A Legacy of Love

This article was published in the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley’s 2018 Annual Report. Click to View.

“I live a blessed life,” said Charles ‘Bud’ Walker, “and have been fortunate in many ways. Certainly, I would say that marrying Lucie was one of life’s greatest blessings.”  As he tells it, the story of his life with his late wife, Lucie, was one of love, compassion, strength and service -each a cornerstone in the foundation of their own relationship and family.

The pair met at SUNY Ulster and both went off to SUNY schools upstate- he to Brockport and she to Oswego. Having grown up in the Hudson Valley, after college they returned here to marry and raise their family. Despite the demands of successful careers and raising a family, Lucie and Bud remained committed in their service to others.

While Lucie was working as a travel agent (and later at Woodstock Harley Davidson) she volunteered hundreds of hours in nearly every organization that her children were involved with- Scouts, swim clubs, crew, soccer, school bands and PTA, as well as numerous organizations in their community of Hurley.   In addition to his role as the Administrator of Hudson Valley Foot Associates, Bud serves as a Trustee for Ulster Savings Bank and remains active the on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations, as he’s done for the past 30 plus years.

“Lucie had a knack for quietly taking care of others and always deflecting attention from herself,” said Bud, reflecting back on his wife’s legacy.  “It was simply in her nature to be compassionate and understated. So when she passed the question became, ‘How can I carry that forward?’ ”

Working with close friends and the Community Foundations, he decided to establish a fund that would bear her name and ideals in perpetuity. Opened on her birthday in March of 2011, the Lucie M. Walker Fund has been granting ever since.

A family affair.

Bud describes the fund as a vehicle for “promoting Lucie’s passion for quietly helping others.” To determine who will receive grants, Bud convenes the couple’s adult children, Larissa and C.J., as well as a few trusted friends. Together they draw on the values the couple established at home – generosity, gratitude, courage and faith – to determine which causes and projects to support. Their focus is on local organizations that provide tangible help to neighbors. Since 2011, the fund has made dozens of grants to purchase diapers, feed families, care for rescued animals, secure bikes for young kids and send children affected by cancer to summer camp.

Long-term, the intention of the fund is to continue making a difference in the community. Bud and his children lovingly collaborate to make their grants now – and he trusts them to continue Lucie’s legacy into the future. “Both our children embody her values and for that I am grateful. I know they’ll continue to put meaningful support into the hands of those who are most in need.”  In partnership with the Community Foundations, the loving generosity of the Walker family will continue to shape our region for generations to come.

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