Stephen Benner Walley, 62, died Sunday night (September 9, 2012) at Traditions of Waverly, Ohio following a courageous battle with ALS.
Stephen was born on October 18, 1949 to the late Jim and Lib Walley. He grew up in Bainbridge, Ohio but lived most of his adult life in Columbus. He graduated from Paint Valley High School in 1967 and attended Rio Grande College. He worked most of his life in the field of energy. He was a passionate advocate for renewable energy sources, and travelled to Europe to negotiate a deal with the Germans to bring their high efficiency boilers to the United States. He was one of the instrumental forces behind House Bill 264. He was also an early proponent for the Veteran’s Administration Hospital Biomass Project.
He is survived by daughters Abbey Walley Allert of Westerville and Anna Walley of Upper Arlington, grandson Wyatt Allert, sisters Vicki Shoemaker of Bourneville, Mary Beth Harrison (husband Rob) of Bainbridge, his twin, Stephanie McDonald (husband Dick) of Waycross, Georgia, and an Aunt Charlene Walley of Bainbridge. His many nieces and nephews will miss his sense of humor and wit. They are Chrissy Roush of Spartanburg, South Carolina, Angie Saxton, of Circleville, Craig McDonald of Blackshear, Georgia, Jeff McDonald of Shanghai, China and Todd Shoemaker of Piketon.
Stephen was a member of the Bainbridge United Methodist Church and the Bainbridge Lodge 196, Free and Accepted Masons. Both organizations were a great support to him, and he often talked about the wonderful people of Bainbridge. He had fond memories of his many childhood friends and the special people that enhanced his life. In addition, he was so appreciative of the staff and nurses at Traditions.
One of Stephen’s leisure passions was golf. He visited Scotland and Ireland and fulfilled a lifetime dream by playing many of their famous courses. Another interest was politics. A special friend, Kenny Thompson, of Waverly visited Stephen nearly every day. They enjoyed watching ballgames and Morning Joe together.
Stephen handled his illness with grace and dignity. These words from his favorite song, Sailing Down My Golden River by Pete Seeger echoed all over the halls of Traditions and summed up what he knew to be true. “Sunlight glancing on the water, life and death are all my own, yet I was never alone.”
Calling Hours will be from 2:00-4:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 18, at the Bainbridge United Methodist Church. Immediately following will be a Memorial Service, including a Masonic Service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Bainbridge United Methodist Church or Bainbridge Lodge 196.