William Wade Walker III, MD, 87 years young, died at home on January 26. He died quickly and unexpectedly and without severe pain from a ruptured inoperable thoracic aneurysm. He enjoyed his life thoroughly until the moment of his death. He lived a meaningful, full and long life.
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Dr. Walker was born on July 4, 1925 and was the son of William Wade Walker II and Chuppy Corrine Maughon. He had two younger sisters, Anne Bowcock Burkey and Mary. All predeceased him.
Dr. Walker is survived by his wife, Jacqueline Irwin Walker and his sons: Charles Melvin (Mery), William Anthony (Anne), and Wayne Wade (Diane); grandchildren William and Marie. Also included in his loving family are Robin Jones-Walker, Kathryn Jones, Tony and Susan Walker and their three sons, Harrison, Brody, and Mason, plus Javier and Maria Cristina Hinojosa and their sons, Miguel and Daniel. Dr. Walker's youngest son, Norman Edward, succumbed to ALS in August of 2011 soon after retiring from the DeKalb County Police Department.
Dr. Walker also had many friends and patients who brought him great joy through the years. The family wishes to thank each of you.
Born at home on what is now the Georgia Tech Campus, Dr. Walker was raised by his father who worked for the railroad. Although they were very poor, endured many hardships, and moved frequently his father always kept his children with him.
Through the assistance of scholarships, Dr. Walker was able to attend Marist School to which he was forever grateful for providing the foundation for his successful future. He excelled in both academics and athletics. He was first in his class scholastically from first grade through high school and was the Valedictorian of his graduating class in 1943. He was the ROTC Cadet Commander, Outstanding Cadet, Captain of the rifle team with the rank of "Expert Rifleman" and Class President. Athletically, he starred in football, baseball, track and was selected by the Atlanta Constitution Newspaper to be on the All City High School Team, All-State Team and was selected the most valuable player in Atlanta in 1942.
After high school, he attended Tulane University briefly on a football scholarship before being drafted into WW II where he chose to serve in the Marine Corps. During WW II, he was stationed at Camp Pendleton, Honolulu, Parris Island and participated in the defense of Midway Islands. After passing the Officer Candidate School testing with one of the highest scores in the Central Pacific Area, the Marine Corps enrolled him at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was quarterback and Captain of the football team, on the Student Legislature, Monogram Club, and Interfraternity Council. While at UNC, he also received the Outstanding Chemistry Award.
He then attended Emory University School of Medicine where he graduated with honors in 1951. He specialized in Obstetrics and Gynecology because he valued and respected women.
After graduation, he entered the Army as a Captain and completed an internship at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital, Denver, CO; served a preceptorship of two years at Fort Bragg Army Hospital, Fayetteville, NC and then finished his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgia Baptist Hospital in Atlanta.
He became a Diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1961. He continued his medical practice at Georgia Baptist Hospital where he served on the Obstetrical and Gynecological Committee and later practiced at DeKalb Medical Center. After thirty-five years in private practice, he retired in 1992. Prior to his retirement, he was starting to deliver babies for women he had previously delivered himself. He cherished the experiences he had with his patients and the trust and respect they gave him in return.
Dr. Walker's first wife was Norma Jeanne Haasl with whom he had four sons. He enjoyed his boys' academic and sports activities and served as the Lakeside High School football team doctor for many years.
In 1978, Dr. Walker married Jacqueline Irwin. He liked telling the story that they met in a psychiatric hospital (where she worked as a psychotherapist and he worked as a volunteer helping patients understand their gynecological and sexual issues.) Dr. Walker and Jacqueline enjoyed 35 years together as best friends and soul mates. They appreciated every day they were able to spend together. They shared office space, played tennis together, enjoyed their family and friends and were absolutely devoted and appreciative of each other.
Following retirement, Dr. Walker enjoyed tennis immensely and played daily with other fellow retirees and with his wife. He enjoyed traveling throughout his life and even more extensively during retirement.
Dr. Walker experienced several medical issues as he aged and wished to express a heartfelt gratitude to his family of physicians and nurses at DeKalb Medical Center for their excellent care which allowed him to continue enjoying his quality of life.
It was Dr. Walker's wish to have a gathering with his family and friends to share cherished memories and enjoy time together. We will gather at A. S. Turner & Sons, 2773 N. Decatur Road, Decatur, GA, 30033 on Saturday, February 2. Family will welcome guests from 3:00-6:00 pm. A short program to honor his life and share our memories will begin at 3:30 pm. This will be followed by a celebration with food and a drink to toast him.
At a later date, his and his beloved wife's ashes will be set free over a favorite waterfall in Brevard, NC.
Because of his great appreciation for the educational and social experiences he had at the Marist School, Dr. Walker requested that donations be made in his honor to Marist School in lieu of flowers. Donations can be made in his name online at http://www.marist.com or a check can be sent to 33790 Ashford Dunwoody Road, NE, Atlanta, Georgia, 30319, c/o Ms. Angela Dorsey.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Jan. 30, 2013
A. S. Turner & Sons
2773 North Decatur Road Decatur, GA 30031