Quentin Harold Walsh, age 83, of El Dorado Springs, Missouri, passed away peacefully in his home, surrounded by family, on February 18, 2019. Quentin was born August 22, 1935, to Otha and Jessie Olive Walsh in West Eminence, Missouri.
The youngest of six boys, Quentin grew up watching his five older brothers help out their parents, both with the small, local post office they ran for the community and with the carpentry and masonry skills their father used to complete such projects as the West Eminence Christian Church. It’s obvious that growing up in a family so devoted to community service had a great impact on Quentin, for, after graduating high school in 1953, he promptly went to college to receive a teaching certificate which allowed him to teach classes of varying age groups in Shannon and Texas county schools for two years.
After his stint as an educator, Quentin continued being of service by joining the United States Army where he served for six years (“alongside Elvis”, he would often jokingly point out) before being honorably discharged in 1963.
Quentin’s time in the military took him as far abroad as Germany, but his heart remained in Eminence where, upon returning, he married the love of his life, Darlene Carr in 1961, moving to Cedar County in 1963. Quentin and Darlene were blessed with five daughters, Barbara Lynne of El Dorado Springs, MO; Sharon Kay of Ash Grove, MO; Susan Darlene (Keith) of Ozark, MO; Cynthia Dawn (Scott) of Mesa, AZ; and Rhonda Kathleen (Dick) of El Dorado Springs, MO. Quentin and Darlene had the pleasure of becoming grandparents a total of 12 times and are proud great-grandparents to 22 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great grandchildren, all of whom they delight in spoiling.
Aside from a loving marriage and lifelong commitment to fatherhood, the longest chapter in Quentin’s life was undoubtedly his renowned career as a well-known and even more well-loved agent for the Missouri Department of Conservation. He began serving his community as an agent in 1960 at the age of 25. Quentin’s respect for and devotion to conservation were often revealed through the stories he would tell about the unique situations and colorful characters he interacted with on a daily basis. Quentin’s children and grandchildren fondly remember these tales which would often culminate in hilarious climaxes, as only Daddy and Grandpa could deliver them, where his own intellect and good-humor would win the day over would-be poachers, law-breakers, and other dangers to Cedar County’s cherished ecosystem.
Quentin signed on to the patrol radio every morning with “662: 10-8” a call number that was recognized throughout Barton, Cedar, Dade, and Vernon counties for decades. Forty years of dedicated service to his community ended on October 1, 2000, when 662 signed off for the final time, followed by a retirement party filled with laughter, tears, and applause that won’t be soon forgotten in Southwest Missouri.
However, even after retirement, Quentin couldn’t quite give up public servitude. He acted as a bailiff for the Cedar County Sheriff’s Office for eight years following his retirement from the Department of Conservation.
It should be unsurprising that a man who loved serving the public to such a degree would also find joy in his private life centered around the ideals of helping and giving. Many of the activities he loved involved showing love to those around him. Daddy, Grandpa, Quentin, - whichever title you choose - lived for organizing family events where friends and family could be together. Whether it was opening his home to huge Christmas Eve gatherings, hosting Autumn bonfires so grandkids could carve pumpkins, or organizing gargantuan Walsh Family Reunions, he adored seeing others happy, especially children. He cherished spending time with his kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids and was happiest when helping them learn how to fish, churn homemade ice cream, identify birds and trees, or do a crossword puzzle in the newspaper. His love of children was reciprocated when he became a celebrity to generations of El Dorado Springs elementary school kids from the 60’s through ‘00’s during their annual field trips to Camp Galilee to explore nature with “Conservation Agent Walsh”.
Quentin was baptized on May 19, 1985, at the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), where he served as a deacon for many years.
Besides his daughters, grandchildren, great and great-great grandchildren, Quentin is survived by his wife Darlene of 57 years, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews and friends considered family: the Floyd Brewer family as well as Jay and Jonathon Schwalm.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Otha and Jessie and his brothers: Bill, Jim, Bob, Richard and Roger.
Quentin was also loved by many neighbors and friends.