Jeanne Walsh, 88

Jeanne C. Walsh, 88, of River Forest, died on June 14, 2020. Born on Jan. 15, 1932, she worked as a reference librarian at the River Forest Public Library for 27 years and loved helping library patrons with all sorts of research requests. She earned a Master of Library Science degree in 1976 and a bachelor’s degree in Economics (1953) from Dominican University, and spent a year studying abroad in Fribourg, Switzerland. She was a passionate believer in social justice and equal rights, and lent her support to these causes during her lifetime. She would be deeply moved by the young protesters today.

Jeanne was a Francophile and studied French most of her life, continuing into her 70s and 80s. She and her friends started a French film group that met in group members’ homes. She loved to read and could often be found at the kitchen table absorbed in a book. She led and participated in several book groups and enjoyed lengthy discussions over coffee or a bottle of Pouilly-Fuissé. Jeanne loved the theater and was an avid Court Theater attendee. She enjoyed hiking the mountains of Colorado, where she spent her childhood summers and later brought her children and grandchildren. At home, she enjoyed watching the birds at her feeders and meditating on the Plane Tree in her backyard. She will be dearly missed.

Jeanne was the wife of the late James J. Walsh, and the mother of Mary (David Crossett), James (Kathleen), Joseph (Marina Bressler), Helen, Anne (Robert Barefield), Patricia (Keith Iverson), Michael (Allison), and Suzanne Walsh. She was “Gram” to Matthew (Julie Blaisdell) and Claire (Joe Andrews) Crossett, Mary Kate (Michael Kessler), Meghan and Sheila Walsh and Anne (Christopher Freeman), Hannah (Daniel Dodge) Walsh, Suzanne Walsh and Nathanial and Alyssa Bressler, Rose (Klaudius Heda), David (Lisa Fisher-Keller) and Mark (Megan Ammer) Barefield, Emily and Rachel Iverson, Michael, Jack and Brooke Walsh, and the late Helen Crossett; great-grandmother of Luca, Charlie, Maisie, Wesley, Frannie and Gretchen; sister of Clare (the late Richard) Cronin and Joseph (Diane) Cusack and the late Thomas (Joan) and John (Mary Louise) Cusack; and sister-in-law, aunt and great-aunt of many. 

A private Mass was held at St. Giles Church in Oak Park, followed by interment at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside. 

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Southern Poverty Law Center ( or Misericordia ( are appreciated. 

Arrangements were handled by Drechlser, Brown & Williams Funeral Home.