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Col. John W. Walker

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Col. John W. Walker Obituary
Col. John W. Walker, U.S. ARMY, Retired, died Thursday, Sept 9, 2010 at Wesbury United Methodist Retirement Center, Meadville, Pa. Prior to moving to Wesbury, he and his wife lived on Plank Road in Cambridge Springs for 25 years. He was born on Feb 18, 1920 in Berwick, Pa. John graduated from Penn State University in 1942 with a B.S.degree in science. Upon graduation from Penn State he received a commission from ROTC as a 2nd lt. In 1948 he graduated from the State University of Iowa with a M.A. degree in education and while in Iowa he taught high school chemistry. In 1958 he received a M.S. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin. He was a member of Phi Delta Kappa, and Sigma Chi fraternities. During his military career he attended a number of Army Schools including the Industrial College of Armed Forces located in Ft. McNair, D.C. Col. Walker served his country faithfully during 30 years of active duty. During WWII he was a part of the "Ghost Army", which has been featured in numerous books and films. The Ghost Army has been credited with saving 1,200 lives during the crossing of the Rhine. He saw action in three campaigns in Korea and two campaigns in Viet Nam. He had many jobs during his military service and was stationed in numerous places throughout the world. He won many awards including - Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, and Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. He was dedicated to his country and we are grateful for his service. Following his retirement from the military, Col. John worked for the Bureau of Pennsylvania State Parks for seven years. Col. Walker married Margaret Van Houten on Dec 28, 1942. Together they raised three children - John, Bill and Maggie. Sadly, all three preceded him in death. He was an active member of many different churches throughout his different stations and served them in various capacities including Elder, Deacon, and Sunday School teacher. Presently he was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Cambridge Springs. When his sons were growing up, he was active in the Boy Scouts of America where he served as Scoutmaster. He was a mason and belonged to the Scottish Rite Bodies, Valley of Fort Leavenworth, Orient of Kansas. He also was a member of the Edinboro and McKean VFW Post #740, was a lifelong member of the Military Officers Association of America and belonged to the Edinboro Historical Society. Always enjoying singing, Col. John was a barber shopper for the last 39 years and was a past chapter president and international board member of the Barbershop Harmony Society. Col. John enjoyed people and was a member of the McDonald's group in Edinboro. He also was an avid golfer. Col. Walker is survived by his wife - Margaret of Meadville, Pa and a sister - Lucy Lutz, and her family of Laurel, Del. His grandchildren include - William Walker his wife, Sharon and their children - Harrison and Jocelyn of Yorktown, Va.; H. Elizabeth Walker of Madison, Wis.; Rev James Walker and his wife, Rev. Brenda Walker and their children - Daniel and Carly of Pittsburgh, Pa.; Brian Walker and his wife, Tanya and their children - Devin, Zachary, and Justin of Cambridge Springs, Pa.; John Wm. Walker and his wife, Lisa, of Warren, Pa.; Alison Ethridge and her husband, Justin of Edinboro, Pa.; Lauren Backenstose of Prague, Czech Republic, and Paige Backenstose, Charlottesville, Va. He was as dedicated to his family as he was to his country. He served us well. Calling hours will be at the Van Matre Family Funeral Home, 335 Venango Ave, Cambridge Springs, Pa. on Monday, Sept 13, from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, Sept 14 at 11:00 am at the First United Methodist Church, 326 South Main St, Cambridge Springs, Pa. Col. John's grandson - Reverend James Walker, pastor of Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community Church of Pittsburgh will officiate. Interment will be in Cambridge Springs Cemetery. You may honor Col Walker with donations to the charity of your choice. To send condolences, please visit van matrefuneralhome.com.

Published in the Erie Times-News on Sept. 11, 2010
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