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James WalachMarch 24, 1953 ~ October 4, 2017 (age 64)
James (Jim/Jimmy) Walach, age 64, breathed his last on Wednesday, October 4th.
Born with Down syndrome, Jim spent most of his youth at the Ladd School in Exeter. A Johnston resident since 1980, Jim lived in a group home managed and staffed by The Fogarty Center. In keeping with the legacy of Rhode Island’s US Representative John E. Fogarty –– who strongly advocated for the neediest among us, Jim’s group home provided him a caring, nurturing, uplifting, rewarding, loving, and genuinely dignified life for better than thirty-six years.
Jim was also a daily participant at the Picillo Center, which offered him additional kindness, validation and respect. Nonverbal his entire life, Jim enjoyed taking long walks and being a passenger on drives to nowhere in particular.
Jim was quite capable of experiencing joy and receiving and giving love. He had a smile that could light up a room. Over the course of 37 years, Jim attracted the love and attention of numerous, devoted Fogarty Center staff, who deserve far more individual recognition and gratitude than we could possibly convey in a brief summary of his life.
Stoic in the face of difficulty and never one to complain, Jim honorably played the cards he was dealt at birth. His fortitude and resilience were nothing short of heroic. We can all learn a great deal from Jim, who lived life honestly, assertively, humbly and nobly.
Jim was predeceased by his father Matthew E. Walach. He is survived by his mother Catherine L. Walach, his sisters Patricia Walach Keough, Kathleen Walach, Ellen Pereira, brother Stephen Walach, several in-laws, numerous nephews and a niece.
Funeral services for Jim will be private. Anyone wishing to honor Jim’s memory may make a donation in his name to the Fogarty Center, 220 Woonasquatucket Ave North Providence, RI 02911.