Peter George Walsh

WalshPeter George Walsh, 102, on May 27, 2018, in Takoma Park, Md. Peter was born on March 4, 1916, in Palmers Green, Middlesex County, London, England, the middle of three children of Alice Florence and Thomas Best Walsh. He attended Hazelwood Lane Elementary School and Southgate County School, studied at the Institute of Actuaries (1934–36), and worked as a clerk at Pearl Assurance Co. Ltd. in 1934–41.

In 1938, when World War II was looming, his conviction that it is wrong to destroy a human life led him to sign a peace pledge that said, “I renounce war and will never support or sanction another.” He worked in France with the Friends Relief Service in 1941–46, repairing rooftops on orphanages and other buildings and transporting orphans, food, and medical supplies. He met many American Quakers in the Relief Service, and his friendship with members of the Friends Ambulance Unit led him to move to the United States in 1948.

Until 1952 he worked as a business manager at Pendle Hill study center in Wallingford, Pa., where he met Claire Holcomb, who had come there from Seattle, Wash., to study. They married in 1952 at Providence Meeting in Media, Pa., and lived in a small rented cottage in Wallingford. He worked as a commercial artist in 1952–57 and as an art therapist and social worker at Eugenia Hospital in 1958–70. In 1963, when their three children had made the cottage too small, they bought an old farmhouse in the nearby cooperative community Tanguy Homesteads.

Their membership in Middletown Meeting in Lima, Pa., gave them a wide circle of Friendly connections. Even though family roots were far away for them, they found great support in Pendle Hill, Middletown Meeting, and Tanguy. In 1986 they sold their Tanguy house and rented an apartment in Swarthmore, Pa. Freedom from house maintenance and yard work opened up time for Peter to pursue his landscape painting interest, and he took classes at Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia. In 1990 he and Claire moved to Friends House in Sandy Spring, Md., transferring their membership to Sandy Spring Meeting.

Peter found satisfying art classes at Montgomery County Community College and particularly enjoyed outdoor painting classes during the summer months. He maintained a strong interest in art throughout his life and developed an extensive portfolio of paintings, drawings, and calligraphy, some of which are on permanent display at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. He also enjoyed music, sailing, chess, and mathematics. During their years at Friends House, Peter and Claire enjoyed traveling in Maryland and exploring Washington, D.C., and Baltimore.

Peter is survived by three children, Peggy Edwards, Henny Walsh, and David Walsh; and three grandchildren.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Maximum of 400 words or 2000 characters.

Comments on may be used in the Forum of the print magazine and may be edited for length and clarity.