Santa Clara Magazine is published in print for alumni and friends of the University. It is updated weekly on the web.
John Donald Walsh ’52—a truly unique, unusual, funny, intelligent, artistic, creative, and loved by the whole town, with good friends reaching back to high school (Villa Nova in Ojai)—breathed his last breath Sep. 25, 2014 , setting soul and spirit free. He was surrounded by artwork of his and friends including Countess Catherine de Longier and died in the house he was born in 83 years ago, on Nov. 7, 1930. At 7 p.m. in the dusk of evening, when his body was carried out, friends passing by in car and walking called out, "Donald we love you" as we all stood on the stairs looking on him for the last time. His passing was so quick, very peaceful, and surrounded by so much love and so much appreciation. Many people took part in caring for him and caring for us who cared for him … a community.
Don graduated from Santa Clara University and after a brief stint working at the Ford Motor Company headed to Hollywood with his friends. Don next went to Korea as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Don returned to Jerome in his early thirties and lived in the Reese Family Apartments for the next 52 years. Don served as Vice Mayor of Jerome, worked in the Historical Society, the Jerome Public Library, and served as the head of the Art Guild. Don loved all art and music and was an artist himself. Don was accepting of everyone and will be missed by all.
He is survived by his nieces Pat Armer, Deborah Brizgys, Gail Benson, Ann Melick, Barbara Kitada, Teri Freeman and nephews Tom Armer and Arthur Mellick, and by his many friends in Jerome and throughout the United States.