Bill Walker

This is our uncle Bill Walker's obituary, which was published 8 December 2015 in the Yamhill Valley News-Register, and which has been revised slightly, with the permission of its authors, for inclusion in this Carey Family Album:


Jul. 20, 1915 - Nov. 29, 2015


Bill Walker passed away peacefully November 29, 2015, at the age of 100. An accomplished photojournalist, author, traveler, journalism professor, World War II veteran and revered uncle, Bill will be missed by all who loved him.

In July, Bill celebrated his 100th birthday at Michelbook Country Club in McMinnville, along with friends and family, including his sister Pat Plumb from Philadelphia. Bill had served for a time as a docent at the Evergreen Air and Space Museum. He was an Arizona native who'd moved in 1924 with the family to Santa Monica, California, and then moved to Oregon in 1980, first to Neskowin and then McMinnville, in retirement.

Bill Walker graduated from Santa Monica High School in 1934 and entered Santa Monica Junior College, where he started his journalism career on the staff of the Samojac. After a year in the merchant marine, Bill entered USC in 1938. Graduating from USC in 1940, he was hired by the Los Angeles Herald-Express, but entered the U. S. Army Air Corps during WW II. Although it was decided he was too tall, at 6'5", to be an aerial gunner, he became a photographer for the war effort. He returned to the Herald-Express and its successors and received a Master's Degree from USC in the evening. After leaving the newspaper, he taught journalism and photography for 12 years at Bakersfield College, where he was adviser to the yearbook. He married Jeannette Schiller in 1949 (deceased 2001), and while they had no children, they had many devoted nieces and nephews, many of whom came to town last July to celebrate his centennial.

Bill wrote one book, "The Case of Barbara Graham," as a counterpoint to "I Want to Live," the movie depiction in which Susan Hayward played and won the Oscar as (an "innocent") Barbara Graham. Bill had been the courtroom reporter for the Herald during the trial, and knew she'd been found guilty and would be the third woman (the press nicknamed her "Bloody Babs") to go to the California gas chamber. His most famous picture is often captioned "Crime Doesn't Pay," and is a morgue shot of "Bugsy Seigel's" foot with toe tag (Bill advises the Coroner misspelled many names). Siegel was murdered in his girlfriend's Beverly Hills home in 1947. Bill attended functions at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, and remarked about seeing actor Errol Flynn with various wives and girlfriends.

Bill remained an active reader of several newspapers, The New Yorker and Atlantic magazines, and was an avid USC football fan up until his passing. Survivors include:

– by Karen Walker Evarts, California niece, and
Anthony Young, nephew, Washington D.C.

This page was last updated 6 Jan 2016.