Mary Iva Walker

OKLAHOMA/VERMONT: Mary Iva Walker finished her race and entered the gates of Heaven on January 4, 2023, at her home in Elk City, Oklahoma. Mary was born to Charles and Freda Burnor on August 13, 1942, in Cambridge, VT.  She was the 3rd of four children and told many stories of growing up on a dairy farm, harvesting maple syrup, and loving the snow.

In 1959 she met a cute guy in the Air Force who happened to accompany her cousin on a weekend to Vermont.  On February 12, 1961, she married Dale Walker, her husband of 62 years, her dance partner and best friend. From that union came four children and a move from the east coast to Oklahoma. 

At the start of their marriage, Mary took a position as a legal assistant in Danbury, CT. As babies came, they made the decision together for Mary to be a full-time mom at home which she excelled at. Dinners around the table and an immaculate home were something we assumed every child had. The door was always open for anyone else to join us.

As her children became older and needed her less, she began to crave the fulfillment of a job outside the home.  Her administrative skills and creativity made her a perfect fit to step into the administrative position at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church where she had already spent years giving time as a volunteer. As her youngest child became older and she noticed the void of youth ministry, she filled that position as well, creating and amplifying a ministry that impacted a multitude of young people. She later filled the administration position at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Mustang, Ok, totaling 30 years of work in the church.

Mary’s ministry was not confined to those walls. She has left a legacy, but it is not one of buildings. Her time, resources, and talents were invested in people. She treasured her time with her family. She had limitless love for her four children, 12 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren with another on the way. Someday we will know the amount of prayer that shaped those lives. She was also known for having many “bonus children,” those who called her mom or wished they could. It was her mission to make sure that all of our family stayed connected no matter what coast they were on.

She loved to tell stories. You needed to sit back and get comfortable because she was going to include every detail, and in return, you got her same undivided attention when you wanted to share something with her. She looked you in the eye, held your hand, and followed up with notes or messages to see how the story turned out.

Mary had two favorite places to be. The first was Vermont. She was especially excited to give sightseeing tours to anyone visiting for the first time. The second was her home when it was filled with family, friends, and noise.  She didn’t even have to be in the center of it. She was just as content to sit on the edge and watch everyone else connect and have fun. Her gift of hospitality made everyone feel welcome. We trust from God’s promises that the place He had prepared for her far exceeds them both!

Mary is preceded in death by her father, Charles Burnor, her mother, Freda Burnor, brother, Jim Burnor, brother, Larry Burnor, and sister, Theresa Burnor.

Those cherishing her memory and taking her baton are her beloved husband, Dale Walker, children, Debra Hubbard (Kent), Susie Kyman (fiancé Todd Franke), Steve Walker, Jill Culver (Brandon).  Grandchildren, Erin Rabel (Jonas), Nicole Taghehchian (Matt), Mark Fransen, Kristen Coffie (Marc), Jake Hubbard (Ann Marie), Kyla Parker (Wayne), Brooke Teeter (Riley), Macy Teeter (Ky), Caden Culver, Corey Culver, and Crew Culver.  Great grandchildren who also call her “Mimi” are Eli, Addi, Olivia, Abram, Julip, Shep, Blake, Jayce, Riley, Brayden, Bryce, Jameson, Kort, and Rory. 

A visitation and viewing to receive family and friends was scheduled on Sunday, January 8, 6 – 9 pm at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church, Parish Hall, Elk City, Oklahoma. 

A Funeral Mass was held on Monday, January 9, at 10:30 am, at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church, Elk City, Oklahoma. Interment followed at St. Matthew’s cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, charitable donations can be made to the Youth Ministry of St. Matthew’s Catholic Church.

Services are under the direction of Chris Whinery of Affordable Cremation Services of Elk City.