Jackson County

The walking woman of Pascagoula gets a crosswalk in her name

Doris Witchen of Pascagoula waves to a passing motorist as she walks down Live Oak Avenue in Pascagoula in June, 2011. Witchen was 84 when the Sun Herald did a profile story on her.
Doris Witchen of Pascagoula waves to a passing motorist as she walks down Live Oak Avenue in Pascagoula in June, 2011. Witchen was 84 when the Sun Herald did a profile story on her. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com File

Doris Witchen never missed a chance to walk — morning and night.

She walked a three-mile route that wound through downtown Pascagoula. Business owners expected to see her pass their shops at just about the same time every day.

She walked past the public library as well.

So it is befitting that “the walking lady of Pascagoula” would have a crosswalk named after her — a woman who waved at everyone who honked or waved at her. She was relentless.

And she was an athlete.

Witchen died in September. She was 90. When she died, her news obituary said, “She walked every day but one in 35 years and Pascagoula will miss her.”

We can all guess which day that was. Not the day after or the day before, but the day that Hurricane Katrina was hitting in 2005.

People on Facebook say she brought them hope after Katrina, to see her keeping up the faith, her drive for life, even when all around her was in shambles.

The Sun Herald wrote about her in 2011.

Friday morning, her family gathered on the steps of the library and her daughters spoke about their mother. They are Vickie Sloan, Janis Voda and Debbie Fulkerson.

The crosswalk runs from the front of the library, facing Pascagoula Street, to the corner of Delmas Avenue.

The city had this to say: “During her ninety years in the City of Pascagoula, Mrs. Witchen became a local icon and recognizable community symbol of a healthy lifestyle.”

  Comments