Family, community gather for funeral of former Watertown Mayor Tom Walker

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Jan. 10—WATERTOWN — Family members and friends remembered how former Mayor T. Urling “Tom” Walker had a fascination with clocks.

Mr. Walker, who died on Jan. 3 at the age of 97, displayed all kinds of clocks around his home, they said.

He liked working on them. He liked fixing them.

So it seemed fitting that his daughter, Laurel Pike, brought a dome glass clock to his funeral on Monday afternoon. It was the only one that worked and the only one that told the correct time, she said.

At 12:15 p.m. — or about 15 minutes into the funeral service at Watertown’s First Presbyterian Church — the clock just stopped.

In explaining what happened, she thought it symbolized her father’s “time on Earth was over.”

The Rev. Dr. Andrew Philip Long recalled visiting his friend at his home with his inquisitive 5-year-old son, who wondered why the former mayor owned so many clocks.

After his son asked about one particular clock, Mr. Walker simply answered that he was interested in how the springs and gears inside made it work.

The little boy responded with one word that put it all in perspective: “OK.”

In saying goodbye to his friend, the Rev. Long said the former mayor and philanthropist did so much for so many in the community.

He recalled volunteering at the annual Concert in the Park festivities in Thompson Park when Mr. Walker called him over to say happy Fourth of July.

The conversation turned into a friend of the mayor telling the reverend how Mr. Walker was instrumental in establishing the free, yearly event.

“Not everyone has a home on the river,” the former mayor told him that day. “Not everyone has a pool. Not everyone can afford to go to a concert.”

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