Edith Celeste Patterson
Patti Walker, born Edith Celeste Patterson, entered the world in Pine, Ariz. April 11, 1922. Her great-grandparents were sent to settle Arizona in the 1800s and were the first white settlers. They chose a small valley surrounded by mountains and ponderosa pine trees. The first schoolhouse in Arizona lies in this beautiful small valley. Her grandfather, James Patterson was a teacher at this little log schoolhouse and was the sixth person to graduate from Tempe Normal School, which is now Arizona State University.
Mrs. Walker was the first of seven children born to Ellen Celeste McClendon and Edwin Webb Patterson, who were both born and raised in Pine. The family homestead consisted of about an acre on the main street (Beeline Highway), with a café, gas station, post office, small motel and the family home. Mrs. Walker’s mother was the postmaster of Pine for many years and the Patterson café and post office was the gathering place.
Mrs. Walker attended the small two-room schoolhouse in Pine adjacent to her home through the eighth grade. She attended Mesa High School and graduated in 1940. After high school and a brief job with the Gila County assessor’s office, she moved to California.
While in California during World War II she fell in love and married Raymond Henry Walker, who was a successful used car dealer in Los Angeles. They had three children and provided well for their family. Her husband called Mrs. Walker “Patti” — for Patterson — and the name stayed with her all of her life. In the mid 1950s Mr. Walker became ill from a childhood disease, so Mrs. Walker went to work in real estate. She was a pioneer for women in residential real estate at the time she received her broker’s license in 1954.
Mr. Walker passed away May 30, 1960. Mrs. Walker was a very young widow with three children to raise. In the early 1960s she started her own company “Patti Walker Realty” serving L.A. throughout her career. In addition to her Los Angeles office, she opened offices in Orange County and Rancho Mirage. She loved and was so good at what she did, that she did not retire until she was in her early 70s. On the day she passed away, she still had an active real estate license.
Mrs. Walker is survived by her three children, Sue Ann Walker (Los Gatos, Calif.), Linda Rae Crowley (Corona del Mar, Calif.) and Richard Patterson Walker (Costa Rica); three grandchildren, Kelsey Marie Walker, Colin Christopher Walker and Thomas Patrick Graham; and great-grandson, Charlie Christopher Walker. Also surviving are her brother, Dan (Grace) Patterson; and sister, Karen Patterson (John) Osborne. She had many nieces, nephews, cousins and very dear friends who will miss her strong spirit and love.
On Saturday, Nov. 19 at 11 a.m., Mrs. Walker will be laid to rest in the pioneer cemetery in Pine, Ariz. beside her parents and siblings. There will be a celebration of her life luncheon afterward at HB’s, 3854 N. Highway 87, Pine, AZ 85544, the property on which she was born. She was ready to come home, writes her family.