{ Lucius Walker M.Div., 1958 | Died September 07, 2010

Lucius Walker M.Div., 1958

September 07, 2010

The Rev. Lucius Walker, Andover Newton class of 1958, died on September 7, 2010 in New York City. Walker led an annual pilgrimage of U.S. aid volunteers to Cuba in defiance of Washington’s nearly half-century-old trade embargo. He was 80 and died of a heart attack.

Walker headed the nonprofit Pastors for Peace, which since 1992 has brought tons of supplies to Cuba via Mexico and Canada — everything from walkers and wheelchairs to computer monitors and clothing.

The organization is one of several that bring goods to Cuba in open defiance of the embargo, which took its current form in February 1962. Most are allowed to leave and return to the U.S. without incident, though some past participants have received letters threatening fines and other sanctions from the U.S. Treasury Department.

Walker was born Aug. 3, 1930, in Roselle, New Jersey. He graduated from Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1954, and earned a master of divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological School four years later.

In addition to organizing supply missions, Walker was founding director of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization and negotiated an agreement with Cuban officials whereby dozens of American youngsters from poor areas can come to Cuba to study at Havana’s Latin American School of Medicine.

The Cuban Communist Party daily Granma wrote, “Cubans, in gratitude, have to say that we don’t want to think of a world without Lucius Walker.”

(based on a report from the Associated Press)