Obituary: Jeanne Eugenia Marani Walker
Jeanne Eugenia Marani Walker, an educator, counselor and psychologist, died on Sunday, April 1, 2018, in her home in Montclair.
A lifelong learner, Mrs. Walker was an avid traveler and voracious reader. Her passion for art, music and culture led her to embrace and celebrate people without boundaries, judgment or barriers. An extraordinary woman with a vibrant zest for life, she brought joy into the lives of many, accepting people where they were and as they were.
Born on Oct. 25, 1934 in Astoria, Queens, Mrs. Walker was the daughter of Mario and Suzie Marani who came to the United States by way of Ellis Island.
Mrs. Walker enrolled in the University of Michigan in 1952 where she met her husband, Arthur Dewitt Walker Jr. After graduation, they relocated to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, where Mr. Walker played professional football, winning two Grey Cups for the Edmonton Eskimos. Following the end of Mr. Walker's football career, they both taught in the Edmonton Public School system for seven years before leaving Canada to obtain their master’s and doctorate degrees from Michigan State University and the University of Illinois in 1965 and 1970, respectively.
The Walkers accepted teaching positions at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan, where they lived until Mr. Walker died in 1973. Mrs. Walker then returned to Edmonton where she led a distinguished career as a high school educator and counselor. She retired in 1990 and moved to Sidney, British Columbia. She was a member of the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in North Saanich, British Columbia.
She is survived by her three daughters, Andrea Walker-Modu (Emmanuel), Leslie Dixon (Theodore) and Melissa Walker-McBride (Christian); her three grandchildren, Nkem Modu, Amara Modu and Eugenia Naamon; a brother, Robert Marani; a sister, Anne Plescia; a sister-in-law Dr. Retia Walker; and her niece JaRee Walker. She is also survived by extended family, Millie, Akosua and Samantha; her long-time friends; the Wilson family; as well as all of her Canadian friends.
A viewing will be held from noon to 12:50 p.m. this Saturday, April 7, at the Presbyterian Church of Upper Montclair, 53 Norwood Ave. followed by a funeral service at 1 p.m. She will be interred in South Haven, Michigan, alongside her husband.
Given Mrs. Walker’s passion for education and music, the family invites contributions in lieu of flowers and in Jeanne’s memory, to the Arthur Walker Memorial Scholarship (nmu.edu) or Jazz House Kids (jazzhousekids.org).