Monday, June 7, 2010
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Marjorie Walker, one of the founders of women's athletics at Westminster College, passed away Sunday, June 6, at Presbyterian University Hospital in Pittsburgh at the age of 75. Walker's health was in decline after she underwent a lung transplant surgery July 28, 2009.
Walker was a member of the Westminster faculty for 31 years before retiring in 1993 after holding various positions, including chair of the physical education department, associate director of athletics and head volleyball coach. She posted an overall record of 341-277 as the school's first-ever volleyball coach from 1976-1992 and was named two-time District Coach of the Year during her career. In addition to volleyball, Walker also served as an assistant coach for both women's basketball and tennis. Walker was inducted into the Titan Sports Hall of Fame in 1993.
As an instructor in the physical education department, Walker's teaching experience included badminton, volleyball, archery, basketball, soccer, racquetball, tennis, golf, and walking for fitness.
Walker was awarded the HERitage Award from the Pennsylvania State Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (PSAHPERD) in 2002. The HERitage award honors women who have blazed a trail in athletics for the young women who followed. Also in 2002, Westminster established the Marjorie A. Walker Award, an award given annually to the senior female student-athlete who best exemplifies the qualities of fairness, sportsmanship, leadership, determination, and competitiveness as demonstrated by Marjorie A. Walker. In 2003, Westminster dedicated its new aerobic fitness center in Old 77 gymnasium as the Marjorie A. Walker Recreation Center.
Born January 12, 1935, in her rural home near Apollo, Pa., she was the daughter of Alice Carey (Hamilton) Walker and William Glen McQuilkin Walker. She attended schools in Washington and Bell Townships, graduated from Slippery Rock University in 1956, and earned a Master's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
A lifelong Pennsylvania resident, she taught at Bell Avon and Dayton high schools prior to joining Westminster College in 1962. She was inducted as a member of the Class of 2005 into the Allegheny-Kiski Valley Sports Hall of Fame in her hometown of Apollo.
A brother, James A. Walker, predeceased her in 2008. She is survived by James' daughter Anne Cloonan and husband Patrick, and son James and wife Linda, and grandnieces Victoria, Shannon, and Hannah of Worthington; her sister Ruth, of Apollo, her son Todd and wife Michelle, grandnieces Ailish and Nora, of Centennial, Colorado; her brother John L. Walker and his wife Sandra and their daughter Rebecca of Bloomsburg, and their son John M. and wife Tracy, and grandnephews Ian and Alex of Nazareth.
Funeral services will be at the New Wilmington Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, June 9, 2010, at 2:30 p.m. Visitation is scheduled at the Smith Funeral Home (310 West Neshannock Avenue, New Wilmington) from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday and one hour before the service on Wednesday.
A memorial service to celebrate Majorie's life is planned for Oct. 9, 2010, in the New Wilmington Presbyterian Church.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial gifts be made to the Marjorie A. Walker Recreation Center at Westminster College, New Wilmington, Pa.
About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College is a top tier liberal arts college and a national leader in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Guide to America's Best Colleges. Westminster ranked third among liberal arts colleges in social mobility, according to the Washington Monthly College Guide, and is one of the most affordable national liberal arts colleges in Pennsylvania. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 371 Colleges" and "Best in the Northeast" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.
Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.