Massachusetts state Representative Chris Walsh, a Framingham Democrat who held a key leadership post on the Joint Committee on Education, died Wednesday after a long battle with cancer, his family said.
Walsh’s wife, Cindy, confirmed the lawmaker’s passing in a statement posted on Facebook on Thursday morning.
“Chris passed away last night peacefully,” Cindy Walsh wrote. “It has been a long year with 5 clinical trials and the cancer got the upper hand. Love to all of you who have been with us through this.”
A number of social media tributes were posted Thursday to the 66-year-old Walsh, who was serving in his fourth legislative term at the time of his death. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2015 and leaves his spouse and two children.
“My good friend, colleague, and classmate in the legislature Chris Walsh passed away last night after a long battle with cancer,” wrote state Representative Paul Brodeur, a Melrose Democrat, on Twitter. “He will be sorely missed.”
Representative David P. Linsky, a Natick Democrat, also posted a moving tribute.
“I am so sad to hear of the passing of my great friend and colleague from Framingham, Chris Walsh,” Linsky wrote on Facebook. “Chris was a wonderful friend and colleague who did all that he could to help his community. He had a kind heart and soul and a wonderful smile and laugh. I was honored to have him as a friend and to have served with him. May his memory be a blessing and peace and love to Cindy and his family.”
Walsh graduated from the Portsmouth Abbey School in Rhode Island, as well as the Rhode Island School of Design, and served as vice chair of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Education, according to his official biography.
He also served on the Joint Committee on Financial Services, Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, and Joint Committee on Public Service.
Massachusetts House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo also posted a message of condolence to Walsh’s family Thursday.
“I am deeply saddened by the loss of Representative Chris Walsh,” DeLeo tweeted. “As the past year has shown us, Chris was a fighter and an eminently decent man. As a Representative, he was bright, hardworking and brought his expertise as an architect to his job at the State House. Chris had a wonderful sense of humor and had a way of making everyone feel at ease around him. My condolences to his wife Cindy, their two children, and Chris’s extended family and friends.”
Walsh’s death comes less than two weeks after state Representative James R. Miceli, the second-longest-serving member of the Massachusetts Legislature, collapsed during opening Little League ceremonies in Wilmington and died at a local hospital.Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. Globe correspondent Lucas Phillips contributed to this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@ globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.