ENNIS - Gene Walsh, long-time prominent area rancher, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly from a massive heart attack on Friday, Jan. 14, 2011.
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Gene and his family have owned and operated a cattle ranch on the Madison River at Cameron since 1957. He was proud of the registered quarter horses and reputation cattle that were produced there. For many years the cattle were trailed from the home ranch to private summer range in the beautiful Centennial Valley.
His greatest love was that for his family, of which he was immensely proud.
Gene's great-grandfather, Nicholas Walsh, made the journey from New York to the goldfields of California with the Audubon Party in 1849. Nicholas Walsh later purchased land in the productive and fertile San Joaquin Valley of Central California where they prospered for many years.
Gene was born to Carter and Elizabeth Walsh in Stockton, Calif., on Nov. 1, 1924, the second of four children.
In December 1950, Gene married Lois Shields. They were blessed with three children. In 1956, he brought his young family to Montana. He and Lois celebrated 60 wonderful years together on Dec. 10, 2010.
Gene leaves behind a host of friends along with his loving family: wife, Lois; sons, Mike (Tamie), Fred (Tina); daughter, Eileen White (Mike); nine grandchildren, Nick (Gina) Walsh, Jace (Stephanie) Walsh, Steven (Misty) Walsh, Michelle (Wes) Frank, Gene, Angela, Austin Kate, Becca and Kristen White; six great-grandchildren, Sierra, Jordyn and Anna Walsh, Ryan Frank, and Joe and Justin Walsh; brothers, Earl (Noni) Walsh and family, Robert (Coralene) Walsh and family; and sister, Nadine Walsh VanderLans and family.
Cremation has taken place. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 22, at the Ennis High School gymnasium, with friendship hour and lunch following at the Ennis Fire Hall.
Memorials may be made to the Madison Valley Aquatics Center; or to a charity of the donor's choice.
K&L Mortuaries & Crematory of Ennis assisted with arrangements.
K & L Mortuaries
103 1st Ave E
Three Forks, MT 59752
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Jan. 18, 2011