Maryann B. Walsh|
Virginia Beach - Maryann Walsh, whose passion for exploring the world was eclipsed only by her love for her family and friends, died July 12, 2013 in Virginia Beach. She was 72.
Maryann Gerhard grew up in Long Beach, NY. After marrying Bob Beshaw and graduating from college in Plattsburg, the couple moved in 1965 to Northport, Long Island, where they raised three sons, Craig, Lars and Brad. Maryann was a superb Kindergarten teacher, whose 28-year career in Hauppauge, NY, included long service as a representative in the NY Teacher's Union.
She married Jack Walsh in 1983 and retired to Virginia Beach in 1996, where she gathered many wonderful friends. In Virginia Beach she belonged to the American Association of University Women and three book groups. She enjoyed the opera and the symphony, and she attended many lectures at The Institute for Learning in Retirement. When she wasn't absorbed in a novel alongside her cat Holly, she loved strolling on the beach, looking out over the Atlantic, imagining her next adventure.
Maryann was a determined and fearless traveler who never let a 12-hour drive or a 24-hour plane ride stand between her and her next destination. With Jack, she shuttled between Virginia Beach and their camp in the woods of Pennsylvania to escape the summer heat. When the seasons changed, they returned to Virginia Beach for a few months, then drove south to Siesta Key for warm sand and the Gulf sunsets she always found enchanting. After Jack passed away in 2000, she continued to migrate to Siesta Key each winter. With visiting girlfriends she loved to sit on the sand, celebrating the sunset with laughter and Margaritas they sipped from flamingo glasses.
To Maryann, the horizon was never confining. It was a daily invitation to satisfy her curiosity and imagination. She explored Europe from Reykjavík to Rome, then steered east to Tokyo, New Delhi, Bangkok and Beijing. Aboard ship, she sailed among icebergs in Antarctica (though she preferred cruises in warmer latitudes). She loved going on Safari in Africa. When she became ill late last year, she was traveling with her dear and devoted companion Ken Watts in Australia - the last of the seven continents on her list to explore.
Above all, Maryann was a sensitive, generous and proud mother. She loved to share the latest news about Craig, Lars, Brad and their families - all their adventures, shenanigans and successes. She also loved her grandsons Jack and Kyle. Maryann joyfully embraced the vast Walsh family as well, joining the chorus for every family holiday, graduation, wedding and birth.
We will always remember our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt and true friend for her love and compassion, her unforgettable laugh, her restless imagination, and her insatiable desire to learn more about life and how to live it fully.
A memorial service will be held at 1:00 pm on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at Altmeyer Funeral Home, 5792 Greenwich Rd., Va Bch, VA 23462. Cremation Society of Virginia is handling the arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed to www.cremate.org.
Published in The Virginian Pilot on July 15, 2013