Ellen M. Heffron Walsh, a 43-year Darien resident and popular substitute teacher in Darien Schools, died Monday, April 9, at Norwalk Hospital after a brief illness. She was 83.

The daughter of John and Mary Heffron, Mrs. Walsh was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. She was raised in Flatbush and spent summers at her family home in Scott's Beach, Miller Place, Long Island. She graduated from St. Joseph's College in Brooklyn and received a master's degree in education from City College of New York.

Mrs. Walsh was a kindergarten teacher in Garden City, Long Island, and in Bloomfield, N.J. Before that, she was an assistant buyer at the famed Gimbels department store in New York City.

She was married for 51 years to Thomas J. Walsh, who died in 2010. Mr. and Mrs. Walsh moved to Darien in 1969 and lived there for the rest of their years.

Mrs. Walsh was a popular and respected substitute teacher in the Darien public elementary school system for many years in the 1970s and 80s, her family said. She was also a fan of Broadway musicals and the New York Mets, as well as a talented artist and avid reader of biographies, they said.

She is survived by three sons, Thomas J. Walsh, Jr. and his wife Catherine of Fairfield; David J. Walsh of Darien; and Stephen J. Walsh and his wife Elizabeth of Katonah, N.Y.; and by five grandchildren: Christopher, Claire, Alice, Margaret and Thomas.

A memorial service will be held at St. John's R.C. Church in Darien on Saturday, April 14, at 11.

Memorial donations may be made to Darien EMS-Post 53 Emergency Medical Service, P.O. Box 2066, Darien, CT 06820.