Norman Walker Really Died
at Age 99
Genealogy Search on Dr. Norman Wardhaugh Walker
Walker has been described as "the longest lived, most widely known, raw food
faddist of the modern era." He was also the author of many books on health
(some still in print), and the developer of The Norwalk Juicer, which is still
on the market.
personal interest in him piqued when I found so many different longevity ages
attributed to him (variously, 109, 113, 118 and 4 months, 120, and even 130 years!),
and decided to discover "the truth" about this aspect of Dr. Walker
and perhaps something of his background and early life.
of the research sources I used were a published "Eulogy" by Donald Woodside
(Dr. Walker's book publisher), various genealogy search sites and forums, Ellis
Island ship manifest records, and some government data bases. I was, of course,
at a disadvantage, never having personally known either Dr. Walker or any of the
individuals associated with his life. In the end, it was an interesting experience.
Wardhaugh Walker was born in Genoa, Italy, on January 4, 1886, to Reverend Robert
Walker and Lydia (Maiden Name: Maw) Walker. His father was from Scotland and a
clergyman/missionary, apparently "posted" to Italy for many years as
at least five of the six Walker children were born in that country. Norman's mother,
by all accounts, was from England. The six Walker children, in birth order, were
comprised of Elizabeth, Norman, David Arthur, Emmelina, Lydia and Robert H. Walker.
1901 Census places Norman, at age 15, in that country as a "boarder"
in a boardinghouse with several other young men, wherein he gave his occupation
as "clerk" and his birth place as "Italy."
1907 Rev. and Mrs. Walker immigrated to America, and specifically New York City,
on the "The Konigin Luise" via Genoa Italy, giving their last residence
at Ellis Island as Florence, Italy. Two of their children, Lydia Ellene (15) and
Robert (13), accompanied by what I assume was a paid governess/traveling companion,
followed three months later, sailing on "The Batavia," also via Genoa.
The following year, a second daughter, Emmelina (18) joined them, sailing from
Liverpool, England, on "The Umbria" under the name "Lina Walker."
other brother, David Arthur Walker, arrived in NY via England on the "Kaiser
Wilhelm Der Grosse" on August 3, 1910. I don't have any information on the
Walkers' eldest child, Elizabeth, and when she arrived in America, but according
to Rev. Walker's obituary in the Berkeley, CA Daily Gazette in July
of 1917 (in which city he was interim pastor of The North Congregational Church
and where he died) all members of the Walker family were residents of the United
States at his death.
prime subject of this genealogy project, Norman W. Walker arrived in the U.S,
sailing from Liverpool, England, aboard "The Lusitania" in October of
1910. He was then 25 years of age, and gave his final destination in his ship
interview as 608 Lexington Avenue, New York City, where the Walker family presumably
whereabouts, occupation, etc. for several years after his 1910 arrival are unknown
to me, but 1915 found him residing in Lake MaLopac, Carmel, New York, where he
filed a Declaration of Intention to become a U. S. citizen. He gave his occupation
as "Real Estate" in the Declaration.
years later -- again living in New York City and now married to a "Margaret
Olcott" -- he completed the citizenship process by filing a Petition for
Naturalization., and subsequently became a U. S. citizen on November 22, 1918.
In September of that year, he also registered for the WWI draft, wherein he stated
his employer was Douglas Products Corp., New York City, a manufacturer of airplane
instruments. He was then 33 years old.
about completes my information on the family background and early years of Dr.
Norman Wardhaugh Walker.
to his longevity, he died at his home in Verde Valley/Cottonwood, Arizona, on
June 6, 1985, at the age of 99 years, five months.
brief newspaper obituary said that only his wife, Helen Ruth, survived him. Both
Dr. Walker and Helen Ruth (who died in 1993) are buried in the "Cottonwood
Cemetery." A photo of their joint gravestone (with "their years"
now chiseled in granite) is accessible on-line at ArizonaGravestones.org.
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