Community Heroes: Mary Walters has deep love for Sapulpa and its people

By Hannah Oswalt

Willie Mary Walters—commonly known simply as Mary Walters—is a beloved woman in the Sapulpa community. She is a wife of 46 years, the mother of 5, grandmother of 10, and great-grandmother of 14. She says she loves being grandma to her grandchildren and being a help wherever she can be in the community. “If I can be of service to someone, that’s my goal—that what I do is not so much about Mary, but much more about how I’ve helped someone.”

Mary Walters

Walters began her career as a nurse in Detroit after completing nursing school, and then went on to be a Licensed Practical Nurse in the military. “That’s where I found I enjoy taking care of people,” she said.

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When she moved to Sapulpa, “I stopped taking care of one person and started taking care of a family,” she said, regarding her time of service at Community Care/Caring Community Friends, where she served as Executive Director for 25 years. She began her tenure with Community Care in 1993 through volunteer work, and was hired in an official capacity soon after.

It should be noted that Walters wasted no time in getting involved in the Sapulpa community, having just moved back to the States in December of 1992, after she and her husband spent 9 years overseas—3 in Germany and 6 in Italy, while he worked as a Department of Army Civilian.

Walters got involved, as many others do, by attending a local church and volunteering. She explains that she grew up volunteering—she would find “whatever my hands could find to do and stay out of trouble! As far as what I do, it’s just whatever comes up and I feel that I can be a part of it and make it a success, or do my part.”

One of the areas in which she currently serves is as the treasurer of the Sapulpa Ministerial Alliance. She explained that her job is to make sure that funds are there to take care of the areas the Alliance supports and to talk to the other ministers and ministries to come up with the solution for the needed funds should they come up short.

Walters is also a committee member for the Hope Community Outreach Program, a group that helps families who are in need during specific times acquire certain items, whether that’s food, school supplies, holiday gifts, or anything else that might arise. She said that the two primary concerns are “that the older folks in the community are cared for and for the children.”

Walters attends the Cathedral of Love Church which was founded by her husband and is located near the North Heights Cemetery. She says their church is “community-minded as much as possible…We are diligent about being a part of the community.”

Always proactive, Walters began volunteering before her husband started the Cathedral of Love, and as a result, took the Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Creek County course, which she said helped her “find out how the county was [set up]; what was located where.”

Walters operates in a way that is others’ minded: “I am an intercessor all the time,” she explains. “If someone calls and has a prayer request, I will pray at whatever time they call.” If she sees something concerning on the street, she will stop and ask the Lord for protection for whoever is in need during that situation and for Him to “give them the willpower and the knowledge to know that He is in charge, not us.” Ms. Walters also actively participates in two Bible studies during the week.

She described how Sapulpans will work together despite their differences to complete something that needs to be done, and said, “I love the people—the people are what make a place what it is.”

If you know someone you’d like to see featured as a Community Hero, please send an email to heroes@sapulpatimes.com.