Monday, December 24, 2012

Flora K. Walker, U.S. Geological Survey's forecaster to the planet

In Loving Memory of Flora K. Walker
January 11, 1920 - December 16, 2012


MEMPHIS (IFS) --  Coal is largely composed of organic matter, but it is the inorganic matter in coal—minerals and trace elements— that have been cited as possible causes of health, environmental, and technological problems associated with the use of coal. Some trace elements in coal are naturally radioactive. These radioactive elements include uranium (U), thorium (Th), and their numerous decay products, including radium (Ra) and radon (Rn). Although these elements are less chemically toxic than other coal constituents such as arsenic, selenium, or mercury, questions have been raised concerning possible risk from radiation. In order to accurately address these questions and to predict the mobility of radioactive elements during the coal fuel-cycle, it is important to determine the concentration, distribution, and form of radioactive elements in coal and fly ash.  Ms. Walker's concern about the elements of coal and the use of it as a fuel did not set well with her superiors.  Yet she performed her duty to the study of this fuel and created the foundation for others to follow, starting back in the early 1950's.





Flora K. (Sis Demok) Walker was born on January 11, 1920 to Alex and Flora Demok. She was one of seven children. She was preceded in death by her parents, her three sisters, Ann Richardson, Elizabeth Padon, and Lois Jackett as well as her three brothers, Steve, John, and Pete Demok. One nephew, Terry Richardson also preceded her in death. She is survived by six nieces and nephews and many great and great, great nieces and nephews.

Flora married Russell A. Walker on March 17, 1949. This marriage ended in divorce 20 years later. There were no children as a result of this marriage.

Flora grew up in the Barnum area in West Denver, attended Villa Park (name later changed to Eagleton) School, Lake Jr. High School, and West High School. She graduated in 1938. A couple of years after graduating, she was employed part time by the Food Stamp Division of the Department of Agriculture and then for two years by the Betumenous Coal Division of the Department of Interior (a war-time agency.) Upon the closing of that office she was permanently employed by the Interior Department's U.S. Geological Survey. Upon completion of almost forty years of service with the U.S. Government, Flora retired on January 13, 1979 and the following day, she started working full time for Glenn Coury of Coury & Associates. After seven years with Glenn, she took final retirement at the age of 66.

Flora loved her work with the Geological Survey. She received many Superior Accomplishment Awards during her career. She was interested in learning every aspect of the job; she was secretary, learned to do drafting jobs and map making, research work, and just about everything the geologists did except go to the field. She authored several publications, including the dry hole maps of Colorado and several coal bibliographies. She was the first person to handle the sale of geologic and topographic maps in the Rocky Mountain area and was instrumental in setting up the Survey's Public Inquiries Office in the new Customs House.

Flora loved to type. She offered her services to many young college students and, at no cost to them, she typed their theses. Even after retirement, she continued to do typing jobs for many of her geologist friends, some of whom were also retired from the Survey and doing consulting jobs, some of them on foreign assignment.

In her youth, Flora loved tennis, softball, bicycling, bowling, and sewing, making clothes for herself and for family members and friends. She was also into ceramics for a numbers of years.

Flora was a member of the Degree of Pocahontas Lodge, the Auxiliary of the Improved Order of Redmen. She was a member of the competition drill team, and served a five year term as Secretary of the Lodge for the entire State of Colorado, earning the highest honors of the organization.

Flora was unable to have children of her own, but she loved all of her nieces and nephews, greats, and great, greats as if they were her very own. That love was more than returned by their love and respect, especially after two bad falls in 2007 that occurred about 1 ½ months apart at the age of 87. The falls resulted in a fractured pelvis and a broken hip. Flora was in rehab at Western Hills Care Center for three months and then moved to the retirement community at the Westland Meridian in Lakewood. In March 2012, she moved to the Sterling House of Loveland, an assisted living community where she lived until her death on December 16, 2012.

The family wishes to thank the Westland Meridian, The Sterling House of Loveland and Pathways Hospice for the excellent and compassionate care that they provided for Flora.

Ms. Walker was also a noted published writer of scientific papers, especially in the field of Coal and trace elements and global warming back in the early 1970's.  She had a total of 20 published reports or white papers concerning the environment.  Some of these maps and elements are listed below.  For more information of Ms. Walker's contribution to the science community, it is best to "google" her name, as her published works are everywhere.

1.  Walker, Flora K. Bibliography And Index Of U. S. Geological Survey Publications Relating To Coal, January 1971-1974

Dept. Of Interior,Geological Survey Circular 709,1975,A Supplement To Geological Survey Bulletin 1377,Grey Stapled Wraps,Light Edgewear And Fading Domestic orders shipped with USPS tracking numbers.


Bibliography and index of U.S. Geological Survey publications relating to coal, January 1971 through June 1978 by Flora K Walker (1979) Formats Price New Used


2.  Bibliography and index of U.S. Geological Survey publications relating to coal, January 1971-June 1974 (Geological Survey circular ; 709) by Flora K Walker (1975) Formats Price New Used



3.  Bibliography and index of U.S. Geological Survey publications relating to coal, 1971-1975 (Geological Survey circular ; 742) by Flora K Walker (1976) Formats

Bibliography and index of U.S. Geological Survey publications relating to coal, 1971-1975
by Flora K. Walker.
Published 1976 by U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Geological Survey in [Reston, Va.] .
Written in English.
Edition Notes

A supplement to Geological Survey bulletin 1377 by P. Averitt and L. Lopez with title: Bibliography and index of U.S. Geological Survey publications relating to coal, 1882-1970.
"Supersedes Geological Survey circular 709."
Includes index. Series Geological Survey circular ; 742, Geological Survey circular ;, 742.
Other Titles Bibliography and index of U.S. Geological Survey publications ...

ClassificationsDewey Decimal Class 557.3/08 s, 016.553/2/0973
Library of Congress QE75 .C5 no. 742, Z6738.C6 .C5 no. 742, TN805.A5 .C5 no. 742