Anne Graffam Walker

Anne Graffam Walker was born in Pasadena, CA in 1931.  She passed away peacefully on December 5, 2019 after a long illness.  She grew up in southern California and graduated from San Diego State College in 1952.  Upon graduation, she and several friends went to Europe to attend the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.  After the coronation, she spent time traveling through Europe finally ending up in Oslo, Norway where she got a job with the American Embassy.  While in Norway, she became fluent in Norwegian.  While in Norway, she met Pete Walker, her husband to be, whose ship was visiting Oslo.  The next port he visited was Stockholm.  Anne was on the pier was when the ship arrived.  At the end of the visit, they were engaged and married a year later.

She spent the next twenty-four years as a Navy wife raising three children.  As a family, they lived on both coasts, Hawaii, and in Japan.  When Pete got orders to the American Embassy in Tokyo, he spent a year at the Defense Language Institute.  As the wife of a future assistant attaché, she also attended the school.  She became fluent in Japanese.

When the family settled in Virginia, she became a court reporter.  As court reporter, she witnessed the problems lawyers had interviewing children.   She went back to school to learn how to address those issues from an academic perspective.  She received a Masters and PhD in Sociolinguistics from Georgetown while working full time.  In order to help lawyers in interviewing children, she developed a course for lawyers to help them question children. She lectured throughout the United States and internationally.  Her training was so successful that the American Bar Association asked her to write a book based on her lectures.  The book “Handbook on Questioning Children” was published in 1999.  It is now in its 3rd edition.

Anne is survived by her husband of 62 years, Peter Walker, three children (Brynn Walker, Hal Walker, and Erin Webster), seven grandchildren, two great grandchildren, and her sister, Alice LaNeve Hill.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association ( or to a charity of your choice.