SEATTLE (AP) — Search and rescue officials near Seattle found the body of a snowshoer on Friday who was identified as a locally well-known philanthropic leader and software entrepreneur.
A statement from the King County Sheriff’s Office said friends called authorities Thursday evening after 64-year-old Doug Walker didn’t return to a trailhead near Granite Mountain, 45 miles east of Seattle.
About 60 search and rescue members searched for Walker through the night and found his body just before 10:30 Friday morning. A snow debris field indicated that he was caught in an avalanche, the sheriff’s office said.
Walker served on the board of REI, was a founding member of the Seattle Parks Foundation and had also served on the Wilderness Society’s governing council, The Seattle Times (http://bit.ly/1YUE622 ) reported. He also helped launch and fund summer outdoor programs for city kids.
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Gov. Jay Inslee and Sen. Patty Murray issued statements of remembrance.
“Seattle has lost one of its most passionate and inspirational civic leaders in business, philanthropy and conservation,” Murray said in a statement. “Doug’s seemingly endless amount of energy and dedication to our region was infectious and inspired everyone around him to engage and help make a difference.”
Jewell said Walker “was a champion of access to the outdoors for all people.” The two had been friends since they began serving on REI’s board in 1996. Walker met with White House senior staff just two weeks ago to discuss private philanthropic support for government programs to boost access for kids to the outdoors, she said.
Walker was described by officials as an experienced outdoorsman. He took many people into the mountains for the first time, and was with Jewell the first time she climbed Mount Rainier with her son, she told the Times.
Walker was one of the partners who founded software company Walker, Richer & Quinn in 1981. He was also a co-founder of Social Venture Partners.
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