Paul E. Walsh and Ylia Puig Walsh.
He was a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a degree in radio, television and motion pictures. Prior to finishing his degree, Gene began his career in television at WRAL-TV 5 in Raleigh as a camera operator. Upon graduation, Gene joined WGHP-8 in High Point, as a producer/director, from there moved on to WTTG-5 in Washington, D.C., WTNH-8 in New Haven, Conn. and WXEX-8 in Richmond, holding the positions of Production Manager, Director of Operations and Program Director. Gene used his talents in additional projects as well. For years, he directed Miss USA pageants for Virginia, Arkansas and Florida telecasts. He directed the broadcast of the U.S. Navy Glee Club presentation of The Messiah shown on PBS locally and nationally. Prior to his retirement, Gene served the USPS media unit, where he was honored with Telly Awards in 2003, 2004 and 2005 for excellence in direction and production
Gene was a member of St. Mark's United Methodist Church. He adored singing in the choir, was Chairman of the Nursery School Committee and rejoiced in serving his church community. Gene served in the National Guard, was a board member of the United Way and volunteered providing guided tours in Washington, D.C. and Arlington Cemetery. In retirement, Gene enjoyed following his beloved North Carolina Tar Heels in every sport, but particularly basketball. He was rarely seen without his signature UNC cap and infectious smile.
Gene is survived by his wife of 50 years, Beverly; his daughter, Christy Walsh-Smith; son-in-law, Dean Smith; grandson, Stone Smith, all of Richmond; brothers, Donald Lee Walsh (Bess) of Luftin, Texas, Kenneth Orlando Walsh (Margo) of Grandbury, Texas; nieces, Lisa Walsh Elmore (Scott) and Hope Walsh of Charlotte, N.C., Monica Walsh Wiedmann (Keith) of McKinney, Texas and Dana Walsh Ladner (Stuart) of Houston, Texas.
The family wishes to thank Covenant Home Care, Seniors Helping Seniors, the staff at The Laurels of Bon Air, Rhanda Washington and especially the team at Elmcroft of Chesterfield and Hospice Community Care for their loving care of Gene.
A visitation will be held at 10 a.m. on November 28, followed by a memorial service at 11 a.m. at the Huguenot Chapel of Woody Funeral Home. Wearing a little something Carolina blue would be appropriate as a tribute to Gene's love for his alma mater.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the School of Media and Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, P.O. Box 309, Chapel Hill, N.C. 27514 or to the Alzheimer's Association Greater Richmond Chapter, 4600 Cox Rd., Ste. 130, Glen Allen, Va. 23060, for respite care scholarships

Paul Eugene “Gene” Walsh, Jr. – as remembered by David D. Jordan

When I think of Gene Walsh I find it difficult to put my feelings into mere words on a sheet of paper.  But words are the only way that we mortals can transmit our emotions about the ones that have passed on.  In many ways, Gene was an enigmatic man with unfathomable talent. He came from an extraordinary family, a group which I believe contributed greatly to his gentle personality and fierce competitiveness. Here was a man that was truly loyal to his family, his friends, his institutions, and his work. I knew his parents, probably in a way that most did not.  His father was a caring man that demonstrated good character to his children. I remember his passing while Gene and I were still in high school.  It was a devastating blow, but Gene survived and carried on.

  His mother was not only his mother, but our Spanish teacher in high school. She required the impossible grade of perfection, but also taught us that it was not obtainable – but that we should try for it anyway.  She passed on her indomitable spirit to all whom she taught and touched. She was tough, but loving. Gene inherited that characteristic from her and it showed in his life’s work.

I can remember visiting Gene at the Miss District of Columbia Pageant.  The year was 1968.  He was the television producer and director for that event and invited me, a member of the North Carolina House of Representatives, to sit in the control trailer as he directed the show to a live television audience.  It was an amazing performance.  It was hard to imagine, sitting in front of dozens of different television screens carrying the camera feeds and Gene, cool, calm and collected, calling out the commands with extraordinary precision, compiling the show live under stress that would cause a lesser person to have a nervous breakdown.  One would have never known that a terrorist group had threatened to set off a bomb during the event, but Gene performed his task with astonishing calm.  Although I had once been a soldier in Korea and in the midst of two revolutions, this was a tense time for me – but Gene did his job without a hitch.  I suspect he always had the inner resolve to do what was necessary to perfect his trade. He was a professional in every way. It is a trait that he was known for in our high school years.  Whatever the job, whatever the task, he always performed with alacrity and calm, good humor and hard work.  Although he might not always have been in charge of a particular project, he demonstrated leadership and ingenuity and always contributed with suggestions and improvements.  In our senior yearbook, The Spinner, Gene is pictured and listed as “an unsung hero.”

My family moved from Charlotte, NC, to Gastonia at the end of 1947.  I was in the middle of third grade, and that’s when I first met Gene.  We were friends all through to graduation from high school. Our “Class of 1957” which recently celebrated its 60th graduation reunion virtually grew up together, almost as one big family.  Because of Gene’s illness, naturally he was missed by all. But to demonstrate the closeness of the group, it was remarkable that we had more attendees from far-away places than locals.  People came from Arizona, Illinois, Kentucky, Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and the far reaches of North Carolina just to be with one another, to visit, and to remember the happy times.  Out of 329 that graduated, 99 had passed away – and now Gene is number 100.  Because I am the originator and webmaster of our Class of 1957 website, which was started before our 50th reunion, I communicate with almost all the surviving members on a regular basis.  After announcing Gene’s passing, I began receiving notes, emails and phone calls – all expressing condolences and regret.  Gene was respected and well-loved by all of his friends and classmates.

Among our close-knit group, Gene and myself, were Russell Rice, Bob Abernethy, and Terry Wallace.  Russell became a hospital education administrator, Bob was a career jet pilot in the Navy, served five tours of duty in Viet Nam and was a much-decorated hero, Terry ran several successful businesses, and I spent a life of varied careers that involved politics, printing and publishing – first elected to the NC House at age 26.  And of our group, I am the only one left. I feel fortunate for having known Gene Walsh and to have had him as a special friend.

As an example of how our classmates felt about Gene, I received the following comment on the website as I was writing this remembrance:

“David, so sorry to hear about my school friend Gene Walsh. A quiet guy with brains. Good student and a great dry sense of humor.”  Signed by Gene Davis

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11/17/17 06:23 PM #1    

Nancy Bell (Lewis)

It makes me so sad to hear of Gene's passing. It seems like more of us are passing every day!

Praying for peace and comfort for his family.

Nancy Bell Holland Lewis


11/21/17 04:57 PM #2    

Pati Beam (Elmore)

Am so sorry to know Gene has passed away. 

Nancy, Esther, Kay, Lane, Doris, Gracie, Bobby, Keith, Gene and so many others started first grade together at Central School and remained in touch all these years.  Gene will be missed. 

Pati Beam Elmore






















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