Helene Loren Walker, 70, board chair and past president of the Kentland Foundation
and a real estate broker, died of cancer May 21, 2006 at her home in Leesburg.
Ms. Walker worked for the Berryville-based foundation, one of Virginia's top 50
foundations as measured by the size of its assets, from its formation in 1970 until her
death. She was its secretary-treasurer from 1970 to 1994.
Born in Hamburg, she was raised in Washington and graduated from Western High
School (1954). She attended American University and graduated from what is now
Trinity University in Washington, a member of its first class in the education for parish
She worked in real estate, first for Dravillas Co. in the District, then as founding broker of
Walker Co. in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. She was instrumental in the
establishment of the Kentland Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by Otis Beall
Kent, a Gaithersburg tax lawyer and conservationist.
In 1976, Ms. Walker moved to Gaithersburg, where she became a member of St. Martin
of Tours Catholic Church and volunteered for parish activities, became parish council
president, and supported Catholic education and the anti-abortion movement. She
served on the board of the school, Shady Grove Pregnancy Center and the EPS
Foundation. She was a member of the Cardinal's Appeal of the Washington
Archdiocese. She also enjoyed world travel, including numerous pilgrimages to the Holy
Land and Rome.
Her marriages to Thomas O'Neill and Leo J. Walker ended in divorce.
Survivors include a daughter from her first marriage, Sheila O'Neill Stedman of North
Potomac; six children from her second marriage, Juliana MacDowell of Hamilton, Va.,
Jack Walker of Ashburn, Lexie Hoffman of Middleburg, Billy Walker of Potomac Falls,
Helene McCarron of Leesburg and Celeste Walker of Washington; a brother, William
Loren of Berryville; and 12 grandchildren.