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Burbank seniors’ ‘guardian angel’ dies

Jackson Bell

Hazel Walker, a longtime Burbank resident and city employee who

served on several boards and committees and played pivotal roles in

the development of the Joslyn Senior Center and the Burbank Farmers’

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Market, died Saturday in Newport Beach.

She was 93.

Mrs. Walker was born June 16, 1910, in Oklahoma and moved to

Burbank in 1944. She worked for the city’s Park, Recreation and

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Community Services Department for 20 years, and served as outreach

director of Burbank Senior Services.

She served on the City Council’s Senior Advisory Board for more

than 20 years and was instrumental in developing the Joslyn Senior

Center. In 1977, the council named the senior center’s auditorium

after Walker in honor of her contributions.

“She has been the guardian angel for seniors in the city,” City

Manager Mary Alvord said. “In the 1970s, she was a moving force for

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getting seniors services and buildings in town far before other

cities. She was on the cutting edge.”

Walker was a member of Friends of the Blind, Altrusta

International Service Club and Sisters of Providence. She was also a

founder and volunteered as the operations manager of the Burbank

Farmers Market for 18 years.

“She was a community activist who thought Burbank was a special

place and was diligent in making sure that it stayed a special

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place,” said Eric Hansen, the deputy director of senior and human

services for the Park, Recreation and Community Services Department.

“She was caring, empathetic, a doer, and will be immensely missed by

those who knew her.”

Walker received many recognitions including: the Outstanding and

Unselfish Service to the Burbank Community award in 1974 from the

Burbank Noon Lions Club; the Outstanding Burbank Citizen award in

1986 from the Burbank Board of Realtors; and the Providence

Leadership award in 1999 from the Providence St. Joseph Foundation.

Walker is survived by her daughter, Kennie-Jo Rizzo; son, Timothy

Walker; grandchildren, Terri Lynn and J.J. Rizzo, and Nicole and Eric

Walker.

A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Thursday at First United

Methodist Church, 700 N. Glenoaks Blvd.


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