Former BOE member Walsh dies

COVINGTON - A former Newton County Board of Education member died Thursday.

The Newton County School System announced Friday that Barbara Walsh, who served on the school board from January 1991 until December 1998, died from injuries related to a fall last weekend and a brief illness.

School system officials expressed sadness at the news and asked that the NCSS family to keep her family in their thoughts and prayers.

"Her service and dedication to the students, staff and school system was greatly appreciated," said NCSS Superintendent Steve Whatley in a press release.

Walsh, 75, worked as the District 1 representative, the post now held by Johnny Smith, during a time of the construction of the system's second high school, Eastside High School, and several elementary and middle schools.

"Ms. Walsh served faithfully on the school board during the transition from a small school district to one that grew to almost 11,000 students during her tenure," Whatley said. "After leaving the board, she continued to be an active member in the community and a valued supporter of our school system."

Current board member Rickie Corley worked with Walsh on the board in 1997 and 1998 and was friends with her before that.

"She was very knowledgeable about board procedures and helpful to new members," Corley said. "She was always a cheerful type person, and she was dedicated and hard working. She always wanted what was best for all students."

Walsh was living in Macon at the time of her death and is survived by her husband of 36 years, Hugh Hutcheson Walsh, as well as two sons, a daughter, five grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Her funeral service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday at the Chapel of Caldwell and Cowan Funeral Home on Access Road in Covington; the Rev. Len Strozier and the Rev. David Walsh will officiate with interment following in Social Circle City Cemetery. Visitation will be held in the Caldwell and Cowan chapel from 6 to 8 p.m. today.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.