Whether it was his family, career, faith, causes — even the family dog — Steve Walsh committed himself wholly to everything he cared about.

“You meet different people who are high-level folks and sometimes they just don’t have time for you or something like that, but that was not him,” Tony Lupo, a friend of Walsh's, said. “He always, always had time to talk to somebody or help somebody out.”

Steve Walsh, 63, died Aug. 19, 2021.

He was the field representative for U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler. His absence is felt by those not only in his personal life, but his professional life as well.

Although he grew up and attended college in Canada, Walsh made a home for himself in mid-Missouri after becoming a U.S. citizen. In Ashland, he laid down roots in terms of both family and career.

Over the course of his career, he combined two of his greatest passions: politics and radio.

In one Facebook post, his wife, Rep. Sara Walsh wrote, “Steve literally had a God-given talent and calling in radio. He had the most beautiful radio voice, which was always so calming and soothing and kind to guests.”

He spent much of his life involved in radio, working with news and talk shows. He served as a fill-in host on Columbia’s radio station 93.9 The Eagle.

As time went on, he explored career options in the world of politics and became Hartzler’s longest-serving staff member.

He held the position of Hartzler’s press secretary for 10 years before becoming a field representative of hers.

“Missouri has not only lost a true public servant, but a wonderful friend to so many,” Hartzler said in a statement regarding Walsh’s passing.

Even before serving on the congressional staff, he was dedicated to politics and participated in several local organizations.

One such group was the Boone County Republican Central Committee, where he worked alongside Lupo, who serves as chairman.

“He was always willing to do some of the ‘dirty work’ like stuffing flyers or stuffing candy bags for Halloween,” Lupo said. “Just always willing to do anything.”

Steve Walsh also took it upon himself to make everyone at these meetings feel welcomed, whether it be through a simple “hello” or making them laugh with his puns.

“He would always ask questions,” Lupo said, noting what made Steve such a valuable member to organizations. “He would always ask good questions to kind of get the group to think about something from a different angle.”

He maintained a deep level of commitment and attention to detail in the important relationships throughout his life.

One of the ways he communicated his love for those around him was through another passion of his: music.

Sara Walsh shared a memory on Facebook of the time Steve Walsh followed through with the promise to sing “My Girl” by The Temptations to her in the same studio it was originally recorded.

Whether it was singing to his wife or making up songs for the family dog, he found a way to marry his passion for music with the adoration he had for those in his life.

Steve Walsh had a way with language and words. His communication skills were so well developed that they even extended to animals. When it came to his and his wife’s dog, Wish, Sara Walsh wrote that Steve was able to decode Wish’s barks with ease and was happy to cater to his every need.

Although he was perhaps most well-known for his tireless advocacy on behalf of the causes he cared about, his wife said that same compassion was extended to every dog he met.

“Any time he saw one, he would introduce himself and give the dog a kiss,” Sara Walsh wrote in a Facebook post.

His legacy is sustained not just by his work done in politics and radio, but in the way he committed himself fully to the things and people he loved.

Lupo summed him up: “He was just a very likable, friendly, humble man.”

  • Education reporter, fall 2021 Studying magazine writing and editing Reach me at joziecrouch@mail.missouri.edu

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