|First Lady of Wisconsin|
January 3, 2011
|Preceded by||Jessica Doyle|
|Succeeded by||Kathy Evers (designate)|
Tonette Marie Tarantino
October 19, 1955
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Scott Walker (1993–present)|
Early life and family
Tonette Marie Tarantino was born on October 19, 1955, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the daughter of Geraldine Marie (Minorik) and Anthony "Tony" Tarantino. Her father's family was Sicilian. She spent more than 20 years employed in the insurance industry before working for the American Diabetes Association. She was raised Catholic.
First Lady of Wisconsin
In her capacity as the First Lady of Wisconsin, Walker works in partnership with various foundations and non-profit organizations to better recognize, understand, and address the effects of trauma on the lives of children and families in Wisconsin. Walker also works regularly with Teen Challenge of Wisconsin, a faith-based organization dedicated to the healing and rehabilitation of teens and young adults with substance abuse addictions.
In 2011, Walker launched a monthly "Walk with Walker" event on local trails in the State of Wisconsin in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Tourism to feature the natural scenery and beauty of the state. Walker also presents a Wisconsin Heroes Award each month. The award goes to a resident who voluntarily devotes his or her time and energy to a non-profit organization or cause.
During the 2012 Wisconsin recall effort, Walker frequently gave speeches and delivered messages in support of her husband, telling supporters not to be ruled by anger, assuring them that Republican reforms were working, and thanking them for their support. She received threats during that time on her life and the lives of her husband and sons.
In August 2012, Walker met with First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama prior to Michelle Obama's visit with the family members of the victims and those seriously injured in the shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek.
Walker married her first husband when she was 23, but he died of kidney disease by the time she was 30. Five years after her first husband's death, she was at a karaoke night at Saz's State House restaurant when she first met Scott Walker, 12 years her junior. She and Walker wed in 1993 and are parents to two sons, Matt and Alex.
- "BRAVA Magazine>Profiles>0111 Jessica Doyle & Tonette Walker". Bravamagazine.com. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
- "Anthony "Tony" Tarantino obituary". Journal-Sentinel. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. April 4, 2013.
- "Geraldine Marie Colletti obituary". Church and Chapel. May 20, 2005.
- Jordan, Mary (July 5, 2015). "Scott Walker's wife, toughened by life, is ready for fires of a campaign". The Washington Post.
- "Tonette Tarantino Walker (Wisconsin)". Nga.org. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
- "Tonette Walker Talks About Transition To State's First Lady". YouTube. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
- "Walk With Walker". Walkwithwalkerwi.org. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
- "Thousands Rally To Support Gov. Walker Amid Recall Fight". WISN.com. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
- "Tonette Walker: Winner of the Margaret Thatcher Award". Rightwisconsin.com. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
- "Waukesha Patch on Twitter: "Tonette Walker thanks crowd for thoughts, prayers and support in recall election last year."". Twitter.com. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
- Becket Adams. "Read the Chilling Note Sent to Gov. Scott Walker's Wife". The Blaze. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
- Bill Glauber. "Tonette Walker, GOP leaders rally governor's supporters". Jsonline.com. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
- Lacey Crisp. "One-on-One with Wisconsin's first lady Tonette Walker". tmj4.com. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
- "First Lady Tonette Walker Meets With First Lady Michelle Obama - Office of the Governor - Scott Walker". Walker.wi.gov. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
- "Wisconsin's first lady meets with first lady Michelle Obama - FOX6Now.com". FOX6Now.com. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
- "About First Lady Walker - First Lady of Wisconsin". Firstlady.wi.gov. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
- Emer Hughes. "Tonette Walker, Scott's Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know - Heavy.com". Heavy.com. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
| First Lady of Wisconsin