Glynda Marie Walker, age 81, passed away on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 at Wheeling Hospital. A champion of the physically challenged and intellectual disabled, as well as a selfless individual of her time and talent, Glynda has left us to be with her Lord.
Formerly of Cobden and Carbondale, IL, Glynda was most recently a resident of Brookpark Place in Wheeling, WV, where she was past president of the Tenant’s Association and had also served as editor and photographer of the Associations’ Newsletter, plus remembrance chairperson. She has been at Brookpark Place for more than 18 years.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Ethel Marie Conyer Walker and Robert Glenn Walker of Cobden, IL and her grandparents, Ethel DuBois Cobden II and Jennie and Everett Conyer of Anna, IL.
Known to many in Wheeling as the “Sunshine Girl”, Glynda devoted her life to serving the handicapped and will be deeply missed by hundreds of special people whose lives were brightened and enriched by her love.
She is survived by first cousins Jeanie Borneque Ratz of St. Louis, MO and Myrna Gayle Brewer of Monument, CO and her second cousin Robert D. Walker of Cisne, IL. Glynda also leaves behind numerous special friends from the Ohio Valley including the staff, past and present clients and parents/guardians at Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center, Emoclew Club (which spells “welcome” backwards), Sunshine Friday Social Club, Russell Nesbitt Center, WATCH, residents of Brookpark Place, Ohio Valley area residents and all her church family from First Christian Church.
A 1958 graduate of Carbondale Community High School, Glynda Marie received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Southern Illinois University in 1962 and a Master’s Degree in Speech and Language Pathology from Ohio State University in 1968. She presented her Master’s thesis paper to American Speech/Language/Hearing Association in 1968. She took many course after her Master’s Degree.
Glyda Marie was employed for 53 years as a speech and language pathologist at Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center in Wheeling. She also worked as a speech/language pathologist at Meeting Street School, Rhode Island Easter Seals Society for three years and at The Ohio State University for one year. SHe had been a speech./language pathologist for 57 years.
Several organizations benefited from her service on their boards of directors including, Russell Nesbitt Services, ARC, Northern Panhandle Head Start Agency and the Laura Center for Medically Fragile and Profoundly Intellectual Disabled Individuals. She held Advisory Council positions with Northern Panhandle Head Start Agency (Health & Education), Family Service – Upper Ohio Valley and Faith in Action Caregivers.
As founder and coordinator of the “Sunshine Friday Social Club”, Glynda Marie provided regular opportunities for intellectually disabled adults to attend social functions as a group. These well-attended outings were very popular with clients and their families. They will greatly miss Glynda Marie’s leadership. A lot of clients and special needs individuals called her “Mother Walker”.
Her volunteer work at Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center included coordination of the Emoclew Club, coordinating the Ohio Valley Stroke Club and the Telethon. She chaired Speech Bunny Tag Days and participated in the Cake Auction yearly for the Easter Seals telethon for over 35 years and participated in the telethon as a VIP for over 5 years.
Over the years Glynda Marie also held volunteer positions at the Good Shepherd Nursing Home, Wheeling Hospital Continuous Care Center, Faith in Action Caregivers, Family Services of the Upper Ohio Valley, Amedisys Hospice Care Services, Retired Senior Volunteer Services and in nursing homes in Warwick, RI. She also served as respite provider for intellectually disabled adults at Russell Nesbitt Services. For numerous years she was the State CEU Chairperson in Rhode Island – Speech and Language Pathology Association.
For her service to the disabled community, Glynda Marie received many deserved awards and honors including; the Jaycette Awards, West Virginia Delta Zeta Woman of the Year, Wheeling Jaycee Citizen of the Month, Honorary Life-Time member of Ohio Valley Jaycee Women, Northern Panhandle Head Start Community Service, West Virginia Association of the Intellectual Disabled Citizens Volunteer of the Year, WEEL FM Radio Station Community Service, Rotary Club of Wheeling Citizen of the Month, Ace Award Continuing Education American Speech/Language/Hearing Association, Family Service Upper Ohio Valley Senior of the Year and Volunteer of the Year awards and the Rosemary M. Front Excellence in Advocacy Award from East Seals.
The retired Seniors Volunteer Programs honored Glynda Marie with the United States Presidential Service Award, Distinguished Service Award and teh West Virginia House of Delegates Legislative Citation. Glynda Marie was also the recipient of the West Virginia Senate Certificate of Recognition Award and Office of the Governor, West Virginia Commendation for Volunteer Life Time Service Award and Kenneth O. Pickering Humanitarian Award from Wheeling Hospital.
Glynda Marie is listed in the Outstanding Youth Women of America, Who’s Who in South and Southwest, the World’s Who’s Who of Women, Personalities of America, American Biographical Institute Research Association and Who’s Who Among Human Service Professionals. She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society, Zeta Phi Eta – Speech Honorary, Delta Zeta Sorority and a Life-Time member of the Easter Star Miriam Chapter.
Heaven’s gain is our loss on Earth.
Glynda Marie donated her body to the Human Gift Registry – WVU Medical Center. Arrangements are in the care of Altmeyer Funeral Homes, 1400 Eoff St., Wheeling. A memorial service will be held at First Christian Church Disciples of Christ, Saturday, October 30, 2021 at 12 pm noon.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center, 1305 National Rd., Wheeling, WV 26003, or by clicking here. Or to Russell Nesbitt Services, 431 Fulton St., Wheeling, WV 26003 or by clicking here.
Condolences may be offered at www.altmeyerfuneralhomes.com.