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At his high school reunion, Tim Walker reconnected with several classmates who spent their adult lives out of state. Most had the same question.
"Tim Walker is the mayor of Elizabethtown?”
The surprise in their voices apparently amused him. Walker did something in life that many people never accomplish: He rose above the limits his hometown placed on him.
He set different expectations for himself.
Actually, Tim’s personal aspirations were derived from a sense of duty and faith.
When deciding to challenge the incumbent mayor and three others in the 2010 election, he often described reliance upon prayer as the reason for his decision.
Giving up a comfortable council spot for a contentious mayoral race might seem out of character for the easy-going Walker, who valued harmony in all his dealings.
But he truly felt he was being divinely led to seek the office.
Faith was a defining characteristic of his life as was the oft-cited desire to find a win-win outcome in every conflicting debate. But most of all, I will remember Tim Walker for his servant’s nature.
It happens he and I attended the same church. Of all the tasks and volunteer opportunities available in the congregation, Walker had spent the past 17 years hidden in the nursery. Once a month, he took a turn as a baby holder.
Spit up, soiled diapers and screaming babies: Nurseries are the place for servants.
He did not run for council or mayor to achieve status or notoriety. He expressed no interest in personal power or fame.
Tim Walker truly wanted to be mayor because he thought it was his calling and a way to best help his hometown and the friends and neighbors who live there.
Along the way, he proved a nice guy can be successful and leadership can be exhibited through listening, caring and conversation.
Today, the community says a formal farewell to Tim Walker. He was my friend. He was a friend to everyone.
What more could you want in a leader?
Ben Sheroan is editor of The News-Enterprise. He can be reached at bsheroan@ thenewsenterprise.com
or (270) 505-1764.