Dr. Kenneth M. Walsh, age 80, of Middletown, Rhode Island, passed away on November 17, 2019. He was the husband of Mersina Christopher for over 30 years.
Kenneth was born in Woonsocket, RI on November 18, 1938, to Kenneth A. Walsh and Hazel (Rogers) Walsh. He graduated from Woonsocket High School in 1956. He attended Northeastern University, majoring in electrical engineering, and participated in the co-op program at NUWC in Newport. While at Northeastern he was also enrolled in the ROTC program. Upon graduation in 1961 he was commissioned a lieutenant and served two years in the U.S. Army as a communications officer for the U.S. Army Signal Corp. After receiving an honorable discharge from the army, Ken began a 43-year career at NUWC. He was a talented and curious engineer, filing several patents, receiving numerous civilian awards for his achievements, including the Superior Civilian Service Medal and the Meritorious Civilian Service Medal for acoustic warfare. He truly enjoyed his work. While working at NUWC he attended the Naval War College as a civilian student, and subsequently enrolled at URI and obtained his Masters’ degree in Ocean Engineering in 1986. He became a licensed Professional Engineer, and after his retirement, he never slowed down. He and his wife established K&M Engineering Ltd, continuing to assist with government contract work and utilizing his knowledge of underwater acoustics. Simultaneously he pursued a PhD degree at Salve Regina University in American History and graduated in May 2013.
Dr. Walsh taught for many years at the Salve Regina Circle of Scholars program, where he shared his wealth of knowledge in American History, especially regarding the economics of Colonial Newport. In the course of his life he also published two books. One of his proudest accomplishments took over 40 years of research. Through a grant from the Department of the Interior, he researched and verified the true history of Green End Fort in Middletown, a Colonial era redoubt overlooking Green End Pond. This research was recently recognized, and through his collaboration with the Newport Historical Society, resulted in a new display of information located at the Fort citing it as a French redoubt.
Dr. Walsh was one of the founding members of the Middletown Historical Society, and was a longtime member of St. Lucy’s Church, where he was instrumental in the construction of the new church building in the late 1980s. He was an active member of the Acoustical Society of America.
Kenneth is survived by his wife Mersina Christopher, his children Jennifer Giles (Andrew) of Cranston, Jessica Caldwell (Terrance) of Tiverton, and John Walsh of Sacramento, CA, his siblings Edward Walsh (Patricia) of Colorado, David Walsh (Josepha) of North Carolina, and Karen Nakamura of Pennsylvania. He also leaves 4 grandchildren, Terrance, Mariah, and Aja Caldwell, and Kenny Walsh, and many beloved nieces, nephews and in-laws, including Mersina’s family Chris Christopher, George and Irene Menas, Francine Menas, Marianne Menas Soares, and Christos, Eleni, and Theodore Soares. He was preceded in death by his parents and nephew Gilbert Soares.
Calling hours will be held Thursday, November 21, 2019 from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM at Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Broadway, Newport.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, November 22, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 9:00 AM in St. Lucy’s Church, 909 West Main Road, Middletown. Burial will follow at Middletown Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to St. Lucy’s Church, 909 West Main Road, Middletown, RI 02842.
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