News and Information From the Wilmington City Council
Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Statement on the Passing of former City Council Member At-Large
Loretta Walsh served seven terms on City Council as an At-Large Council Member and served her eighth term from January 6, 2021, to October 6, 2022. She served on Wilmington City Council from 1985 to 1997. She was re-elected in 2004 and has served continuously since. Walsh also served as President Pro Tempore from January 2, 2017, to April 5, 2018.
Wilmington, DE – Former At-Large Council Member Loretta Walsh has passed away. The Wilmington City Council expresses its deepest condolences to her family during this difficult time.
“Loretta Walsh will be remembered as a dedicated public servant and a true friend to many in this community. Our deepest condolences and sympathies go to Walsh’s family and loved ones. Her legacy is drawn from so many significant milestones and accomplishments for the city. At a time when it was really tough to be on the city council, Loretta used her strong voice to become Wilmington City Council’s first elected woman to serve as an at-large council member. She was known to be a voice for women – a trailblazer for women in the community and politics – and a voice for the voiceless. With the tenacity of a fighter who would not back down, Walsh brought compassion and care into politics. Her experience and love for her city helped us succeed on so many levels that carried us into the new millennium. We are heartbroken but will continue, as a council, to honor her mission of service, advocacy, policy advisory, mentorship, and leadership.”
The City of Wilmington’s flag located in front of the Louis L. Redding City County building is flown at half-staff in honor of Loretta Walsh.
City Council member At-Large Loretta Walsh resigned from Wilmington City Council on October 6, 2022, due to health concerns. She shared that it was an honor to serve the people of the City of Wilmington as an At-Large Councilwoman in Wilmington’s City Council for 30 years and that she was proud to have been both a participant and a leader in helping to shape and grow Wilmington.
Walsh served seven terms on City Council as an At-Large Council Member and served her eighth term from January 6, 2021, to October 6, 2022. She served on Wilmington City Council from 1985 to1997. She was re-elected in 2004 and has served continuously since. Walsh also served as President Pro Tempore from January 2, 2017, to April 5, 2018.
Prior to joining the council, Walsh was the first woman to serve as Chief Deputy in the New Castle County Sheriff’s Office from 1981 to 2009. Before that role, Walsh served on the Delaware Council on Crime and Justice from 1979 to 1980 as an agency representative and in the Delaware State Senate from 1977 to 1979. She was also the first woman to be the Wilmington Ward Chair, where she served on the 8th Councilmanic District for 12 years, and mentored Delaware Women Candidates for more than 30 years.
Walsh was also the first woman to be appointed to the St. Patrick’s Day Society in 1993. She helped to organize food drives at her County Office for the St. Patrick’s Senior Center. In addition, Walsh served on the following boards and memberships:
St. Patrick’s Day Society
Opportunity Center Fashion Show Committee
Women’s Democratic Club
8th City Council District Ward
Sacred Heart Village II Board
United Women Org. DE
A lifelong member of the NAACP
When Walsh was elected to the Wilmington City Council from 1985 to 1997, she introduced legislation that focused on discrimination against the elderly, the handicapped, and the LGBTQ+ community and worked on the Westside Crime Initiative to establish a model for community policing. Her candid approach to solving issues, her wealth of experience in government, and her accessibility to the citizens of Wilmington enabled At-Large Council Member Walsh to get the job done.
During her last term as a council member at-large, Walsh served as Public Safety Committee Chair, Public Works and Transportation Committee Vice Chair, and Finance and Economic Development Committee Member. During her tenure on the council, Walsh has championed multiple legislation matters pertaining to Public Safety.
Walsh is the mother of Robin Rome and has been a foster mother and mentor for years.
The Wilmington City Council recognized Loretta Walsh for being a 30-year public servant at its last Council Meeting on October 20, 2022, which can be viewed here. Councilwoman Walsh was elated by all the acknowledgments, but most importantly, she was truly touched by the speech made by her daughter, Robin Rome.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been disclosed