Friends of the Descanso Library

Descanso Branch Library - 9545 River Dr. (619)445-5279
Library Hours       Closed Sunday and Monday.
Tuesday and Wednesday: 9:00-6:00, Thursday: 12:00-8:00,
Friday: 9:00-5:00       Saturday 9:00-4:00
Main Library Catalog - use this link to request books.


 

Anna B. Walters (Nancy)

    The Little Library resting next the new library on River Road displays a plaque for Anna B. Walters.  The question is often asked, "Who is Anna B. Walters"?  Her real name is Anna B. Walters but she didn't like Anna and insisted on being called Nancy.  She was proud, very proud of the name Bokum, her mother’s maiden name.  Her Uncle, Mr. Bokum was a wealthy oil tycoon and gave Nancy Standard Oil stocks throughout her adult life. 
    Nancy bought a large lot from Marshal Palmer, a son-in-law of Mr. Ebenezer Hulburd of Hulburd Grove, in the Hulburd Grove Estates subdivision on Tanglewood Lane.  She was single at the time and worked downtown for the Pacific Bell Telephone Company for over thirty years.    She started out as a telephone operator and ended as the lead supervisor. All those years she invested in Bell telephone stocks. In 1956 she built her two bedroom one bath knotty-pine interior and log exterior "Dream Home" with Bank of America financing.  At that time it was unheard of for a single women to be financed by any bank. Just before she retired Nancy married George Walters who worked for the Descanso Water Company.  They didn't live together for long and separated when George moved to Chula Vista.  They never divorced she kept her house along with his name and supported him until he died. 
    Nancy grew up in Coronado with her sister Barbara.  They were raised by their strict single mother who worked as a sales lady in one of the boutiques on Orange Ave.  The three of them lived in a bungalow and Nancy and her sister attended Coronado elementary school. Both sisters graduated from Coronado High.  Nancy's slender frame and small stature contradicted the strong,  fiercely independent women she became in her later years.   She enjoyed living alone, smoked cigarettes, drank beer and loved the Padres.  After retirement she substituted safety pins for lost buttons on faded old clothes which reflected depression scares she learned as a child. She drove a station wagon with her dogs until her eyesight made it impossible to drive any longer. 
    Later in her life she became a recluse and made it clear to everyone who knew her that she would not leave her house under any conditions.  Charles Perkins delivered her groceries and she could buy anything she needed with the phone and her credit card.  After a fall in her yard she cut her leg and the leg became infected.  Neighbors tried to take her to the doctor but she refused to leave her property.  Finally, a friend found a doctor to come to her house.  He unwrapped her bandages and after examining her leg he said this is a bad case of  gangrene. The doctor also said she would be dead in four day if her leg wasn't  amputated immediately.  Nancy took that information like a Marine, still refusing to leave her home.  She died in three days leaving a will which bequeathed her beloved home and her wiener dog to her friend and neighbor, one hundred thousand dollars to the volunteer fire department, twenty-seven thousand dollars to each church in Descanso, the Town Hall and the Descanso library and many more received her generosity.  She gave her family bungalow in Coronado (worth over a million dollars) to the Coronado library.  Her donations made it possible for the volunteer fire department to build their station on River Drive and her check was just enough money added to the library’s building fund to start construction for the new library on River Dr.  Even though she was thrifty in many ways her generosity to others surprised all who knew her.  Nancy Bolcum Walters is remembered as a exceptionally gracious lady who loved Descanso.  That's the reason her name is engraved on the plaque in front of the little library.

Author: Jenny Belle Bowman

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