The recently elected mayor of Monterey passed away Wednesday morning, just weeks after being diagnosed with cancer.
Friends say Nathan Walker had been told last month that he had Stage 4 pancreatic cancer and spent the past few weeks getting his affairs in order. He had not shared the news publicly but was unable to attend this week’s meeting of the town’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen.
Walker was mentioned in the opening prayer and in a statement made near the end of the meeting by Alderman Bill Wiggins.
“A mighty man,” Wiggins said. “He’s already been running some traps that we just can’t let wither. We (need to) get it done.”
Walker was first elected as an alderman in 2014 and was appointed mayor earlier this year when J.J. Reels resigned. He then ran unopposed for election in August and had just been sworn in, along with the newest members of the board, on Sept. 12.
In his campaign announcement earlier this year, Walker said he was looking forward to continuing my loyal and dedicated service to this community.
“I sincerely appreciate the overwhelming support and encouragement in this process,” he said. “Our town is truly a special place, and with good people working together I know that great things are possible for our future.”
His optimism was evident in the first speech he gave after the election.
“I’m a firm believer in the Monterey community and working to bring this community together,” Walker said. “I know that every member of this board is in the same mindset on the same mission, so I really look forward to working with everyone and hope that the whole town really kind of comes together and lets their voices be heard.”
Under the terms of the Monterey charter, “all vacancies in the board of mayor and aldermen shall be filled for the unexpired term by a majority vote of the remaining aldermen.” The mayor of Monterey serves a two-year term.
Walker’s wife, Lori, passed away in August of last year. The couple have two children, a son, Barrett, and a daughter, Alayna Grace Walker.