Leonora A. Walters, loving wife of Bill Walters until his death in 2002, died Aug. 7, 2007, in Carmichael.
"Girlie" as she was known to her family and friends during her 97 years, was born Nov. 2, 1909 in New Sweden, Maine. In 1915, with her mother, father, brother and two sisters, she moved to California, first to Los Angeles and then to Antelope Valley, where they homesteaded and farmed before moving into Lancaster.
During their 62-year marriage, the couple lived in Lancaster, Crescent City, Smith River and Carmichael in California, and briefly in Oregon. They lived for more than 10 years in the Crescent City/Smith River area where they made many friends and enjoyed the natural beauty of the area, fishing and wildlife.
From her earliest days, she aspired to be a nurse. Growing up on a homestead and farm in the Mojave Desert did not seem to a promising beginning for a girl in the early 1900s who wanted a career in medicine. Her determination, intelligence and bent toward serving her fellow humans, and the inspiration of her mother, Belle Nelson, kept "Girlie" on track. She earned a Nursing degree in 1931, a Bachelor of Science degree in 1939 and her Master's degree in 1961. While she worked at many jobs during the years, mostly in medicine, her most fulfilling was as the well-known school nurse for Lancaster Elementary School District, a position from which she retired after 26 years of service.
In addition to her work with the Lancaster School District, she worked for longtime Lancaster physician, Dr. Craig B. Byrne, and prior to that at a sanitarium in Marin County. At the beginning of World War II she served as an emergency room nurse for a ship building company in Oregon. She appreciated the opportunity to serve her many different communities as a nurse. She felt most fulfilled, however, by her tenure as a school nurse, where she could have a direct and beneficial impact on the lives of young people and their families, many of whom remained friends.
While she enjoyed her profession, travel and life in diverse, beautiful places, it was her family and friends who gave her the most satisfaction and enjoyment. She is survived by her sons, Brien and Bob, eight grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren, who were her delight.
Memorial services will be held in Carmichael and Lancaster. Contact Bob Walters, 916-396-5638 for additional information.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the American Lung Association.