Shelburne, Vermont, October 17, 2015 – It is with great sadness that we report the passing of PCV Founder and Board Member, Richard Walters. Dick died peacefully on October 16 surrounded by family.
Dick, in partnership with his wife, Ginny Walters, led the movement in Vermont to establish the Patient Choice and Control at End of Life law. Signed in May 2013, the law, known as Act 39, was the result of more than ten years of unrelenting advocacy by Dick and this organization.
In September, at PCV’s annual meeting, Betsy Walkerman, Dick’s daughter, was elected President of the organization. Betsy has been on the PCV board for many years and brings extensive private and public sector executive experience to her leadership role. PCV’s Vice President, Neil Mickenberg, will work closely with Betsy to lead the organization.
Betsy Walkerman said: “Patient Choices Vermont will honor Dick’s legacy with our ongoing work to educate Vermonters about end of life choices and to ensure access to the rights established by the law.”
Dick was born on March 29, 1925, in Brooklyn, NY. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Yale. After serving in the Navy, Dick had a long and successful career in retail merchandising.
Dick’s life with Ginny and their daughters was highlighted by many adventures skiing and sailing throughout the country and the world. As a member of Lake Champlain Yacht Club, Dick’s greatest pleasure in the last ten years was sailing on Lake Champlain.
Dick was diagnosed with lung cancer in early 2014, yet continued to engage in significant discussions in connection with end of life choice. His health declined very rapidly over the past two months, and Dick was grateful to be able to direct his own end of life under Act 39.