Mayor Ed Fare grew up with Charles Jr. “His mom was always one of those ‘go-to’ moms,” Fare said, recalling his days as a student at Clear Stream.
Fare, who has known Walz for about 45 years, said she has always been concerned about issues in the neighborhood, from children’s safety to the village’s appearance. What strikes Fare most about her is that she is not a self-promoter. He described her as one of Valley Stream’s unsung heroes. “What she cared about was results,” he said. “She was always service above self. She just wanted to get things done, and it didn’t matter to her who got the credit.”
Fare worked closely with Walz as she and her fellow Garden Club members planted an herb garden outside the Pagan-Fletcher Restoration. The 1800s-era house serves as a local history museum maintained by the Valley Stream Historical Society.
Alan Walz, who now lives in Plainview, said he hasn’t seen his mother’s volunteerism first-hand since he moved out about 30 years ago, but he saw plenty of it as a child, and hears stories about her current activities. Though he has a full-time job and two kids of his own, Alan readily admits that his schedule still isn’t as busy as hers.
“My mom’s been involved in everything, all the time,” he said. “She handles so many things at once.”
He added that his mother is never one to ask for help, and will do anything from bookkeeping to light construction. When he was a child, he recalled, his mother made it a point to get to know everyone on their block.
Charles Jr. said that when Temple Gates of Zion had a bad fire in 1979, his mother was the co-chair of a committee to raise money to replace the Torah, even though she wasn’t a member of the synagogue — or even Jewish. He also remembers her running an all-women’s bowling league at the old Green Acres Bowling Alley.
Walz was president of the Garden Club until it disbanded earlier this year because of declining membership. The organization used to decorate the library for Christmas each year, among other activities. Fare said he credits Walz for keeping it going as long as she could. “It’s disappointing that it was disbanded,” he said. “Dottie tried her best.”