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Thread: *Lawrence E. Walker of S&D 1917-2014*

  1. #1
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    Default *Lawrence E. Walker of S&D 1917-2014*

    Steamboating colleagues:
    Word just in from S&D's Mike Jones that Lawrence ('Larry') Walker, resident of 'Twin Towers,' long time member of Sons & Daughters of Pioneer Rivermen and former treasurer passed away yesterday in Cincinnati at age 96. A number here remember Larry and late wife Ethel vividly at S&D meetings and their many trips on the DELTA QUEEN. Larry's career spent here with the Union Central Life Insurance Co. A devoted fan of steamboats and the Inland Rivers, he crafted many fine 'acorns' that continue to adorn a number of steamboats including the New Orleans based St. NATCHEZ where he proved himself as an accomplished steeresman. For a time Larry and wife Ethel volunteered as historians for the old GREENE LINE and later DELTA QUEEN STEAMBOAT CO. clipping, saving, mounting press releases, photos and other ephemera. One of the first longer DELTA QUEEN trips I made with Larry, Ethel and dear friends Dorothea, Roscoe, Mickey Frye was 10 days R/T Cincinnati to Pittsburgh, 1962. Larry was a quiet man but firm in his knowledge and values. "Work and duty is what we do--our interests are what we are," his credo. Farewell old friend. Have a great trip.

    Private services will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made to The 'Twin Towers Life Enrichment Fund,' 5343 Hamilton Ave. Cincinnati, Ohio 54224

    R. Dale Flick
    Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati

  2. #2

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    Sorry to hear of Larry's passing. I remember him well from the early years of my S & D membership. I always wanted to get one of his famous acorns but never did.

  3. #3
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    Default Larry, Ethel and Dorothea

    I have been out of touch with the world due to a broken modem, and I received the word of Larry's passing at 1AM when I returned from a basketball team road trip...I will post pictures as soon as I figure out how with this 'new improved' printer/scanner. Larry is the last of the foursome to leave us. Since Roscoe, Dorothea's husband, did not care to travel for steamboating things, most of us knew mainly the trio of Larry, Ethel and Dorothea at our meetings and in New Orleans. They began traveling to NOLA in the early '60s I believe, arriving in early October and staying for two weeks. At first they stayed at LeProvencial and then moved over to LeRichelieu. Walkers always had room 407 and Dorothea 411, both on the Barracks St. side. They were such a part of LeR that they always attended the hotel staff picnic, and to this day I can mention their names and there are staff there who remember them. While in NOLA they of course rode the NATCHEZ, but they visited many other places, including yard sales. When they rode the NATCHEZ, DF and Ethel sometimes sat in the dining room and visited with that crew, and sometimes sat up on the lazy bench in the pilothouse, but Larry ALWAYS was in the pilothouse, and between the sticks. As Dale mentioned, Larry was an accomplished steersman who handled the whole trip, with the pilot there basically for his license. They had complete confidence in Larry. And also mentioned by Dale, Larry's acorn making. He had a workshop in his basement and loved contributing to the NATCHEZ with his handiwork. Many of his acorns still adorn her, even though the last one he made was in about 1994. I will post the pix of him presenting that one to Doc (when I find the pix). I have the one it replaced proudly displayed here in the MUMR museum, and I take it whenever I give a talk as a show and tell item. Larry's favorite song was 'South', which Doc or Debbie played when I was on the rooftop with my cellphone letting Larry hear that melody. I'm sure if the NATCHEZ weren't in layup, 'South' would be steaming on the calliope in his memory...Larry and Ethel never had any children, but they 'parented' many of my generation as we grew in the steamboat, and life, world. Larry's passing is truly the closing of a chapter in the river people book, but his influence, kindness, and friendship lives on...

    Here's a picture of the trio plus me, taken in 1987 or 88 during their October NOLA visit. Ethel, Judy, Dorothea, Larry are in Doc's courtyard visiting a crew member, Dickie Rogers, who was staying in Doc's courtyard apartment. Doc was out of town at the time, or he would have been in the picture too...
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  4. #4
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    Default Another One Gone From Our Midst

    Once again, within a short time span, the river fraternity has lost yet another of its oldest and staunchest members. I first met Larry Walker (along with his wife Ethel and Dorothea Frye) in 1970 aboard the Str. BELLE of LOUISVILLE. I remember how excited I was to finally meet them in person, after having read about Larry's steamboat acorn factory and Dorothea being a noted steamboat artist in the S&D REFLECTOR, since I'd first subscribed in 1967. As the years rolled on like the river itself, we all became close friends, sharing many fun times and adventures. Larry served as S&D's treasurer for more than a decade until his retirement in 1993. He was a quiet man, but always friendly, kind and generous. Among the relics in my river collection, courtesy of Larry, are two of his handcrafted acorns and a bar of soap from GREENE LINE STEAMERS, bearing the image of Capt. Mary B. Greene.

    Larry certainly will be missed by all whose lives he gently touched throughout his 96 years. A long and two shorts of the whistle in his memory. I will also pay tribute to my longtime friend in the Old Boat Column of The Waterways Journal, of which Larry was an avid reader for many decades, issue of February 17.

    IMAGE: Larry Walker and Dorothea Frye enjoy an exhibit at the Ohio River Museum, Marietta, Ohio, in September, 1996.
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  5. #5
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    Early in my employment on the DQ I had the great pleasure of being introduced to passengers The Walkers, The Fryes and The Hawleys ---all riding the same trip--Mickey, Doc and Roddy crew. An experience carved in granite that has cast a long shadow of the highest caliber.

  6. #6
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    Default Larry's last NATCHEZ acorn

    Here is the picture of Larry presenting Doc with a new acorn, with Dorothea sitting in the background. Ethel is just out of the picture...
    I believe this was in 1994.

    And here is the old one it replaced, which is now in my collection. This was part of a display of NATCHEZ items I brought for my MOR talk years ago.
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  7. #7
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    Default Time and the River....

    So sorry to hear of Larry Walker's passing. Time surely marches on...

    In the early 1960's, when I was trying to break into the DELTA QUEEN scene, Larry, Ethel, and Dorothea took me into their River Rat Pack; making sure I always got aboard the boat on leaving days and that I was allowed the run of the QUEEN as their guest. Quite often they invited me to dinner after the DELTA QUEEN departed. We remained friends throughout the years, and with Larry's passing, that chapter has closed.

    Rest in Peace, old friend... my deepest sympathy to family, friends, and all those who loved Larry Walker.

  8. #8
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    Default

    Here's a faded black and white image of Larry's basement "Steamboat Acorn Factory", taken in 1966 by Dorothea Frye.
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  9. #9
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    *Great photos and memories*
    Steamboating colleagues:
    I just had to chime in with deepest thanks to all the great photos and memories here beginning with Judy Patsch, Keith Norrington, Shipyard Sam and others. Now and then we travel the rivers of life as friends and colleagues--and Larry Walker was one of those fellow journeyers. Those on this web site who never met or knew Larry and wife Ethel missed two fine people. And the photos of our Dorothea Frye from Judy and Keith wonderful. Yep, that's how I remember them. Even before that I attended Withrow High School here in Hyde park with Elthel's niece Karen--her spitting image with those blue eyes, strawberry blond hair. And even before that Larry and my late uncle Vernon Flick worked for years in offices across the hall from each other at 'Union Central Life Insurance Co.' And, as the late Dorothea Frye often said, "This is really getting spooky now." Judy/Keith can also fill in, confirm for me that Dorothea Frye worked a good part of a season in the DELTA QUEEN's gift shop. There were long stretches for me when I didn't see the DQ or any of the gang; thus with blank spaces in the chronology and history.

    Another two people part of that 'rat pack' back then were Capt. Bill Judd and soon-to-be wife Darlene when we all met at the Cincinnati Public Library for meetings of the Cincinnati chapter of the Steamship Historical Society of America. Walkers, Fryes, Letha Greene, Bob McCann, Capt. Jesse P. Hughes, parents of well-known DELTA QUEEN fan Pat Sullivan were part of that 'pack.' Another personality some of you DQ old timers remember was Earl Norris whom, I 'think,' held a position with the TVA down in Tennessee. Earl was part of that 'pack' then as his wife wasn't all that keen on boat trips--or any trip on water. "It takes a village to tell a story" and all of you above have done so from the heart.

    R. Dale Flick
    Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati

  10. #10
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    Indeed, Dorothea ran the gift shop on the DQ for the 1966 season, as a favor to her good friend Letha Greene. I have pictures of her behind the counter, but, due to some remodeling work underway in the basement, I can't get to my filing cabinets at the moment!

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