It is a sad day for children and animals as one of their biggest advocates and protectors, Patricia Lou Walker, 72, of Carterville, IL passed away August 8, 2020, with her husband and sisters by her side.
Patti was born to the late Jack and Marian Silver, March 20, 1948, in Gulfport, Mississippi. Patti graduated from Peoria High School in 1966. She worked as a ballroom dance instructor at Arthur Murray’s in Peoria, Illinois and took numerous college courses before marrying Rodger Walker in 1973, at the Bradley Epworth United Methodist Church in Peoria. In their forty-seven years of marriage, Patti and Rodger lived in many places from Prophetstown, Illinois to Salt Lake City, Utah to Naperville, Illinois and traveled the world from Hong Kong to Singapore to Sydney, Australia before settling in Carterville, Illinois in 1987 where Rodger opened his own engineering firm and Patti stayed home to raise their three daughters.
When their youngest left for college, Patti went back to school and earned her BA in creative writing from SIU in 2003. Her poems and stories won awards and are published in literary journals. At the age of 59, she earned her MSW and began a new career as a social worker; she also served as a CASA volunteer, advocating for abused and neglected children, a role she was very proud to hold. Throughout her life, Patti used her creativity, intelligence, and courage to protect the most innocent and vulnerable among us.
Patti is survived by her husband, Rodger, of Carterville, Illinois, and three daughters: Traci Walker, of Centreville, Virginia; Lindsay Doukopoulos (m. Alex Doukopoulos), of Auburn, Alabama; and Katherine Rafferty (m. Devin Rafferty), of Leonardo, New Jersey. She is also survived by 3, soon to be 4, grandchildren: Conor Rafferty, 4, and Ethan Rafferty, 1, and Mira Doukopoulos, 2, whose sister is due in September. Patti is also survived by her sisters, Micki Larson and Susan Silver, of Peoria, Illinois, and her brother, John Silver, of Branson, Missouri.
Patti was immensely proud of her family and the accomplishments of her children: Her oldest, Traci, works for the White House as the Director of Digital Service Procurement in the United States Digital Service; Lindsay earned a Ph.D in creative writing and has moved up the ranks at Auburn University from English professor to Associate Director of the teaching and learning center; and Katy earned her MA in Architecture and works as a Director for VOCON, an architectural firm in Manhattan, NY. Growing up, Patti taught her children the importance of travel, reading, and experiencing new ideas. She enrolled her girls in every sport, lesson, and camp in southern Illinois, and when they were older, sent them to Space Camp, National Young Leaders in Washington, DC, and study abroad programs in Mexico, Prague, Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, and Montenegro.
Patti’s family is immensely proud of her, not only for the grace and resilience she’s shown over the past eight years as her health and physical abilities declined, but also for the fierce, loving, spiritual, and hilarious person she always was. Known to many as a second mother and “Run Mom,” her pancake breakfasts and biscuits & gravy are the stuff of legends. Her wood-sided station wagon, affectionately referred to as the “Patti Wagon,” parked in front of the house on West Grand was a Carterville landmark. And her Sunday school mission to teach every kid in the Carterville United Methodist Church to recite the 23rd Psalm and Ten Commandments (even if that meant bribing them with donuts), was, like most things she put her mind to, a success.
In honor of Patti’s wishes, the Walker family encourages donations to Wright-Way Rescue animal shelter in Murphysboro, IL or CASA, the Court Appointed Special Advocates program, of Williamson County, IL, as an expression of sympathy instead of flowers.
Graveside services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, August 15, 2020, at Rose Hill Cemetery in Marion, with Rev. Bob Morwell officiating. Riggin-Pillatsch & Burke Funeral Home in Carterville is in charge of arrangements.
...And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Patricia Lou (Silver) Walker, please visit our floral store.
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates Program) of Williamson County
P.O. Box 972, Marion IL 62959
8459 Old Highway 13, Murphysboro IL 62966