Delia "Dee" Walker Resident of Watsonville Died on Sunday, August 26, 2012, after collapsing at St. Francis Bingo on Friday evening. Delia was born on January 2, 1931 to Italian immigrant parents, Frank and Mary Sillano. She was a native of Stamford, Connecticut. Her family moved west to San Francisco in 1941 and later to Watsonville. Dee attended schools in San Francisco and graduated from high school in Watsonville. After graduation, she worked for the Bank of America in Watsonville until she married the love of her life, Donald Walker at the "Valley Church." After their marriage, she helped in her husband's tire business and devoted herself to raising her family. The Walker family lived in Orchard Park until they had an opportunity to purchase her parents' berry farm in the Corralitos area. Many locals have fond memories of earning money working during the summer picking berries for Dee when they were young. While her children were growing up, she was active in 4-H and transported her boys and their friends to various activities. After her daughter was born disabled, Dee became a strong advocate for disabled people of all ages and disabilities. In addition, she had a soft spot for any person in need of love or money helping in any way that she was able. She will be missed by many who lovingly call her "Momma Dee" or "Grandma Dee." She has been active in the Sons of Italy, the Lion's Club and previously served on the Board of Directors for the Skill Center. She was involved with the Special Olympics Bowling for over 20 years and was the President of the Challenger Bowling League for 25 years. Dee was preceded in death by her husband, Donald Walker; and her brothers Angelo, Paul Sillano and her parents, Frank and Mary Sillano. She is survived by her children, Panthor Michael Walker and Cindy Walker of Watsonville, John Walker of Japan, step-daughter Gwen Cushman of Rosemond, and brother, Frank Sillano of Watsonville; and numerous step-grandchildren, step-great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews in California and Texas A visitation will be held on Tuesday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Ave Maria Memorial Chapel followed by a Rosary at 7 p.m. at Our Lady Help of Christians Church. A mass of Christian burial will be held on Thursday, at 11 a.m. at Our Lady Help of Christians Church followed by burial at Valley Public Cemetery. The funeral arrangements have been entrusted into the care of Patrick and Debbie Carroll of Ave Maria Memorial Chapel. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers that you make memorial donation in Dee's name to: HOPE Services, Special Olympics of Santa Cruz County, or you favorite charity.
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Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on Sept. 5, 2012