We Say Goodbye

Wally Walsh 1932-2016

Wally WalshDelta and the larger brain injury community lost a champion of service this week.  Our founder, Wallace (Wally) Walsh of Snohomish, Washington has passed away. 

Wally Walsh was the real deal.  Wally was known by most as a warm hearted and great souled individual.  For others (mostly bureaucrats) he was a royal pain in the keister as he charged forward in his mission to better serve and support individuals with brain injury across the country and here at Delta.

Wally wore many hats in his lifetime including:  Son, Brother, Husband, Father, Uncle, Student, Pilot, Sailor, Submariner, Corporate Executive, Advocate, Chalet Administrator, Executive Board Member, Philanthropist, Kiwanis Mentor, Servant-Leader, Fisherman, Wave Watcher, and Dear Friend.  Of all of these it was clear that his deepest passion was with his family.  Yet Wally did not limit his “family” to blood only.  He wrapped hundreds into this category at the Snohomish Chalet, also known as Delta Rehabilitation for Traumatic Brain Injury here in Snohomish; within the State and National Brain Injury Community, with his brothers and sisters in the Kiwanis Club of Snohomish-Tillicum,  and more.

Wally served on the Board of Directors of the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) and the Brain Injury Alliance of Washington for many years.  He was generous with his support of these organizations as well as many BIAA and United States Brain Injury Alliance (USBIA) state affiliates, of the National Association of State Head Injury Administrators, and many other local, state and national service organizations.

On the national front Wally, with the support of his family and through the Delta foundation, have collected and disseminated information on traumatic brain injury by designing and helping to maintain web sites for the Brain Injury Association of America, the National Association of Head Injury Administrators, as well as more than a dozen other TBI related web sites.  They also worked behind the scene in less public ways, in governmental advocacy, in the implementation of useful technologies for TBI related organizations and, often, he simply worked one-to-one with someone in need of the kind of comfort that can only come from someone who's "been there".  Wally’s passion encompassed an understanding that traumatic brain injuries may never be entirely preventable but the agony endured by families, the confusion in the medical and governmental agencies, and the needless suffering by those who have sustained a brain injury are all things about which we CAN do something. 

Wally got up each day and did something that made a real and enduring difference in the lives of millions of individuals and families across his community, his state, his country and the world.   Wally leaves a deep legacy of service, a deep legacy of friendship, and gap in the hearts of many of us. 

Wally christened the motto for Delta as “Living Life” and the memories of his great heart and works will, indeed, live forever.

(Edited by Paul Walsh: Re-printed with permission given by the primary author, Geoffrey Lauer)


Admissions Coordinator,
Delta Rehabilitation Center Snohomish Chalet
1705 Terrace Avenue
Snohomish, WA 98290
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 E-mail: delta@deltarehabsno.com

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