Eloise Walsh

Obituary of Eloise M. Walsh

Eloise Miles Walsh Born: November 27, 1924 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Second of three children of Helen Volckmann and Walker Miles and was the last of the family to expire having achieved 96 years when she died on December 30, 2020 Her father Walker Miles, a native of the Canastota area of Central New York was a traveling salesman which required a lot of time away from home and with his growing family and an ambition to own and operate a jewelry store, knowledge of his sales territory gave him insight into what might be a viable location to open a store and raise a family. Walker selected Bennington Vermont, a village that is a proverbial garden spot compared to a city like Philadelphia, Eloise's birthplace! The jewelry store was established and prospered until the late 1960's when Walker retired. Growing up in a small village, Eloise discovered a talent for "art", specifically commercial illustration, which in those days was often a component of popular magazines like the Saturday Evening Post or the New Yorker magazine. Remember Norman Rockwell? His home and studio for a time was located outside Bennington. Upon completion of high school, Eloise headed to Syracuse University where her major was illustration. She graduated with the class of 1946 and with World War II in progress and with so many of the male students committed to the various military services, work when possible in defense factories was encouraged for civilians, so getting a degree on time was more of a trial compared to normal times. Nevertheless she not only finished her degree but became engaged and eventually married Tom Walsh of Syracuse, New York who she met at SU, who also graduated that year with a degree in secondary education. As happens, postwar he pursued a career with the Lincoln Bank of Syracuse, NY. Their oldest child, Tom, was born in Syracuse in 1947. He was followed by son #2, David Walsh who appeared in 1950. By then, Tom senior believed the future looked more enticing at a post-war startup heating supply house (Rood Utilities) so residence in Auburn was established. The third child, Nancy J. Walsh was born in 1953. David eventually died of lung cancer but the other two children survive as of this writing. Eloise was a dedicated '50's Mom, with three children to raise and no ability to drive (at that time) so the city bus service was well utilized along with "hoofing it". Even without a car, It was discovered that Mom and the children could get to the YMCA, the Seymour branch library and access swimming at the Lake park during summers! Groceries were delivered to the house by a local "Mom & Pop" grocery store that offered that service. She was able to enjoy the Syracuse Symphony as the opportunity presented itself, and when her schedule permitted, tried to "keep her hand in" with sketches. Of course, cub scouts, boy scouts, girl scouts, YMCA summer camps (day camp and overnight camp) all kept things active, not to mention monitoring the children's school work. Eventually she learned to drive which allowed her to bake in the summer sun at the Owasco Yacht Club, probably her one "indulgence" in life in addition to her love of gardening. So who cooked, cleaned, washed the clothes etc. and delivered "first level "discipline for the kids - you guessed it! Second level discipline was "wait 'till your father gets home!" "Time goes quickly when you're having fun" is sometimes said under your breath when you're facing a task that seems endless and nothing is going right, but happily it also applies more commonly to real life, looked at in retrospect. Eloise has 2 children as of this writing, 5 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren, scattered from Virginia to California in the U.S. with an outpost of 2 in Switzerland where Emily, Nancy's daughter, works in admissions at the American School. As life progresses, we begin to deteriorate. Eloise suffered from untreatable macular degeneration in one eye and glaucoma in the other which over time slowly but surely robbed most of her eyesight. Her hearing started to deteriorate many years ago which was not initially a problem as the new (at the time) miniature hearing aids had arrived. In fact she used to joke that if she found a conversation boring, she could just unobtrusively turn the volume down and still appear to be listening politely. Eventually she was pretty much deaf and the problem was not one that was amenable to treatment so her ability to communicate was severely hampered in her later years. She was still able to remain in her home though she lost her husband to Alzheimer's. By then, dementia was beginning to affect her though it is generally much harder for the person going through the process to appreciate what capabilities are being lost compared to an impartial observer. Inevitably, the sum of these handicaps became something that would not allow her to live alone and she moved to the Auburn Loretto Commons and spent her last three plus years there. She felt strongly that the level of help and care provided by the staff is and was unusually excellent, compared to what she had observed in other similar institutions over the years, when visiting friends and relatives that had made the transition sooner than she. One thing that struck this writer as quite unusual was seeing relatives of deceased residents stop by at the Commons making a point of coming up to the floor on which their friend or relative had lived just to say hello to the staff and some residents they met when they were regular visitors! It is no secret that many of us tend to shun long term care facilities as it slaps us in the face with the reminder that time is not infinite and you in many cases are looking at your future. To voluntarily return when duty does not require you to, is probably the best compliment that one could offer to the way Loretto is run. Eloise's family is more than grateful that such excellent care is available for our older relatives locally, which allows quick access to our family members, since loneliness is a major "downer" towards the end of life. All the family sends their appreciation for all that was done for our mother. Please visit www.Langhamfuneralhomellc.com to leave a condolence for the family.
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