BERNARD CLARENCE WALKER
Bernard Clarence Walker, age 82, of Wayland, MO, died Monday, February 21, 2011 in his home following two years of failing health.
He was born April 4, 1928 in Wayland, MO to Melvin Lloyd and Lena Boice Walker. He spent his early years in Wayland, MO graduating from Wayland High School. While in high school he lettered in basketball. He was drafted into the Army, where he met and married Mary F. Gary in Augusta, GA. They were married November 6, 1955 in N. Augusta, SC. She survives.
He lived life to the fullest, even becoming a pilot early in life. He was a family man who did everything he could for his family. He loved to dance (which is where he met Mary). He loved to garden (everyone loved his sweet corn), build things, tinker in his shop, fishing, mushrooming, going to auctions, playing Pinochle and Bingo. He loved to watch the eagles at the river front, feeding the birds especially the Humming Birds and watching the birds on his feeders. He loved to laugh and joke. He loved taking care of his family.
He joined the Catholic Church early in his adult life and on October 24, 2010 he was Baptized into the First Baptist Church of Wayland, MO.
Bernard made a career in the U.S. Army, retiring as a Chief Warrant Officer 2 (CW2) in 1974, after nearly 21 years. During his career he was the Soldier of the Year in 1966, received National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal and Army Commendation Medal. He also received the Wheel Vehicle Badge, Parachutist Badge and Sharpshooter Badge for both Carbine and .45 Cal Pistol. He was stationed at Ft. Campbell, KY; Ft. Gordon, GA twice; Schofield Barracks, HI; Fitzsimmons Hospital, CO; Tripler Army Medical Center, HI twice; and retired from Ft. Benning, GA. Following his retirement from the service he started his own business, "Bernie's Medical Equipment Service", repairing medical equipment, later working exclusively for Keokuk Area Hospital until retiring in 1992.
He was a member of the Eagles of Quincy, IL and had been a member of the Moose Lodge of Kahoka, MO.
Bernard was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. His life was all about being a great example of a Christian and family man for his family.
The latest in his family accomplishment was the building of their home in Wayland. It was truly a family project. All of his children (Deborah, Stephen and Theresa), their spouses and grand children and spouses built this home. The whole family built the house up from the ground up. It was a labor of love for the whole family. This home was built on the property he was raised on.
He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings, Wayne Walker, Bernadine Wilson, Doris Mansfield, Winston Walker, Marvin Walker, Zola Byrns and Janice Walker. His niece Shirley Whitaker who was raised by his mother also preceded him in death.
He is survived by his wife, their children, Deborah and Steve Stark of Kimberling City, MO; Stephen Walker of Wayland, MO; and Theresa and Steve Hendrix of Boonville, MO. Children from a previous marriage Martha and Gary Whitaker of Wayland, MO and Benjamin and Rita Walker of Revere, MO. His sister, Betty Hecox of Keokuk, IA and sister-in-law, Nancy Walker of Alexandria, MO. Also survived by ten grand children, six great grand children and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services were held Friday, February 25, 2011 at 1 p.m. at Wilson Funeral Home in Kahoka with Rev. Dan Deatrick and Pastor Dan Fox officiating. Burial followed in the National Cemetery in Keokuk, IA.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Boonslick Heartland YMCA, Boonville, MO, Hospice of Northeast Missouri, Kirksville, MO or the First Baptist Church of Wayland, MO.