Loy Buffington Walker

Honored by:Angela W. McAlister
Brick location:B:12  map

Iowa State University - B.S. in Home Economics, 1957
Husband: Robert Lewis Walker, Iowa State, 1956
Children: Angela (Born 1959; B.S. Iowa State, 1982), Theresa (Born 1960; B.S. Iowa State, 1983), Eric (1961: B.S. Iowa State, 1984), Brett (1963; B.S. Iowa State, 1985)

Born Alice Loy Buffington to Birch and Frances Buffington of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Loy Buffington Walker is a home economist, farm woman, wife and mother.

Loy began participating in the 4-H program as a girl and has continued to give back to the 4-H program throughout her adult life. For the past 35 years she has served as a voluntary presenter at Extension home economics programs, actively promoted Extension programs, and been a judge for Achievement shows, county and state fairs. She served as the leader of the Sumner Sweethearts club (1973-1985) and helped the girls in the club learn to sew, to cook, to refinish furniture and to speak in public. Through sewing and refinishing furniture she helped the girls in the club learn to care about creating quality products, to respect a process, to plan for the beginning of a project, and to finish each job in the best way. As her daughter, and now a manager for a team of publishers, I repeat the lessons she taught me about "building quality in." Each time I urge a publisher to understand the meaning of the copy before choosing the page layout, I am repeating what I learned with each pressed seam and every pass of the tack rag. These skills were and are life skills.

As principle member of Walker Acres, Inc. and as a farm homemaker, Loy's work has always been varied. Loy combined corn during many, many harvest seasons; one season her 4 year old son napped at her feet in the cab of the combine. There were also many nights when she piled all four of her children in the car along with an electric skillet filled with pork chops, potatoes and gravy, and delivered a hot meal to her husband as he worked late plowing farmland.

As part of her contributions to her community and her state Loy taught Home Economics and later served as president of the Iowa State University Home Economics Advisory board. Her friends and colleagues have described her as "an idea person with innovative forward-thinking ways to approach current family problems. She also works hard to see that those ideas are put into action. She persists in her search for ways to improve the quality of her family's life and the lives of the many 4-Hers with whom she has worked" Pioneer Republican, 1986.

In 1989 she helped organize the project for the bandstand renovation project in Marengo, IA, by acquiring an Iowa Community Betterment grant.

Loy opens doors to the world for her family and her community: in 1978 the Walkers hosted a American Field Service (AFS) exchange student and in 1986 Loy began operating a Bed and Breakfast in her farm home. Travelers from New York City, Australia, Germany and Des Moines, Iowa have enjoyed holding baby pigs while staying at the farm-based bed and breakfast. The world comes to Loy's door and Loy brings an awareness of the Iowa farmer to the world through good farm food, good beds and good conversation.

Today too many of us worry about how we will combine our families and careers and still have time to contribute to the communities where we live. We need only be aware that women have always worked and raised children and given to their communities. This is the work which makes women heroines.

Career Highlights
Home Economics teacher, Iowa Valley Community schools, 1958
4-H Leader, 1973-1985
Iowa County Extension-Home Economics Advisory Committee, 1972-1986
Iowa Master Farm Homemaker, 1981
Loy's Bed and Breakfast - Established 1986
Friend of Extension, 1986
World Ag Expo, Bed and Breakfast reservation service, 1988
Iowa Community Betterment Award, 1989
President, United Methodist Women, 1990
Iowa County Extension council, 1990
Chaired National Master Iowa Farm Homemaker convention
Kirkwood Community College, Bed and Breakfast classes
Past President of Iowa State University Home Economics Advisory Board
Iowa Bed & Breakfast Association - board member and conference coordinator.

Submitted on 8/94