WASHINGTON - "I didn't know how revered my husband was," Pat Walters, wife of Ronald W. Walters, the "go-to" expert on black politics who died on Friday, told Journal-isms. "I am positively stunned. It's made me very happy to know my husband was revered and loved, especially by the African American community" for whom he worked so long.
"Just the sheer magnitude" of the outpouring was a surprise, she said. "I had to hire somebody to deal with the press. My voice won't hold up" after having to field so many phone calls, she said Monday evening.
Walters spoke as she returned from arranging services scheduled for Sunday and Monday in Washington, determined to hold them in places big enough so that no one would be turned away.
Chosen were Cramton Auditorium at Howard University for a "celebration of legacy," focusing on his accomplishments, on Sunday, with viewing at 3 p.m. and a program at 4 p.m., and Shiloh Baptist Church,1500 Ninth St. NW, for a "celebration of life," his funeral, on Monday, with viewing at 10 a.m. and a service at 11.
Washington will not be the only place honoring the political science professor, political adviser and black-press columnist.
"To Wichita, he will forever be the Wichita University freshman who in the summer of 1958 made history by leading the local NAACP youth chapter in a sit-in at the segregated lunch counter at the Dockum Drugs store," Beccy Tanner reported Sunday in the Wichita (Kan.) Eagle.
"To the world, Ronald W. Walters was Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign manager, a political scholar and strategist, news commentator, author and activist.
"Dr. Walters, a Wichita native, professor of government and political science at the University of Maryland, and director of the African American Leadership Institute at UCLA, died Friday in Bethesda, Md., from lung cancer. He was 72.
"A memorial service is tentatively scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 26 at the Kansas African American Museum, 601 N. Water."
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