PDT Staff Writer
Scioto County Community Action Organization (CAO) staff, board members, and members of the local community, gathered outside of the CAO on Monday for the unveiling of the memorial plaque in memory of the late Bob Walton, Sr. — former, executive director of Scioto County CAO.
Walton was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2005, and succumbed to the disease April 27, 2012, at the age of 70.
Bob Thacker, the new executive director of Scioto County CAO, stated the purpose of the event.
“We are having a formal dedication ceremony we are dedicating our main office facility, here at 4333 Third Street in honor of our executive director for so many years, Robert Walton,” Thacker said. “I think this is the very least we can do. For those of you who work in this building have the best opportunity to continue to work toward the mission, to remember his vision, to remember what he wanted Scioto County to become, and what he honestly believed in his heart it would become.”
A native of New Boston, Walton began working at Community Action in 1968 as an educational specialist, and became executive director in 1972. He was a pioneer in community development, job-creation and acquisition of resources for Scioto County. Walton’s influence transcended Scioto County, becoming state-wide, and reaching as far as Washington D.C.
Thacker exhibited emotion when speaking about Walton, who not only worked as Thacker’s supervisor at Scioto CAO, but was his best friend from childhood.
“I get a little choked up, he was my best friend, as well as boss,” Thacker said. “He would be especially pleased to see a full house in here in the lobby to see the people receive the human services that we are in business to provide for” Thacker said.
Walton’s wife Mary, and his daughter Sarah, performed the unveiling of the plaque. Bob Walton, Jr. was unable to attend the ceremony. The crowd applauded at the revealing of the memorial plaque. Mary Walton expressed appreciation for the plaque and dedication. The brown and golden plaque has a picture of Walton at the top of the plaque, with an inscription with details of the time frame and nature of Walton’s service.“Tireless Advocate For Economic Justice and Opportunity For All” are amongst other words inscribed upon the plaque in honor of Walton’s legacy.
“It is a thank you, I believe it is a thank you for Bob. He knew that people appreciated what he did, he didn’t need the thank you’s. This shows how much of his life he devoted, just into this one agency, all of their different departments, and to the community, he gave so much,” Mary said.
“It shows how it was my dad’s mission in life to work for Scioto County, New Boston, Portsmouth, and the surrounding area. I lived out of town many years, and I would often try to get him to move, he would always tell me that he would never leave here because he needed to stay to do what he felt needed to be done, and he never gave it up, but continued up until the very last days” Sarah Walton said.
The dedication plaque for Bob Walton, Sr. is permanently housed in the front of the CAO board building.
Portia Williams may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 286 or email@example.com.