Sister Elizabeth "Betsy"'s Story
ATHERTON, Calif. Sarah Elizabeth "Betsy" Walsh, RSCJ, died Thursday, June 22, 2017, in Atherton.
Sister Walsh, a Religious of the Sacred Heart, was born on May 30, 1933, in Cumberland, to William C. Walsh and Sarah Elizabeth Walsh. Her only brother, William, died in 1991. She was also preceded in death by her sister-in-law, Louise (McMullen) Walsh.
She is survived by her cousin, Frank Werner of Cumberland; nieces, Betsy Geiger and Weezie Feeney, all of Cumberland, and Mimi Wehberg, of Monkton; nephews, Jamie Walsh of Cumberland and William Walsh of Rockville, and grandnieces and grandnephews, family she loved dearly.
Affectionately known as "Betsy," she attended St. Patrick's elementary school in Cumberland, and graduated from the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Eden Hall, in Torresdale, Pa., in 1951. Sr. Walsh was an alumna of Manhattanville College in Purchase, N.Y., graduating in 1955 with a BA in English and Russian. Following graduation, she entered the Society of the Sacred Heart at Kenwood in Albany, N.Y., made her First Vows in 1958 at Kenwood, and her Final Profession in 1964 in Rome, Italy.
Following her profession, Sr. Walsh taught at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Albany. In 1967, her ministerial career shifted to higher education when she became dean of the freshman class at Manhattanville College as she completed her own graduate studies at Harvard University, specializing in medieval literature. From 1969 to 1973, she was a teaching fellow at Harvard and also a lecturer on the faculty at Newton College in Massachusetts. Upon the completion of her Ph.D., Sr. Walsh was an assistant professor of English at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La. In 1975, she joined the faculty at the University of San Diego (USD) where she taught a range of English courses for 42 years.
Sr. Walsh was involved in many campus activities. She served as Chair of the English Department and on a number of committees, among them the Faculty Senate, the Rank and Tenure Committee, and director of the Graduate Program in English. She was also very active in student affairs because of her position as faculty-in-residence on campus. Given her commitment to social justice, Sr. Walsh initiated and supervised for five years the Southeast San Diego Tutoring Project, an ongoing endeavor to assist at-risk children in local elementary and middle schools.
In addition to her robust academic life, Sr. Walsh was an active member of the Immaculata parish on the USD campus, singing in the choir and participating in the many parish activities.
A funeral mass will be held at the Oakwood Retirement Community, Atherton, on Saturday, July 29, 2017, at 10 a.m.
Memorial Contributions may be made to the Society of the Sacred Heart, 4120 Forest Park Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri 63108.
Published on July 1, 2017