About 75 Lovettsville residents gathered on the Town Green on Saturday to honor the life of the woman 11-term mayor Elaine Dolores Walker, who died June 1.
The Walker family hosted a celebration of life ceremony, which was attended by past and present town, county and state leaders, including Attorney General Mark Herring, former state Del. Joe T. May, Clerk of the Circuit Court Gary Clemens, lifelong town resident Fred George and Walker’s successor, former three-term mayor Bob Zoldos.
Herring, who began his public service career as Lovettsville’s town attorney, called walker a “dear friend.” Clemens said Walker was “humble,” “worthy,” “genuine,” “compassionate,” “impactful” and “a lady of grace.”
“Elaine found a way to bring people together for the common good of the community,” Clemens said.
Zoldos, whom George jokingly said Walker groomed for years to fill her shoes when she stepped down as mayor in 2012, lightened the mood by talking about what Walker did not care for. Those included the time in 2018 when the Town Council, under the direction of Zoldos, ceremonially renamed the town “Capitalsville” in honor of the Washington Capitals’ playoff run for the Stanley Cup; and the naming of the Squirkle—aresident nickname for the road system that directs northbound and southbound Rt. 287 traffic around the Town Square.
Zoldos also mentioned the parts of Lovettsville Walker did care for, including the elementary school, the community center, the library, the firehouse and the people.
“She had a love for this town that was second to none,” Zoldos said.
The Angels of Harmony musical group also performed songs throughout the ceremony, including “How Great Thou Art” and “I’ll Fly Away.”
Walker was born on May 8, 1938, in Lovettsville. She began her tenure on the Town Council at the age of 42 in 1980 and served there for a decade. In 1990, she was elected as mayor, and was re-elected 10 times—serving a total 22 years in that role. When she stepped down in 2012, she was the longest-serving mayor in the history of Loudoun County.
Walker was succeeded by Zoldos, who served as mayor for three terms from 2012 through 2018 before moving out of state. Mayor Nate Fontaine is now serving his second two-year term.
Among Walker’s many accomplishments as mayor, she was a founding member of the Coalition of Loudoun Towns—a non-legislative group comprised of Loudoun’s seven mayors that meetsto share suggestions and collaborate on challenges their towns face. She also helped create the town’s acclaimed Oktoberfest event that attracts more than 10,000 visitors on the last weekend of every September.
“I will remember Oktoberfest for many things but most importantly for Elaine Walker,” Clemens said.
Alongside her late husband, Cliff, Walker was involved with the Lovettsville Fire and Rescue Company for decades, specifically with the company’s auxiliary that was formed in 1968.
In 2013 that the town leadership named the pavilion on the Town Green in her honor.
“Mayor Walker’s determination and tireless efforts have guided the Town of Lovettsville through a period of significant growth and development that has enhanced the community and improved the quality of life,” the Town Council proclaimed last Thursday night.
In lieu of flowers, Walker’s family had previously asked for memorial contributions to be made in the forms of donations to the Lovettsville Historical Society & Museum, which works to preserve and promote the town’s heritage.