What is Hamilton's Academy of Grief and Loss?

Death and grief are common human experiences, yet these experiences tend to be different for every individual. As a result, Hamilton's Academy of Grief & Loss offers a wide variety of resources available to you and your family as you begin to work through your grief.
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Academy of Grief and Loss
Academy Events

Academy Events

Hamilton's Academy of Grief and Loss offers a variety of services to educate, support and connect with those who are grieving.
Community Events

Community Events

Hamilton's Funeral Homes host a variety of events to serve and give back to our community.

Service Details


Thursday, February 16, 2017
6:00 - 8:00 pm
Hamilton's near Highland Memory Gardens
121 NW 60th Avenue
Des Moines


Friday, February 17, 2017
10:00 am
All Saints Catholic Church
650 NE 52nd Avenue
Des Moines




Hamilton's near Highland Memory Gardens
121 NW 60th Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50313
(515) 289-2442

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Margaret Walsh

Margaret "Margie" Ellen Walsh (Staker), 66, passed with dignity and grace on February 12, 2017, at Taylor House in Des Moines. She was surrounded by family. The good people at Taylor House were kind and generous.

Margie was born April 20, 1950, in Cortez, Colorado, to Joseph and Lorinne (Maxwell) Staker. She was raised in Woodward, Iowa, attended Catholic School and graduated from Woodward-Granger High School in 1968. She and her husband of 49 years, John Jay Walsh, Sr., were married on December 23, 1967, while she was a senior in high school. Shortly after they were married, John was deployed Vietnam and Margie quickly became a military spouse caring for a newborn baby. When John returned safely, the Walsh family moved to Perry, Iowa, and raised their family.

After several years as a homemaker, Margie sought work outside the home. She worked in nursing homes and a daycare while John worked at the pork plant and served as an elected union leader. After the pork plant closed in Perry, the family eventually moved to the northeast side of Des Moines. She worked at the Creative Center for Young Children as a teacher for several years before returning home to help raise several of her grandchildren. She later accepted employment as a receptionist at a busy, progressive law firm until she retired in 2012.

Margie devoted her life to her children, husband and family. To say she was an amazing wife and mother is an understatement. She was a saint. She was blessed with incredible patience and strength. She sacrificed for her family and provided unconditional, selfless love to her children. She did this without complaining or seeking any kind of recognition for her sacrifices. She just did it. Through her love and matriarchal leadership, she created a special family environment. “She was the best human being I have ever known,” her son Johnny said of her. She was fiercely protective and proud of her family.

While she was outgoing, Margie valued her privacy and carried herself with dignity and grace. She had many friends and was loved by all who knew her. She enjoyed a variety of music (Beatles and Bob Dylan), parties and dancing. She was funny and fun to be around. She was also opinionated, well-read and smart. She loved reading and she was virtually unbeatable at Trivial Pursuit. She was a lifelong Democrat with a big heart. Margie loved family vacations and camping. Spring Lake is special in the Walsh Family with lots of summer camping memories throughout the years.

Margie was blessed with a large family. She is survived by her husband, John Jay Walsh, Sr., her four children, John Jay Walsh, Jr. (wife Dana), Joseph Leo Walsh (wife Venus), Michael Jesse Walsh (wife Krista), and Jennifer Diane Walsh (husband Will Kellogg), her mother, Lorinne Anne Staker, 13 grandchildren, John Paul, Scarlett Rose, Ethan James, Mallory Alisabeth, Jackson Devon, Gabrielle Alethea, Apollo Sophocles, Michael Jesse, Jr., Bradley Paul, Katey Margaret, Jessie Dakota, Dylan Cash and Sawyer Lennon, and 3 great granddaughters, Katrioma Lavender, Magdalena RainbowSol and Kaylee Lynn. Margie is also survived by two sisters and a brother, Martha Frances (husband Bob), Mary Wicks (husband Chuck) and Larry Staker, as well as numerous nephews and nieces.

Visitation will be held Thursday evening from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Hamilton’s near Highland Memory Gardens, 121 NW 60th Avenue. Memorial services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday February 17, 2017, at All Saints Catholic Church, 650 NE 52nd Avenue in Des Moines.

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