The Walker Family
T. Urling Walker was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1925, a son of Thomas A. and Clara Urling Walker. He attended Pittsburgh area schools. In 1943, he became an aircraft mechanic for the U.S Army Air Corps. Promoted to crew chief on a B-24 Liberator, he served in the Asian Pacific Theater of World War II.
After his military service, he attended Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania, one of the oldest academic institutions in the United States. He transferred from Washington and Jefferson to Case Institute of Technology (now Case Reserve University) in Cleveland, Ohio, receiving his bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering in 1951.
After graduation, Mr. Walker was hired by the New York Air Brake Co. in Watertown, New York. He worked at the Air Brake for 10 years in the engineering and personnel departments as an industrial and management engineer, respectively. He joined JCC’s faculty as an associate professor of engineering in 1961, remaining at the college for seven years.
Mr. Walker has held leadership positions in numerous civic organizations. His most visible public role was as mayor of Watertown. Elected to 2 four-year terms (1983-91), he stressed the need for a proactive city government instead of what he termed a ‘crisis management’ style of leadership. He also served as interim city manager from September 1994 to December 1995.
Mr. Walker was chairman of the CREG Systems Corp., a private telephone systems firm, and was a trustee of JCC and the JCC Foundation. He was on the boards of New York Casualty Insurance, WNPE/WNPI Public Television and the Neighbors of Watertown.
Mr. Walker served five years on both the Watertowm school board and the Jefferson/Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services in Watertown, serving two years as president of each board. He was the first executive secretary for the newly formed Jefferson-Lewis School Boards Association.
He was involved in the merger of the Jefferson/Lewis and St. Lawrence Boy Scout council into the Seaway Valley Council and became its president twice, in 1990 and 1995.
While enjoying many outdoor sports like golfing, canoeing and camping, Mr. Walker relishes repairing clocks, a hobby of 30 years.
Mabel Brooks Walker was born in Clarion, Pennsylvania, in 1927, a daughter of Harry and Mable O. Tice Brooks. A registered nurse, she received a bachelor of science degree from Empire State College in September 1979.
Mrs. Walker has been described as epitomizing ‘the spirit and essence of volunteerism.’ She has been active in the Red Cross Blood Bank as a nurse since 1952, served on the board of the Visiting Nurses association, acting as president for four terms (1956-68), and was a board of director for the Watertown United Fund. Co-founder of Hospice of Jefferson County in Watertown, she served as president of its board of directors and is still active in the organization as a member of its finance committee.
The Walkers are the parents of four children, two of whom are living, and four grandchildren.
The Walkers were individual recipients of the prestigious Israel A. Shapiro Citizenship Award, given annually to an outstanding citizen of Watertown. Mr. Walker received the award in Feburuary 1974 and Mrs. Walker in November 1988.
They also received the Outstanding Citizen Award from the State University College at Potsdam in Potsdam, New York. Mr. Walker was recognized in May 1990 for his work on the Potsdam Foundation board and Mrs. Walker in May 1995 for her work with Hospice.