MONROE - John Evangelist Walsh died peacefully on March 19, at the age of 87, in Monroe, with his wife, Dorothy, and son, Timothy, at his bedside.
A true writer's writer, he published more than 25 books, mostly literary biography and history, including Poe the Detective, which won an Edgar award; Into My Own: The English Years of Robert Frost; Darkling I Listen: The Last Days and Death of John Keats; Midnight Dreary: The Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe, an Edgar nominee; and The Shadows Rise: Abraham Lincoln and the Ann Rutledge Legend, finalist for the Lincoln Prize.
Though not an academic per se, through his intensive research and many publications in certain disciplines, he became part of the scholarly conversations in several fields of study, including Emily Dickinson studies, Abraham Lincoln studies, and the lives and works of Edgar Allan Poe and Robert Frost.
His mind was razor-sharp to the end; at his death he left nine complete unpublished book manuscripts, including books on Emerson, Poe, Robert Frost, the Shroud of Turin, Pearl Harbor, and two mystery novels. He was still writing the day before he died.
A World War II era veteran, Walsh served in the U.S. Infantry in Trieste, Italy, from 1946 to 1948. In the Army, he began his writing career as a reporter and photographer for the regimental newspapers, The Spearhead and The Blue Devil.
Walsh later worked as an editor at Prentice-Hall, Simon and Schuster, and Reader's Digest, where he was the project editor for many special publications, including the highly ambitious, years-in-the-making Reader's Digest Bible.
John Evangelist Walsh was born on Dec. 27, 1927, in New York, N.Y., the son of Thomas and Ann (Cunney) Walsh. He married Dorothy Schubis on Nov. 17, 1956, in Auburndale, N.Y. Both native New Yorkers, they lived in the New York City area for more than 60 years, at which time they "retired" to Wisconsin, where for nearly a quarter century, John also enjoyed writing articles on Monroe and Green County history.
He is survived by his wife, Dorothy of Monroe; John Walsh of Washington, D.C.; Timothy (Barbara) Walsh. of Madison; Ann Amanda Walsh of Belmont, Mass.; sister, Patricia Kelly of Limerick, Ireland; and three grandchildren, Andrew Walsh, Eric Marriott, and Katrina Marriott.
He was predeceased by his parents; son, Matthew Walsh of Houston, Texas; brother, Thomas Walsh of New York, N.Y.; brother, William Walsh of Columbia, S.C.; and sister, Bernice of New York, N.Y.
Funeral Mass was celebrated on Friday, March 27, 2015, at St. Clare of Assisi Parish at St. Victor Catholic Church, in Monroe, with the Father Larry Bakke as celebrant.