Mabel Walker, north country philanthropist and wife of former Watertown Mayor, has died

Mabel Walker, north country philanthropist and wife of former Watertown Mayor, has died

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Mabel Walker - who with her husband, former Watertown Mayor Tom Walker, used their fortune to better the lives of countless northern New Yorkers - died Sunday at her home at the age of 93.

Funeral arrangements with D.L. Calarco Funeral Home were incomplete Sunday night.

Walker was born in Clarion, Pennsylvania in 1927, a daughter of Harry and Mable O. Tice Brooks. She became a registered nurse, and received a bachelor of science degree from Empire State College in 1979.

The Walkers’ philanthropy touched many places in the north country.

Mabel Walker was a fierce advocate for Samaritan Medical Center; in September, 2018, the hospital’s Walker Center For Cancer Care was dedicated to the couple.

The fight against cancer was deeply personal for Mabel Walker; she and her husband lost two daughters, Constance and Winifred, to the illness.

She was the co-founder of Hospice of Jefferson County in Watertown and had served as president of its board of directors.

She had also served as president of the board of the Visiting Nurses association and was a board director for the Watertown United Fund.

Mabel and her husband Tom established the Walker Family Community Fund at the Northern New York Community Foundation. It’s a permanent grantmaking fund that foundation Executive Director Rande Richardson says will broadly support the region forever.

Her work in bolstering educational opportunities for north country students has yielded hundreds of scholarships for kids headed to college. At Jefferson Community College, three scholarships bear her family’s name- The Walker Family Engineering Scholarship, the Winifred G. Walker Nursing Memorial Scholarship, and the Constance Walker Monroe Liberal Arts Memorial Scholarship.

She is survived by her husband, Tom, daughter Laurel, son Tom.

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