Rose Walker, long-time Ethical Culturist dies at 101
On Friday, June 17, 2011, Rose Walker died. She had just had her 101th birthday less than two weeks before. Rose had been ill for some time. She died at a hospital in Florida with family and loved ones around her. This news was shared with me just prior to the Platform at the AEU Assembly, and we were able to include a short memorial tribute to her as part of the Platform. Rose was a member of ESWoW.
Other pieces are being written about Rose, particularly those who knew her as the driving force of the National Ethical Service. I will share links to them when I get them. I will also share more information about the memorial service for Rose as I get it, and we might even do a memorial call to honor her memory.
I knew who Rose Walker was since I was three and my parents first took me to the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture. Who was Rose Walker? Why she was the lady with the hats, of course. And then, as I got older, she was one of the ladies sitting in the garden after a Sunday Platform meeting - still with her hat on - talking about important things. I had no idea what the important things were then. Now I know that those were meetings of the local group of the Women's Conference - now the National Ethical Service and I have a better understanding of why United Nations Day was always observed at the Brooklyn Society and why the Children's Sunday Assembly students always went trick or treating for UNICEF, and knew what the acronym stood for and understood a fair amount about UNICEF programs.
I also remember Rose as a staunch supporter of professional certified Leadership in the Ethical Movement. She thought the training and experience that Leaders have was very important. She also understood the importance of planning for succession, knowing that the work of the National Ethical Service was so important that she selected and trained someone whom she knew she could count on to continue the important role that Ethical Culture has at the United Nations. I was so pleased that I got to be the one to tell her when Martha Gallahue was certified as an Ethical Culture Leader and we both were so happy to know that this crucial work was in good hands.
Growing up in Ethical Culture I've had excellent models of aging well. Rose was certainly one of those models. Not only was she active in work at the United Nations until just several years ago, but she was still dancing up a storm at an Assembly, perhaps in 2005.
The collection from the Platform at this most recent Assembly will be shared with the AEU, the Peace Academy, and the Rose L. Walker Fund. How appropriate that the collection was taken in two straw hats.
Did you know Rose? Do you have memories to share? Please leave a comment to share your experiences.