Steamboat Springs, CO, July 26, 2001--(SAM Magazine) Skeeter (Werner) Walker, a former Olympic skier and Steamboat Resort's first ski instructor, died Friday of cancer. She was 67.
Born Gladys Werner, the older sister of brothers Buddy and Loris Werner, who were also Olympians, Walker had the distinction of being the youngest member of the U.S. National team in 1954 and finished 10th in downhill in the World Championships. She repeated that placing in the downhill in the 1956 Olympics.
After she retired from racing in 1957, Walker eventually started the Steamboat Ski School in 1962 and was its first ski instructor. She also coached the Colorado Junior National team in 1965. In 1968, one of her pupils was Heisman Trophy winner Doak Walker, who was a star halfback with SMU and led the Detroit Lions to two consecutive NFL championships in 1952 and 1953. The two married shortly after meeting. After Doak Walker's death in 1998, Skeeter Walker devoted her energy to the Doak Walker Memorial Fund, a scholarship program for high school students.
A memorial service will be held in Steamboat Springs on Thursday, July 26. Walker is survived by her brother, Loris. Buddy died in an avalanche while filming a documentary near St. Moritz, Switzerland, in 1964.