When Elizabeth (Walker) Young, better known to her many nieces and nephews as Aunt Boo, celebrated her 100th birthday, her son Tony Young contacted the Santa Monica High School alumni magazine with that news, and this article was the result. Aunt Boo and her siblings truly are members of America's Greatest Generation.
Compiled by Linda Skelton Owens '60
ELIZABETH 'BETTY' WALKER YOUNG '26 celebrated her 100th birthday on April 19 at Maplewood Park Place Senior Living in Bethesda, MD where she has resided since moving from Santa Monica in 1994. Her son Tony '62, sister Patricia Walker Plumb '41, granddaughter Elizabeth and five nieces joined the celebration along with many Maplewood residents. Entertainment was provided by the JewelTones. She received written birthday greetings from Willard Scott and President George W. Bush.
Betty Young was the first of seven Walker children to graduate from Samohi. The others were Charles '29, Jeanette '31, Alice '35, Bill '34, Louise '37 and Pat '41. Brother Frank had graduated from Tucson HS prior to the family's move to Santa Monica. When sister Pat graduated, Dr. Barnum announced that it was the largest number of siblings ever to graduate. Betty married Lee Young, Jr. '25, a Santa Monica native, whose father had several grocery stores in Santa Monica and Brentwood. Lee had a band, the Melody Makers, that played at the Miramar Hotel, as the ship's band on the SS President Wilson on an around-the-world cruise and at major hotels around the world where the ship made port. He joined North American Aviation at the outset of World War II and retired from there. Betty was a homemaker and an active member of the Santa Monica Assistance League.
WALKER FAMILY HISTORY
From TONY WALKER '62:1 My Dad and his brother Bill were cheerleaders when they were at Samohi together. The family's main grocery store was the first business in the building where the Gap is now located on Ocean Avenue. If you go to the parking lot in the back, last time I looked, you could still see faintly, Lee H Young Ocean Park Market.
My mother was the second of the eight. Picturedppp are Pat, Alice and Bill at Alice's 90th this February at her home in Shell Beach. Alice is the fifth of the Walkers to reach 90. Bill is 92. Brothers Frank and Charles passed in their early 90s. Sisters Louise and Jeanette passed at younger ages. The other pictureppp is of the five Walker girls: Pat, Alice, Jeanette, Elizabeth and Louise. My mother was the second of the eight children and the first of the family line (going back as far as we can) to reach 100. Amazingly, I am the only grandchild to have attended Samohi. My cousins went to St. Monica's, Westchester, Van Nuys, Redondo Beach, and in Blue Bell, PA. Grandpa Charles Walker and his bride Alice moved from Indiana to Tucson, AZ where he was a railroad agent and then a banker. When they moved to California, he and his partner put together investment packages of tax foreclosed properties. They had eight healthy children, one2 born in Indiana and the other seven in Tucson. My Aunt Pat believes they had so many because "Papa just really liked having children around."
The Walker children had the very usual lives of people from Santa Monica during the mid-20s to the early '70s. Frank worked most of his life at Lockheed in the Valley. Charles was a commercial photographer in Santa Monica. Jeanette3 was a housewife and her husband Dave Carey3 worked for the FAA in the tower at Hawthorne Airport. Alice was a housewife who was married to Harry Michelson who had a milk route, and after his passing married Walt Pollard, who worked for Union Oil. Louise was a housewife who married Richard Capp who was at North American Aviation. Pat married Fayette Plumb who later ran the Plumb Tool Company in Philadelphia, makers of hand tools. Bill was a photographer for the LA Herald Examiner and later taught journalism at Bakersfield College. On my Dad's side, brother Bill managed the Ralph's supermarket at National and Sepulveda. Sister Josephine worked at North American and Mina at Douglas.
Aunt Boo passed away shortly after celebrating her 101st Christmas, on 30 December 2008. The following March, Tony brought her ashes home to be scattered in Santa Monica Bay, and many of her friends, nieces, nephews and other relatives gathered at a nearby Mexican restaurant to celebrate her life.