Mary Frances Walker, 84, died Monday, July 15.
She was the daughter of Earl and Helen Haslam of Oakdale.
She married Bernard J. Walker in 1953. After being told by a doctor they would not be able to have children, she had 10. While raising a family of 10, she went back to school and earned a Master’s Degree in English.
For many years she worked for the Oakdale Unified School District as a substitute teacher. After all her children had left her side, she was a teacher at Modesto Junior College in the ESL program (English as a Second Language).
Mrs. Walker’s life was in service of others, she was a living example of the path Jesus laid. Her service work included being the founding president of the Oakdale Community Sharing. She started the “English for All” program with her lifelong friend, Pat Graham, helping non-English speaking adults learn to read and write. She volunteered at the Modesto Gospel Mission helping many adults earn their high school diplomas, and at the Oakdale Welcome Center. She also taught catechism at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, where she was recognized by the Pope for her life of service.
The world became a brighter place the day she came into this world. She leaves much to be remembered, and will not soon be forgotten.
She is survived by her children, Rev. Patrick Walker, Mike (Maryann) Walker, Mary (Danny) Spiers, Cathleen Shepard, Eileen Walker, Anne Pizzo, Jane (Jock) Miller, Maura Vandermark, Sean (Carmen) Walker, and Michaela (Don) Freitas; sister, Joann Reimers; 15 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Bernie; parents, Earl and Helen Haslam; and sister, Adele.
A memorial service will be held, date and time pending.
Oakdale Memorial Chapel in charge of arrangements.
The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader
July 17, 2013