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Richard Walker Sr.

Walker, Sr, Richard Lee
March 15, 1925 - November 23, 2012
After 87 years embracing life's adventures, Richard L. Walker ("Dick") died from flu complications on November 23, 2012. Dick was born in Los Angeles to Homer Lee Walker and Mary Burke Walker and later raised there by his devoted aunt Mildred Spencer ("Mimi") after the untimely deaths of his parents. Drawn to serving his country early, Dick graduated with honors from the University of Texas Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps in October 1945 and was assigned to the U.S.S. Kent. After the war, Dick graduated from USC in engineering and returned to the Navy serving as a Lieutenant on the Bon Homme Richard as Communications Officer during the Korean War. After his honorable discharge, he founded Menn, Van Kuik and Walker, an insurance brokerage firm in Los Angeles, and in 1954 married Elizabeth Barbe with whom he lovingly raised five children, Lee, Greg, Mary, Theresa and Cathy. Subsequently, Dick married Mary Pate Walker of Sulphur Springs, Texas with whom he shared many treasured years until her death in 2005. Dick was a devoted family man who, with Elizabeth, provided his children the happy, comfortable childhood he never knew. Dick shared his love of life and sports with his family personally teaching his children baseball, skiing, fly fishing, tennis, volleyball and golf while cheering them on at each and every game or competition. He never once missed one of their events. During his second marriage, Dick became an avid tennis player, traveling the world, including 25 People-to-People tennis trips with his wife, Mary. Dick was an active, contributing member of the California Club, the Jonathan Club, The Beach Club and the Los Angeles Country Club and served on the Board of Directors of the YMCA. He built Menn, Van Kuik and Walker to be a respected and successful insurance agency. In his final decade, Dick battled Alzheimer's disease with great grace and determination while continuing to be a formidable dominoes competitor at The California Club. Dick is survived by his first wife, Elizabeth Barbe Vulich, their five children and spouses, Lee and Allison Walker, Greg Walker, Mary and Michael Morton, Theresa and Stuart Karle, Cathy Spindle, and his grandchildren, John and Deanna Morton, Dylan, Zachary and Abigail Karle and Mimi and Nathan Spindle.
His life and legacy will be celebrated at a 1:30pm service on December 8 at the Westwood Presbyterian Church where he and Mary were longtime congregants. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to the YMCA or the in his name.

Published in the Los Angeles Times from Dec. 4 to Dec. 5, 2012
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