Mary Jane Gordon Walsh, benefactor of Fordham University and wife of alumnus William D. Walsh (FCRH ’51), died at her home in Atherton, Calif., on January 18, 2008.
“Jane Walsh was a luminous person whose kindness and generosity brought light into the lives of all who knew her,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham University. “Jane will be missed deeply not only by her family and her many friends, but also by all the members of the Fordham community whose lives she touched directly and indirectly.”
Walsh, known as Jane to her friends and family, married William Walsh in Connecticut in 1951. The couple moved to California in 1967. Walsh was active in many philanthropic enterprises, including the American Ireland Fund; Parents Hospital Association-Sonoma Developmental Center; the Peninsula Center for the Blind, whose annual fund-raiser, the Vintage Affair, took place at her home for many years; the Neurosciences Research Institute of La Jolla, Calif.; and the Hoover Institute at Stanford University.
Jane and William Walsh recently created the Fordham Museum of Greek, Etruscan and Roman Art with the donation of 260-plus ancient artifacts to the William D. Walsh Family Library on the Rose Hill campus. In addition to this latest gift of rare antiquities, it was the Walsh Family’s gift of $10 million more than a decade ago that helped build the library that bears the family name.
Walsh was preceded in death by her father John Gordon; her mother Gertrude Gordon; and her sister Peggy Battenberg. She is survived by her husband of 57 years, William; her children: Deborah Hirsch (Peter), Caroline Walsh, Michael Walsh (Barbara), Suzanne Tinsley (Ken), Tara Jane Arnold (Mark) and Peter Walsh; her sister Dorothy Zografi; and her 11 grandchildren: Timothy and Rebecca Hirsch, Patrick, Riley, Kevin, Brian, Megan, Sean, and Molly Tinsley, Spencer and Maxwell Arnold.
A Memorial Mass was held on Friday, January 25, at St. Raymond Catholic Church in Menlo Park, Calif. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made in Jane Walsh’s memory to Parents Hospital Association-Sonoma Developmental Center, Box 122, Eldridge, CA 95431-0122.