Margaret “Marge” Walsh, a longtime Forest Park resident, died on July 21, 2021, at the age of 93. She had been in good health until she suffered a fall at a restaurant on Father’s Day. With her typical wit, she acknowledged the fall had been her “own darn fault.”
Born Margaret Lindsey, on Nov. 5, 1927 on the West Side, she grew up in the shadow of the old Chicago Stadium. She was the only child of Gert Lindsey, who was active in labor unions. She loved strong women like her mom and her personal hero was Eleanor Roosevelt.
A strong woman herself, she showed her smarts by being named valedictorian at McKinley High School. She met her future husband, Frank Walsh, at a party. She had no place to sit, so she sat on Frank’s lap. He allowed her to drop to the floor. They were married in May 1948, and he later joked that he paid for that prank for 56 years.
They raised seven children, six of whom attended St. Ignatius. The Walsh family moved from the West Side to Forest Park in 1969. Marge became a volunteer at St. Luke School in River Forest. She attended fitness classes at the park district and was such a fast walker, it was difficult to keep up with her.
Marge became very active with the seniors at the Community Center. She never missed their New Year’s party and did so much well-wishing it was hard to get her out the door. Marge routinely greeted strangers and engaged them in conversation. She was a good listener, who was friendly to the max. She used to say she gave off a scent that attracted “poor souls.”
She helped out some poor souls through her Pre-Cana ministry. This is a program that helps couples prepare for marriage. She and Frank counseled couples throughout the city. She knew every parish in Chicago and was generous with her time. She was also generous with her money. Even when she was on a fixed income, she supported many charitable organizations.
Marge and Frank lived modestly on Circle Avenue until he died in 2004. In 2005, she moved in with her son, Will, and his family and became active in St. Bernardine Parish. She loved people and they loved her in return and many of her Forest Park friends helped her celebrate her 90th birthday. Her mind remained sharp until the end. She was in the ICU following her fall. When she correctly answered a “Jeopardy” question, her neurosurgeon was impressed.
Later, she suffered a stroke and died three days later. Her funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Bernardine. The family asks that donations be made to two charitable organizations: the Autistic Self Advocacy Network and the Jett Foundation, which supports people who suffer from muscular dystrophy. She has grandkids afflicted by both and these causes were close to her heart.