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Hastings College of the Law professor Francis Walsh died Sunday, a day after suffering a stroke at his Kentfield home. Walsh, a dean of the University of San Francisco School of Law in the 1950s and 1960s, was 81. The professor, a torts specialist, was born in Newark, N.J. After graduating from Seton Hall University in 1943 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, he entered the U.S. Navy as an ensign. He served on the U.S.S. Damon Cummings, took part in the World War II invasion of Okinawa and rose to the rank of lieutenant. After graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 1948, Walsh came to San Francisco to spend a year clerking for Judge William Healy at the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. In 1949, Walsh went back to Georgetown to become a professor. But he returned to San Francisco in 1952, where he practiced insurance defense at what was then Parker & Wallace and taught various courses at the University of San Francisco School of Law. He was 33 years old when he was named dean in 1957, a post he held until 1970, when he was appointed to head the Federal Communications Commission’s broadcast bureau in Washington, D.C. He returned to San Francisco a few years later and joined the Hastings faculty in 1974, where his most recent classes included torts and product liability law. Walsh is survived by his wife of 61 years, Ethel Walsh, and a son, Jeffrey Walsh, who practices sports and maritime law out of his San Francisco law office. A funeral Mass is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Mary Magdalene in Bolinas. A memorial Mass set for 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Ignatius Church, 650 Parker Ave. in San Francisco, will be followed by an 11 a.m. reception at the University of San Francisco School of Law.

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