Dr. Emma Lu Walton, 79, passed away on September 29, 2012, surrounded by her loving family at Providence Hospital in Anchorage, Alaska as a result of a massive stroke.
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Emma was born in Forgan, Oklahoma to Charles and Betsy Suttle on October 8, 1932. Emma was the youngest of three children. She graduated from Forgan High School, University of Oklahoma, Bowie State College and obtained her EdD from the University of Southern California in 1982.
Emma was a lifelong educator with particular expertise in science teaching, science materials, and professional development. She taught High School Science for 10 years, served as a science supervisor for 19 years, and spent 4 years as a program director at the National Science Foundation. In "retirement", she was elected National Science Teachers Association President, served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska, the Imaginarium, and the Campbell Creek Science Center. She was involved with the GLOBE program, worked with NASA education programs including the Explorer Schools program in Alaska, and with several National Science Foundation projects. Her influence in science education was vast and included a myriad of publications, nationwide presentations, and ground-level work both locally and nationally. The light in the Science Education world grew a little dimmer on the day of Emma's passing.
In 2011, Emma was awarded the Robert H. Carleton Award, the highest honor bestowed by the National Science Teachers Association. From her award: Emma's career has been exemplary and far-reaching in its impact on students, teachers, and friends of science education. She has developed wide support and energy for science education, effectively raising the standards for teaching science in communities nationwide, while never losing focus on what is important: the students.
As NSTA President, she formed the Blue Ribbon Commission, which was tasked with reorganizing and streamlining the governing structure for the association. Through her guidance and leadership, NSTA moved forward into the 21st Century. In addition, she has dedicated much time and effort to supporting the Alaska Science Teachers Association. Her work activities extended worldwide, as exemplified by the award she received for her work with schools on the tiny island of Saint Eustatius, Netherlands Antilles.
Dr. Emma Walton distinguished herself among science educators with her smile, work ethic, and her tireless dedication.
Emma was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and best friend to many. She showed us how to live life to the fullest with a smile, grace, and class.
Emma is survived by her best friend and beloved husband of almost 60 years, Jim C. Walton. She is also survived by her son Everett Walton (Terry Deal), daughter Candace Groeneveld (Michael), son Charles Walton (Monna), and son Jimmy K. Walton (Rebecca). Her beloved grandchildren: Rom Walton, Dax Walton, Desiree Walton , Greg Thornton (Sharonne), Todd Thornton (Jackie), Kelly Thornton, Joe and John Groeneveld , David Bartholomew , Misty Wright , Wayne Walton, Jayme Walton, Skyler Helton and Preston Key.
Great grandchildren - Ashlee, Tyler, Devyn, Braeden, Skylar, Elijah, Teagan, Rylan and many much loved nieces and nephews.
Emma was preceded in death by her parents; mother and father-in-law; brother George W. Suttle (Olivia), brother Elmer T. Suttle; nephew Charles Russel Suttle, and nephew George Fredrick Suttle.
A Celebration of Life will be held at East High Auditorium on Saturday, October 13 at 12:30 p.m. with a reception to follow. Emma's favorite colors were red and bright blue. In lieu of flowers, Emma's family requests that donations be made to:
National Science Teachers Association:
The John Glenn Center for Science Education
In honor of Dr. Emma Lu Walton
1840 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201-3000.
For more information please contact Candy Groeneveld (907-952-7068) or Terry Deal (907-230-8344).
Published in adn.com from October 7 to October 11, 2012
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