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Community angels

Fighting cancer became personal for alumnus
T. Urling Walker and his wife

When the Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown, New York, named its new cancer center in honor of T. Urling Walker ’51 and his wife, Mabel, it recognized the couple’s personal crusade against cancer. 

“We lost two daughters to rare forms of cancer,” Walker, the former mayor of Watertown, told the Watertown Daily Times. “Those events brought forward this idea that we need to address that problem within this community.” 

The $16 million, 17,000-square-foot Walker Center for Cancer Care was dedicated in October 2019. It marked another in a series of contributions from the community’s foremost problem solvers. 

Walker, a Pittsburgh native, took his Case degree in mechanical engineering to Watertown, a small city in far northern New York, where he rose through the executive ranks at New York Air Brake and became a civic leader. 

He served two terms as mayor, was president of the school board and taught engineering at Jefferson Community College. 

He and Mabel endured heartbreaking tragedy. They lost their daughter Wendy to cancer at age 16. Another daughter, Constance Walker Monroe, died of cancer at age 37. Both are memorialized with scholarships at Jefferson Community College, where the couple also created the Walker Family Engineering Scholarship. 

Mabel Walker died December 6 at age 93. She had already co-founded Hospice of Jefferson County.

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