Betty Ann (Gerritson) Walker fought a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer, outliving the predictions given to her by her doctors. “She really fought it,” said her son, Todd Walker.
“They gave her six months and she made it almost two years and I think that’s incredible,” he said.
Walker was born and raised in Chicago, but spent most of her adult life in Dolton where she raised four sons, Dave, Mike, Todd and Dennis. In the late 1990s, she relocated to the Genoa, Illinois area.
“She put four sons through college and my parents sacrificed a lot for us,” said her son.
“I was thinking about the wake and funeral and how many people came by,” said her son. “There were hundreds and it hit me looking back how much my mom liked spending time with people. She made an impression on people and was so comfortable around people. My fondest memories are how she interacted with everyone.”
Her son recalled childhood trips to the Isaac Walton League in Dolton, which typically included friends. “To us it was no big deal, but here was this little woman who had to deal with so many obnoxious kids. She never once complained or said she was tired to busy. She always made time for us and our friends.”
Walker was the ideal grandmother who loved sewing, gardening, baking and volunteering. After her cancer diagnosis, she made it a priority to spend time with her granddaughters, teaching them sewing skills.
When her kids were young, she was involved with community baseball and football and was very active at church. “After her death I found out all the different organizations she belonged to that I didn’t even know about,” Todd Walker said. “I knew she was active, but didn’t know how active she really was.”
Her son mentioned how good she was at organizing events and how she looked forward to arranging family picnics at the Isaac Walton League. “She spent the whole year organizing it and always liked organizing events.”