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Samuel Elwood Walker

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Samuel Elwood Walker Obituary
Samuel Elwood Walker of West Chester Samuel Elwood Walker, of West Chester, died on Thursday, November 17, 2011, following a severe stroke, at the age of 92. Born in Somerset County, Pa., he was the only son of the late Elmer and Laura Walker. He was a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College. Sam was an employee of the DuPont Co. for 43 years. Because he was in charge of seven dynamite plants, he was an essential civilian with expert knowledge of explosives during World War II. Toward the end of the war, he was finally allowed to join the Navy, where he served as a quartermaster in the Pacific. At DuPont he held positions through the years as a chemist, chief chemist, production manager, director of manufacturing, and director of research and development. During the last eight years of his career, he traveled every three months to Paris to work with a French company that had a joint venture with DuPont. In 1983 he was named DuPont's Man of the Year. Sam was a loyal and generous alumnus to Franklin & Marshall and attended alumni events there regularly until his death. He has been a faithful parishioner at the First Presbyterian Church of West Chester for the past 51 years. In 1960 he bought an old serpentine stone Quaker farmhouse on 5.5 acres of land that dates back to 1740, with additions built in 1810 and 1830. He has lived there for 51 years. He was knowledgeable about the Revolutionary War and would tell listeners that 5,000 British soldiers marched past his house in 1777 looking for General Washington. Six weeks before he died, Sam was gratified to learn that the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission voted unanimously to recommend that his house be approved by the National Register of Historic Places for acceptance. He was an excellent tennis player in his younger years and played in tournaments in this country and in Germany. In those days the saying was, "If you want to win, don't play against Sam Walker." At age 65 he purchased the first of three Cessna planes and greatly enjoyed flying them for the next 15 years. Sam loved classical music and played the cello. He was married to Louise Romann Walker, originally from Pittsburgh, for 65 years, when she died in 2007. They had one adopted son who died in 2000. In 2008 he married Joae Brooks, MD, an adult and child psychiatrist from Boston. They treasured 3-1/2 happy years together. He leaves his wife, Joae; two stepdaughters, Anne Benton Millman of West Chester and Jane Graham Selzer of Brooklyn, N.Y.; two step-grandsons, Joseph Chamberlin Millman of West Chester and Steven Zen Johnson of Brooklyn; and several nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, November 22, at the First Presbyterian Church, 130 W. Miner Street, West Chester, where friends may call from 10 a.m. until the time of the service. Interment will follow in the Birmingham-Lafayette Cemetery, Birmingham Township. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the First Presbyterian Church Memorial Fund, 130 West Miner Street, West Chester, PA 19382. Arrangements are being handled by the Founds Funeral Home, Inc., West Chester, 610-696-0134. Online condolences may be made to www.foundsfuneralhome.com.

Published in The Daily Local on Nov. 20, 2011
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