Silent Generation (born 1926 to 1942)
Dr. Mildred L. Collier Walton was the fourth child of the late James Collier and the late Pauline Dickinson Collier born December 8, 1926 in Atlanta, Georgia. Mildred departed life during the early morning hours on December 15, 2013.
Mildred was educated in Atlanta public schools. While studying at Booker T. Washington High School, she showed an early love and aptitude for music and she pursued those skills after graduating with honors in 1943 as an early admissions student to her beloved Spelman College, class of 1947. She became an accomplished violinist under the tutelage of Dr. Kemper Herald, then head of the music department at Spelman. Late in her matriculation at Spelman, she married Leroy Burse, Jr. It was against the rules to be a married student at Spelman, so she kept her relationship a secret until after graduation. "Ssshhh. Don't you dare tell anyone that we shared this information." To her union with Leroy, three children were born: Berle Burse, Denise Burse-Fernandez, and Charna Burse-Brown.
Mildred learned to combine her professional career while raising a family. Sadly, much of her family life was spent as a single parent after her divorce. In spite of the challenges of being a single mom, she was still able to commit time to advanced education earning her Master of Education from Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta). She studied at Wayne State University while her children went to boarding camp and she boarded with her younger sister, Dr. Juanita Collier '51, professor of psychology at Wayne State University. She earned her educational six-year certificate from Atlanta University, which gave her a much needed pay increase, easing some of the strain of trying to bring up three children alone. She later earned a master’s in Spanish from the Universidad de Madrid, a doctorate from Nova University and participated in an intensive training seminar at Harvard University. Dr. Walton was a dedicated teacher in the public school system for over forty-seven years, starting at Avondale High School right out of college and continuing to teach music and Spanish at H. M. Turner High until becoming an elementary school principal, first at Harwell Elementary School, and later at L. P. Miles Elementary School, where she remained until she retired from the public school system.
During her professional career she became a published author, first in the educational arena and later in the larger community with the publication of her book, The Collier Connection, tracing her family's genealogy as far back as the 1500's. This extensive research put her in line to become one of the first blacks inducted into the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). Her second husband, Borah W. Walton, Jr. has a true Boaz spirit. He's proven to be a loving and supportive husband and an encouraging "hands on" stepfather. They spent the balance of their forty plus years together overseeing the well-being of Atlanta's public school children, traveling to far away exotic places, enjoying their family, and the wonders of learning, long after earning the highest educational degrees.
Dr. Walton was an active member of many professional and civic organizations, and social clubs. She was a dedicated member of St. Paul Episcopal Church for more than fifty years. She was a founding member of the social club, Las Hermanas, along with eleven other of her Spelman sisters. These women didn't just get together for an afternoon of food and bridge, they were civic minded women who supported each other and their larger community. Over the years they have blessed young women attending Spelman with their philanthropic spirit. Mildred received many accolades and honors during her tenure as an educator. Some of her most cherished honors were her election as President of the National Association of Elementary School Principals, President of the National Alumnae Association of Spelman College and the Founders Spirit Award from Spelman, the college's highest Alumnae honor.
Obituary provided by the family of Mildred Walton
Oral History Summary
This page is in memorium of Mildred L. Collier Walton who passed away on December 15, 2013 before her personal Daughter Dialogue was documented.
DAR Patriot Ancestor(s)
Collier, Cornelius: Virginia
European Descent Male