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Richard "Dick" John Walsh

Richard "Dick" John Walsh, 69, of Park Rapids, died Friday, Jan. 9, 2009 at his home near Park Rapids.

He was born April 26, 1939 at home in Savannah Township to Charles Emery and Julia Ethel (Olson) Walsh. He grew up there and attended country school at Arago Township through the seventh grade. He went to high school in Park Rapids and graduated in 1957.

He married Sandra Mae Waterman on March 21, 1959 in Park Rapids. He served in the Minnesota National Guard from 1957-62 and belonged to the Park Rapids unit.

In 1962 he founded Dick Walsh Forest Products. Over the years he worked to develop his forest products business, becoming well known for the ability to produce and market a diverse selection of forest wood products. He retired in 2007. His company continues today under the direction of his sons, Robin and Steve.

He was a member of the Minnesota Timber Producers Association since 1982, serving as an executive board member from 1990-98, and as its president from 1996-98. In 1997 he chaired the task force that developed the Minnesota Loggers Education Program (MLEP). In 1998 he was instrumental in establishing the Minnesota Timber for Humanities/Log-a-Load for Kids programs.

He served on the Arago Township Board from 1990-2006. He served on the "Industries for Park Rapids" board. From 2002-07, he was a gubernatorial appointee to the Minnesota Forest Resources Council. From 2004-07, he served as a Bemidji Area Resources Council member. In 2006 he was awarded the "Timber Harvesting" Logging Business of the Year.

He was a member of Riverside United Methodist Church in Park Rapids.

He is survived by his wife; five children: Roger (Sherry), of Waconia, Robin (Jodi), of Park Rapids, Steven (Kristine), of Park Rapids, Anthony, of Cambridge, and Nancy (Jason) Eystad, of Park Rapids; 12 grandchildren; two sisters: Opal Myhres, of Yakima, Wash., and Dianne (Roger) Diestler, of St. Paul; two brothers: Donald (Pat), of Park Rapids, and Dean (Joyce), of Park Rapids; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers: Vernon and Harold; a sister, Doris Myhres; and lifelong friend and cousin, Wayne Olson.

Honorary casket bearers: Wayne Brandt, Rex Lindblom, Clyde Zirkle, Rodney Garden, Erlin Schultz and Dave Burkel.

Active casket bearers: All of his grandchildren.

Funeral service: Tuesday, Jan. 13 at Riverside United Methodist Church in Park Rapids, with Rev. Donald Bird officiating.

Interment: Arago Township Cemetery in the spring.