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‘Tom’ Walsh, of Foreign Auto shop, dies at 69

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Richard Thomas “Tom” Walsh, longtime Albuquerque motor garage owner, died Friday, July 18, after a brief illness.

Together with his brother, Timothy Moore “Tim” Walsh, Tom operated Foreign Auto Service at 2133 St. Cyr NE for more than three decades. He sold the shop and retired in 2007.

In addition to his brother Tim and wife Arlene, daughter Susan Garcia and sons Justin and Jacob Garcia of Edgewood, he is also survived by brother Robert Elliott Walsh of Virginia Beach, Va., and sons Brendan and Tristan; and sister Mary Ellen O’Meara and husband Stephen of Fort Myers, Fla.

WALSH: First came to N.M. in 1969 for college

WALSH: First came to N.M. in 1969 for college

Tom was born on July 18, 1945, in Washington, D.C., to the late Richard Thomas and Mary C. Walsh. Tom first came to New Mexico in 1969 to attend Western New Mexico University in Silver City.

He moved to Albuquerque in 1970, opened “Dog City Petroleum” on Coal NE, specializing in Volkswagen repair, at the height of the counterculture wave sweeping the nation.

He and his brother subsequently opened Foreign Auto Service, specializing in European imported cars. He particularly liked sports cars and motorcycles. Tom had an inquisitive mind, which manifested itself both in his automotive work and in his leisure pursuits.

He could solve any automotive problem, however obscure, given the time to think it through to a conclusion.


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He was an avid reader of fiction, history and current events. He read two newspapers every day. He enjoyed music from the classics to hard rock.

Through his work and his interests, Walsh had many friends from all walks of life. Many would frequently stop by Foreign Auto Service to visit, even when their automobiles weren’t in need of repair. One could as likely meet a judge or lawyer as a fellow car enthusiast or ex-convict when stopping by near closing time.

Tom will be missed by his many close friends and casual acquaintances, all of whose lives he brightened by his quick wit and cheerful personality.