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Eunice Waller, Former New London Mayor, Passes Away

Well-known teacher and activist dies at the age of 90

Eunice McLean Waller, a former New London mayor and well-known activist, passed away today. She was 90 years old.

Waller served as mayor of New London from 1988 to 1989, the first African-American woman to hold the office. Waller also served on the Board of Education for 10 years and has served as a member of the Board of Ethics. She taught for the Waterford Public Schools for 51 years, including 26 years at Clark Lane Middle School, before retiring in 1993.

Waller was a co-founder of the and served 20 years on the Board of Trustees. Following Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination in 1968, Waller and her husband established the . This has awarded scholarships each year to local seniors "through a selection process designed to measure dedication to learning, understanding of Dr. King's mission, demonstration of character and financial need."

Mayor Daryl Finizio ordered all city flags to be placed at half-staff in recognition of Waller.

"Today, New London lost a legend," he said. "We thank her for her service and pray for her and her family."

Ernest Hewett April 20, 2012 at 10:46 PM
My deepest condolences to the Waller family .Mrs Waller has advised me on my career in politics from 1995 until now . She was one of the smartest women I have ever met . One thing you could always count on was , if you asked her a question she would always tell you what she thought . And I always admired that . So go on mayor Waller take your rest , we love you but god loved you best. State representative Ernest Hewett
Dana McFee April 21, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Mrs Waller was one of my all time favorite teachers. She was my 6th grade math teacher at Southwest,and then followed us over to Clark Lane.I can still hear her saying " Dana Mac- fee I'm gonna shine my shoes on your behind!! Mrs waller was a beautiful person whom I'll always remember God Bless Her!!!!
Samuel-Jay Linder April 21, 2012 at 10:46 AM
Longtime NL Lion member Eunice Waller grew up in racist part of our country & melded her real-life experiences in shaping her thoughts & very vocal opinions for anyone willing to share time with her. (I, for one, spent many hours at her home, getting valuable advise from her on how to judiciously deal with people who have conflicting views with me.) Although Lion Waller never did assume the role of President of our 89-year-old club, she proudly served the her New London community for over 35-years in contributing time towards helping those in need of assistance - in particular with her educational wisdom (advising & guiding New London High School educators on qualifications for awards for scholars), her helping hands (especially once a month for 3 hours serving dinner at The NL Community Meal Center on late Friday afternoons), & her driving skills (volunteering to transport vision-impaired & indigent residents to area civic functions in her personal large cars). Irregardless of her personal health issues, she never failed to ask me 1st about the welfare of my children & about the health of my parents. And, although her age slowed her down a bit, she maintained her interest in New London politics & community activities. In private, she was a voracious reader. Periodicals were piled high in her house as testament to what she did in her private time. No wonder she seemed to know a little bit about everything! We will all miss her opinions & voice of reason.
Joe Stanley April 21, 2012 at 10:55 AM
One of these best math teachers I ever had. And a great sense of humor. All my years working in New London she always remember who I was. As a firefighter we transported her many times. She was always upbeat. The city has lost a great leader. NLFD Lt. Joseph Stanley
Elissa Bass April 21, 2012 at 11:01 AM
I covered the New London City Council when she was mayor and Eunice was never afraid to face any issue head-on. She had style, and a sense of humor, and a deep love for New London. She was a trailblazer not just for African-American women, but for all women, and they really don't make them like her anymore. Rest in peace, Eunice.
kerri charette April 21, 2012 at 11:14 AM
Talk about a person living their life to bring beauty to the world! Eunice cared for others and especially children. Eunice was pivotal in creating the adoption agency CT Adoption & Family Services. She saw that children of minority background in state DCF care were often stuck in the system. This core group created an agency that would help DCF find homes for children in care. To have made a difference in one life is amazing. To have made a difference in as many lives as Eunice did is living a life for others. WOW Eunice ~~ well done! Enjoy your eternity in Heaven!
Marcy Reed Olander April 21, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Mrs. Waller was the only teacher that could tame this rebel girl into Wanting to listen and actually Enjoying math. The BEST I EVER did in ANY math class was hers. Clark Lane Jr. High 1970 was a long time ago, but I vividly remember her. And...No One could pronounce my name the way she did. A beloved teacher and person. Thoughts and fond memories of you will always stay in my heart Mrs. Waller. Thank you~ Marcy Reed Olander
Debbie April 21, 2012 at 01:48 PM
The greatest and most beautiful woman with tremedeous wit, humor, and couage Just months ago she asked me to retreive a slighly buried penny from the ground. I would later laugh as my hands and fingernails got dirty digging and brushing off a worthless penny to give to an already wealthy woman! Mrs. Waller said "a penny saved, is a penny earned and worth someting" as she placed it in her purse. Weeks later, the news contained a story about a penny sold at action for thousands of dollars! Mrs. Waller, you are my own priceless, valuable, and treasured community and civic leader, mentor, math teacher (CLMS), family, and friend. May Gods embrace shine upon your eternal rest. Love Always, Debbie Phillips

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