On April 11, the world lost a truly amazing woman, and many in this organization lost a wonderful friend.
Juanita Head Walton passed away at age 61 with her loving family surrounding her. She fought a long, and brave battle with cancer, throughout which she remained strong and brave. The only comfort to those who knew her is that she is now at peace
Juanita served this organization for over a decade, and as NFWL Chair from 2006 through 2008. She was dedicated to serving her country, including as a member of the Missouri House of Representatives, the National Black Caucus of State Legislators and the Black Women’s Political Action Coalition. She was an accomplished businesswoman, a loving mother of two and a devoted wife to her husband Roy.
“Juanita was a strong leader who knew her mind but could work well with people of differing views. She was beautiful inside and out, with a kindness that touched so many. We miss her insight and her dedication; we miss her.” -NJ Senator Diane Allen, 2015 NFWL Chair
“Juanita Head Walton was my good friend and a courageous public servant. She was a fearless voice for seniors, women, children, minorities and the community that she represented so well. My thoughts and prayers go out to her wonderful family and I hope that God will bless them with strength, courage and peace at this difficult time.” -Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay (Missouri)
“I am better for having known you and to have basked in your grace. ‘And HE will raise you up on Eagle’s wings, Bear you on the breath of dawn, Make you to shine like the sun, And Hold you in the palm of HIS HAND.’ Peace and sweetness, Juanita.” -Millie Hallow, NFWL Board Member
“Juanita was a tireless leader for NFWL having served as Chair in 2006 and even continued to serve on the Board after she retired from the Missouri House of Representatives. Her commitment to NFWL, her calming spirit and enduring enthusiasm for our mission always brought out the best in people.
Although we were from different parties and different states, we enjoyed sharing the same District number, 81, and discussing the concerns of our districts. We also shared our experiences as moms and were proud of the commitment our children were making to our country, her son serving in the Army and my daughter in the Air Force. God Bless you, Juanita. We will all miss you.” -FL Representative Gayle Harrell, 2012 NFWL Chair
“My first NFWL meeting was a bit intimidating, here I was surrounded by all these powerful women with so much experience and knowledge! Juanita came over to me and said “why don’t you come sit with me at lunch”! Her kindness and willingness to welcome a ‘first time attendee’, I still remember today.” -DE Representative Helene Keeley, 2016 NFWL Chair
“…an incredible beautiful lady with a loving and caring heart; she is a friend that will be truly missed.” -SC Councilwoman Joyce Dickerson, 2013 NFWL Chair
“A dedicated lawmaker, public servant, and friend. I will miss her.” -Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder:
“Juanita was not just a fellow female lawmaker, or a colleague in the NFWL. She was someone I considered a friend. She was fair, kind, supportive and enthusiastic about her mission in this world. My prayers to her family and loved ones. She will be sorely, sorely missed.” -PA Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood, 2008-09 NFWL Chair
“I knew Juanita as a friend, a mother, a grandmother, and as NFWL colleague. We often shared a room when we attended NFWL Board Meetings. I remember several long, funny and caring discussions with Juanita late in the night. She loved to talk about her children and Roy. She was very proud of her family. She was always open to new ideas and was helpful to everyone. Juanita was an accomplished legislator who cared for her the citizens she served. I am proud to say that she was my close friend. I already miss her.” -Swati Dandekar, 2011 NFWL Chair
“This is very sad news for me. My first NFWL annual conference was my first year as an elected legislator. I was the youngest on the Navajo Nation Council and the only woman who chaired a Council committee. Juanita was one of the first leaders I met who welcomed me warmly. I admired her leadership and energy. She was a role model, mentor and a friend. Because of her leadership example and that of the many other women legislators at NFWL I was a better legislator on the Navajo Nation Council and a stronger person to help lead my people. I’m so thankful for the time that we spent together.” -Hope MacDonald LoneTree, Former Council Delegate on the Navajo Nation Council
Upon hearing the news of her passing, NFWL immediately passed a resolution lauding Juanita for her service to her community and to this organization, mourning this difficult loss, and promising to remember her, and her dedication to helping elected women in office succeed.