Easterseals Speech Pathologist Glynda Marie Walker, Who Helped Countless Children Find Their Voices, Dies at 81
WHEELING — Glynda Marie Walker lived a life in service to others up until the very end, as she passed away last week at the age of 81.
Walker had been a speech pathologist for Easterseals. Outside the Easterseals, she had also been known to offer her time at Russell Nesbitt Services and Good Shepherd Nursing Home. Walker died Oct. 15, after having been at Wheeling Hospital since the Friday prior.
In 2017, Walker had celebrated 50 years working with Easter Seals, first beginning in 1962, taking some time off early on to receive her master’s degree in 1968. Despite moving from Illinois to Rhode Island, and then to Wheeling in 1995, she had worked continuously with Easter Seals her entire adult life. By the time of her death, she had worked with Easter Seals for 54 years in total.
“Glynda’s whole life was helping people,” said Easterseals Medical Director Dr. Ellen Kitts, who worked alongside Walker for decades. “She helped people through speech therapy, created social groups for people with disabilities, and volunteered in the community.
“She never forgot your birthday and sent greeting cards to everyone,” Kitts said. “She always gave of herself, and it didn’t matter how sick she was. She worked and helped people until her last days.”
At Easterseals, Walker founded the Sunshine Friday Social Club, which provided opportunities for group social functions for the intellectually disabled, which were described as well-attended.
She later also founded the Emoclew Club, and participated in numerous activities and functions including the Speech Bunny Tag Days, the cake auction, and was a VIP for the Easter Seals Telethon. She also served in the past as the telethon’s volunteer coordinator.
Walker is survived by several first and second cousins, as well as many friends in the Wheeling community. She was known to friends, clients and their families as “Mother Walker.”
“Glynda was completely and 100% dedicated to Easter Seals and to her patients for over 50 years,” said Debbie Joseph, secretary of Easterseals’ board of directors. “Even when faced with serious health issues, she fought hard to continue to treat those to whom she offered services.”
Joseph also remembered Walker’s keen memory for friends’ milestones and her devotion to celebrating them.
“Her passing is a tremendous loss,” she said, “and she will be deeply missed.”
Details on a memorial service will be finalized at a later date and announced in her obituary to come this weekend.
An open house gathering will be held at Easterseals following the service. Walker donated her body to West Virginia University’s Human Gift Registry.