Kevin Walsh,  R.I.P. (Really Interesting Person)

A tribute by Rick Walker

From time to time a larger than life character arrives on the scene and makes a huge impact on all those around. On other occasions someone with a quiet approach potters around in the background, unseen by most of us, helping out wherever they can.

In Kevin we had both of these personalities rolled into one – and what a one!

From his first visit to St Faith's it was obvious that he wanted to join in, to be part of the family, to take his share in the running and the responsibility of supporting  church where a ‘Catalick’ lad from Toxteth could feel at home and where everyone was appreciated for what they were.

Kevin had many roles in St Faiths: server, fund raiser, men’s group member, panto player, visitor, and a friend to everyone. His time as a police officer (Cuddly Kev the Community Cop!) gave him insight into the lives of many less fortunate than him, and he was always mindful of those whose life was not easy. Many in St Faith's and elsewhere have been grateful for his visits, his phone calls, his car lifts and his caring support.

Probably because of his own less that privileged upbringing, he always sought out those with problems and did all he could to help out. For someone who was an acknowledged expert in Anglo Saxon, and who would have been a ‘hard’ man to meet when he was working, Kevin was a very soft person underneath his uniform.

His love for his family was paramount, and many times he would be sitting in a pub in Yorkshire for pint after pint after pint, wondering what to buy his three girls as a present to take home.

Stories told of him and by him in the Men’s Group must for reasons of National Security stay confidential for another 99 years, and the planting of the custard bush next to the saucepan tree will puzzle archaeologists for years to come, but his nocturnal occupation of the security lodge is the stuff of legends! His only regret was that of only coming second in the Great Snoring Competition of 2004.

He died from what is best described in layman’s terms as an enlarged heart, and no one should be surprised to hear that. Kevin lived his life to the full, and shared that life with as many as he could. He gave generously of himself and leaves some wonderful memories behind for us all.

So, from the winner of the Great Snoring Competition and all in the Men’s Group: “Cheers for everything Kevin, this round’s on us.”

Bringing Kevin Home

by Denis Grifiths

Shocked and distraught at the death of our dear brother Kevin, members of the Men`s Group felt that they wanted to do something and it was suggested that we could offer ourselves as pallbearers. Sue was asked and kindly agreed that we could carry Kevin into church on the Monday evening before Tuesday`s funeral. Six pallbearers would be needed and they were more or less self-selecting as a number of the group`s members, although willing, were physically unable to perform the duty.

Rick, Paul, Michael, Brian, Leo and myself were to act as pallbearers, with Peter available as reserve should anyone not be able to be in church. We knew that carrying Kevin would be emotionally draining but it would be not as bad as watching strangers carrying him. Anyway there were six of us and we would all offer each other physical and emotional support.

On Monday evening at about 5.45pm we gathered as a group at the back of church and organised ourselves into three pairs, each couple of approximately the same height. The undertaker gave us some brief instruction and then it was outside to where the hearse was waiting. That is when the full extent of this tragedy hit me. I saw the hearse with its precious cargo to the left and to the right were Sue, Laura, Grace and a mass of other people; tomorrow would be no ordinary funeral. Helped by the undertakers we removed the coffin from the hearse, turned around to face the porch and then raise the coffin on our shoulders.

As we moved into church the family formed in procession behind. Movement was automatic and I was glad that I was not leading as my eyes were filled with tears.

We stopped near the font and Fr Martin started the brief service. I heard some of the words but must admit that this interlude allowed me to think about the sadness of the past week and Kevin`s impact on all of our lives. One constant thought was “I am carrying my friend and he was 14 years younger than me”.

Then we were moving again, heading up the aisle. About a minute and a dozen or so memories later we stopped again. Assisted by the undertakers we lifted the coffin from our shoulders and gently laid it on the stand in front of the nave altar.

Kevin was home.

Simply the Best

by Geoff Moss

I first met Kevin when Fr Richard introduced him to the Men’s Group nearly 20 years ago. He was a Police Officer and I worked in the Ambulance Service. We soon discovered that we had a lot in common: both of us had driven emergency vehicles with blue lights and sirens. We soon started sharing our experiences and became close friends.

Kevin enjoyed being part of the Men’s Group and never missed a meeting. At our Annual Retreat to North Yorkshire each January he would enthusiastically throw himself into helping me with the cooking. Every morning when I came down to make breakfast, Kevin had already cleaned the fire and would have a roaring log fire blazing. He would then make tea and coffee and would serve everybody their drinks in bed.

Kevin was a family man who loved Sue, Laura and Grace. He was very proud of them and would talk to me about them a lot. He loved socializing and was a great party host. Standing behind the bar in his garden, Kevin ensured everybody was enjoying themselves.

Being a devout Christian who enjoyed being a part of the serving team was important to Kevin. Apart from holidays, he never missed church on a Sunday. Recently, Sue and Kevin enjoyed going on the parish retreat to Compostela De Santiago.

He loved to write quizzes and each year compiled quizzes for the men’s group retreat and for the November fundraiser for the senior citizens Christmas Lunch. He also each donned the famous red suit to entertain children every December, a role he loved!

Kevin will be greatly missed by everybody: he was quite simply a lovely person and my best friend. Knowing him has enriched my life and I will always miss him.

Just like the song says, he was “simply the best.”

God bless Kevin

'If I Only Had Five Minutes...'

by Grace Walsh

If I only had five minutes the day you passed away,
I would have had time to tell you all the things I needed to say.

I never got to tell you how much you mean to me,
Or that you were the best dad, better than any man could be.

The last time that I talked to you
I wish I would have known.
I would have said I love you,
and not left you on your own..

If I only had five minutes,
the morning you passed away,
I'd give you one last hug so tight and see your great big smile.
I'd tell you that I don't think I could live without you,
not even for awhile.
I'd kiss your cheek and take your hand and tell you it's okay to go
And tell you that I'll miss you,
more than you'll ever know.

But you were gone so quickly,
One last morning that you’d wake
Before you even knew it,
you were standing at heaven's gate.
Now God has called upon you,
It's time to get your wings.
To leave this life behind you,
And enjoy all of heaven's beautiful things.
So wait for me in heaven Dad,
Don't let me come alone.
The day the angels come for me,
Please be there to bring me home.

King Rat, King Cornelius, King ding-a-ling - King of our hearts!

We had only known Kevin for about three years, but you could know him for ten minutes and feel he was your best friend.

He had a massive impact on our lives, somebody we both, looked up to, respected and admired, and one we could always ask for advice.  He became one of our great friends, he was always there for us, a man of wise words who you could rely on to say the right thing at the right time.

His life held many great stories, which we enjoyed listening to, and will miss immensely.  We will never forget him, his smile, his laughter, his sarcasm and his wit!  We are privileged to have known him, and will keep his memory alive.

God Bless You Kev,

Mike and
Cath Taylor x x

A Lucky Break!

As we all know by now, Kevin was a proud member of St Faith's Men's Group and loved the yearly retreat to Yorkshire. On one particular trip, Kevin had been given different medication from his doctor and had a bad reaction – passing out and breaking his leg. Off we all went to Darlington Hospital and as we waited in the corridor, what can only be described as a heavenly vision came towards us - a nurse with the most enormous breasts we’d ever seen. (I kid you not gents, these were fantastic specimens!). Father Charles shouted “Bloomin’ heck!” as the rest of us picked our jaws up off the floor. 

Kevin went to see the doctor, who confirmed the break and sent him to the plaster room. We knocked on the door and who answered? Yes, you’ve guessed it, Boobiana, later to become affectionately known as ‘Big Baps’. Like kids, we asked if we could all come in while Kevin got his leg plastered. Big Baps agreed, providing we behaved ourselves.

Kevin lay on the bed and as the nurse held his leg with her breasts no more than a foot away from his face, she muttered these immortal words: “Kevin, can you go all floppy for me?”

Father Charles passed out, Geoff was hyperventilating and as for the rest of us, our jaws were back on the floor! We heard that Father Charles spent the next three months in confession, not listening to other people's, but making his own.

What an unforgettable experience that was.

Thanks for the memories, Big Kev !

Paul Jones
(as delivered to a packed and appreciative church at Kevin's funeral)

A Very Special Dad

Dad was special, unique, funny, caring, generous, intelligent, reliable and dependable. I can't describe how much I'm going to miss him, he was the best Dad I ever could have wished for and he was my best friend.
There are so many memories, I could write a book. But, there is one story in particular that always makes me laugh no matter how many times I tell it.
It was 2003, I was nearly 17 and we were in Majorca on a summer holiday with two other families. We had gone for a celebration meal to mark Dad's retirement from the Police and Dad generously footed the bill. Dad and I are very competitive individuals and, as the Sangria flowed and the meals arrived, he glanced over at my meal (It was almost a full cooked chicken) and he challenged me, "If you eat all of that chicken, I'll show my a*** at the waterpark tomorrow."

The bet was on!!! Even though everyone had finished eating, I struggled on, determined to win. Dad was laughing because I was beginning to look ill.
He wasn't laughing at the waterpark the next day!!
Have fun up there dad and save me a cooked chicken :-)
Love you,


Never a Dull Moment...

My mobile phone has never been so quiet since Kev passed away – no more bombarding us with jokes that would certainly liven up a dull day!

There are so many memories Emily and I have over the years: remembering us “adults” on the bouncy castle in the early days of the parish barbecue, (when the little ones had gone of course!). I have the photos to prove it! Then there was Kevin laughing at me on my debut as a server when the banner of St Mary fell off its pole on to my head while processing from Merchants’ to Church! And we will never forget Kevin and Leo’s “Lou and Andy” routine for Emily’s 13th birthday, to name but a few.

Kevin was one of the most supportive and reliable people we have ever met, and along with Susan, I always knew that we could call upon them in time of need. We have shed many tears, but also, when we think of Kevin, we cannot help but smile, and are so proud to have been able to call him our friend.

May you rest in peace Kev,

All our love

Jude and Emily

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