20 Feb 2016. My mother's first cousin John William Walker passed away today. John was a son of Norman Walker, and we never quite got to know him well enough. He was a career USMC aviator, and was living in Norfolk, VA, when we went there in 1963. He and his wife, Lib, were very hospitable to us. His daughter, Patricia (Walker) Perry, was kind enought to send us his obituary, which she wrote, for inclusion in this Carey Family Album:
John William Walker, at 92, passed away on February 20, 2016 at 6:30 p.m., in Mission Viejo, California. At the time of his death he was surrounded by his loving wife, family members, and caregivers.
John Walker, affectionately known as "Bill", was born on September 18, 1923 in El Paso, Texas, graduating from El Paso High School. He attended the College of Mines in El Paso, but this path was interrupted by his call to service in the military. He was accepted to the O.C.S. training program, graduated, and became an officer in the Navy as a USMC aviator assigned to overseas duty. His tours of duty began in Japan, extended to Korea, Laos, and various posts in the South Pacific Theater following World War II. All those who flew, or served with John during his military career, knew full well he was a true military patriot. During his early military career, he met the love of his life, Lena Elizabeth Godwin (Libby) of New Bern, North Carolina. With little time left before his deployment to Japan, John proposed to Libby and a military wedding was underway at the First Baptist church also in New Bern. Following, was a reception at the home of Delegate R.C. Godwin, the brides Uncle. Their life together began, and between tours of duty, three children blessed their lives—Susan, Patricia and John.
In 1960, while on active military duty, John completed his Bachelor of Science at the University of Maryland majoring in Military Science. His career was noteworthy. After twenty one years of service he retired in Norfolk, Virginia, and began his civilian career in the private sector of mortgage finance. He took on the role of Vice President of Cameron-Brown Mortgage Company which served as the groundwork for his later successes. After September of 1973, John and Lib moved to Baltimore, Maryland, where John became President of Union Home Loan, a branch of The Bank of Maryland and the only bank left in the state under the Maryland flag. After 25 years of service, John retired completely. His retirement pales in comparison to the legacy he leaves behind. It matters not, whether he had a brilliant military stay, or conquered the world of financial statistics; he always approached every aspect of his life with the highest form of love, tenacity, dignity, respect, and honor. His life on earth was solely guided by his faith. He was a "good man," a soldier of the universe who definitely let God navigate his journey.
John is survived by his wife Lena Elizabeth Walker, his two daughters, Susan E Giraud and her husband Jim Giraud, Patricia Perry and her husband, J. Douglas Perry, and their son John William Walker Jr. and his wife, Damiaty Walker, five grandchildren—Scott Giraud, Amy Hankla and her husband Jeremy Hankla, Brandon Perry and his wife Karen Perry, Christopher Perry and his wife Cathryn Perry, and Paige Perry. Ten great-grandchildren—Henry, Hampton, Bennett and Thomas Perry, Anna Cathyrn and Charles Perry, Nathan and Sam Giraud, and Ashlynn and Jolie Hankla.
John was an ordinary man, with an exceptional capacity to embellish those he held dear. His character has left us with much to admire and imitate. There was never a moment his heart was not full of compassion, and an urgency to choose the right path. Without a doubt, he will continue on that high road remaining forever in our hearts.
Major John William Walker U.S.M.C will be laid to rest, with full military honors, on March 7, 2016 in San Diego, at the Miramar National Cemetery. The service is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.
One of my memories from when we lived in Virginia, near John and Libby, was that when my ship, USS Annapolis (AGMR-1), was ordered to Viet Nam, we set sail for the war zone 6 July 1965, and Jeanette and I decided shortly before Annapolis' departure that she and our boys would move back to California and that we would put our home in Virginia Beach up for rent. It would have been terribly difficult for Jeanette, who was about 6 months along with Alice, to try to drive our brand new Plymouth Valiant across country. So we entrusted the new car to John and Libby who turned it over to my parents, Dave and Jeanette (Walker) Carey, later that summer. Mom and Dad drove it across country, visiting family members in Ohio and Indiana on the way, and delivered it safely to Jeanette.