Mary E. Danger Walter

Honored by:Richard Walter
Brick location:F:6  map

Mary E. Danger Walter’s name is lovingly submitted for The Plaza of Heroines by her husband, Richard D. Walter, her daughters, Kerry L. Walter-Ashby and Kristen K. Walter, and her son-in-law, R. Todd Ashby.

Mary Walter of Ankeny, Iowa is being placed in The Plaza of Heroines for her dedication to family, her commitment to friends, her success in the workplace, and her unfailing spirit. Through the constant giving of herself in placing her daughters’ education and desires as well as others’ above her own Mary, has taught through example individuals' responsibilities to family and community. She is a friend and role model for the women and men who know her.

Mary was born on March 19, 1940, the second child and only daughter of Leo M. and Jennie Hartkopp Danger, in Mason City, Iowa. Mary graduated from Mason City High School and worked as a Secretary for Ruger & Company, Certified Public Accountants where she met Richard Walter. Mary and Richard were married on February 11, 1961 and moved to Colorado in 1962.

In Colorado Springs, Mary became the Executive Secretary to the Engineering Manager of Hewlett Packard Company and then worked as a Legal Secretary for Philips & Gresham, Attorneys at Law. Mary and Richard's first daughter, Kerry, was born in 1967, and the family returned to Iowa, moving to Ankeny, shortly before their second daughter, Kristen, was born in 1969.

Her daughters remember childhoods filled with activity. As the girls' interests developed and expanded, Mary enrolled them in piano, guitar, dance, gymnastics, swimming, tennis and golf lessons; she took them to Campfire Girls meetings, as well as to softball and basketball practices and games throughout their younger years. Her daughters enjoyed participating in numerous activities, and Mary realized that exposure to such varied activities provided the girls with valuable experiences that would benefit them later in life: learning from a number of teachers, meeting many other children, gaining confidence in themselves and in their abilities. Thus, she spent countless hours driving children to and from places, waiting during lessons (often reading books while waiting in the car), watching/ traveling to games and meets and recitals and music concerts/ contests, fixing costumes and uniforms, serving as Homeroom Mother/ baking cookies or treats for students working at and often coordinating concession stands and Back-To-School and Fun Nights, supervising numerous slumber and birthday parties, helping coordinate Campfire events and cookie sales, and volunteering for Summer Bible School classes. The neighborhood children spent their summer days playing in the Walter yard or home, enjoying Mary's homemade cookies and lunches (even picnics). When her daughters were older, Mary also served as Treasurer of the Ankeny Music Boosters.

Mary's love for animals and inability to turn away a hard-luck case resulted in the Walters enjoying plenty of canine companionship, including a stray and her puppies. Thus, for many years the Walter household included four indoor canines. Mary's daughters grew up with Misty, Taffy, Ginger and Cupcake who graciously shared their yard and home with the neighborhood kids.

In November 1989, Mary took a part-time position in Sears' Home Improvement Office and progressed to full-time supervisory and team leader positions in the Loss Prevention Department of Sears Credit in Des Moines. As a Team Leader/ Fraud Investigator, Mary sought to prevent fraud loss whenever possible. She worked with various local state and federal law enforcement agencies to bring about the apprehension and conviction of criminals. Mary retired in 1999.


The love and encouragement given by you and Dad have enabled us to make our own way, secure in the knowledge that we will always enjoy your constant support. Thanks to you we have the "education" and the life lessons that enable us to continue growing as women--as thoughtful, caring people.

Kerry and Kristen

Submitted on 7/1/96