Norm Walker Obituary

Norman M. Walker, of Rye, a well-known English teacher and football coach for 48 years, including 23 years at Holderness School, died Monday, Aug. 22, 2011, of brain cancer.

Walker also was a published poet and a summer ranger/player at the Abenaqui Country Club.

He was a graduate of Harvard's Graduate School of Education, and Williams College, Class of 1959, where he was a three-sport athlete.

"Norm" and his wife, Phyllis, were married 54 years and were parents to nine children: surviving are Diane O'Halloran, Heather Wiltshire, Norman Walker, James (Jim) Walker, Janet Aronson, Steve Walker, Jennifer Hemmen and Tara Hamer; 18 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and a sister, Judy Palmer of California.

He was predeceased by a daughter, Julie, in 1987.

WE REMEMBER: Walker began his coaching and teaching in Massachusetts. He started at Newton South High School, where his Wayland team won the Class D title, and the bulk of his years at Newton North were highlighted by reaching the high school Bowls twice, resulting in him being named the state's Coach of the Year, and later being elected to the Massachusetts Coaches Hall of Fame and Wrestling Hall of Fame. He was also elected to the Swampscott Hall of Fame.

The year 1984 was the beginning of a 23-year relationship with Holderness in Plymouth. He revived the football program, starting with a 2-5 record his first year and 22-6 the next four years. The next 10 the team won 83 of 84 games in a 10-year regular season stretch, appearing in eight New England championship games, victorious in six.

Holderness School created the Norman M. Walker Scholarship Fund to provide financial assistance to promising students, and in the fall of 2010, dedicated the football field, naming it the Walker-Hinman Field.

SERVICES: Visiting hours for Norman will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25, at Stockbridge Funeral Home, 141 Epping Road, Exeter. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 26 , at Saint Michael Church, corner of Front and Lincoln streets, Exeter. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Norman Walker Scholarship Fund, c/o Holderness School, P.O. Box 1879, Plymouth, NH 03264, attn: Phil Peck. Visit www.stock bridgefh.com.

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