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Lynn Walker(1925-2012)

Lynn Walker, a resident of Williamsburg until very recently, died Nov. 13, 2012 in Chadds Ford, PA from complications of multiple myeloma. He was preceded in death by his devoted wife of 61 years, Bettye R. Walker, who passed away in Williamsburg on Nov. 26, 2009.

He was born in Port Arthur, TX on Jan. 26, 1925. In 1929, his father Grover Cleveland Walker Sr. , died after being hit by a truck while bicycling to work. Lynn's mother, Lavanna M. (Lynn) Walker, never remarried, and she raised their seven children during the Depression. During WWII, Lynn served in the Army with the 12th Armored Division and was wounded by a German mortar shell's shrapnel, some of which he carried in his arm for the rest of his life. He often told a story about celebrating his 20th birthday in a hospital in France by making improvised "ice cream" from snow scooped outside his window. After the war, Lynn married Bettye, his childhood sweetheart. Upon graduating from Baylor University in 1949, he entered a career in the oil business. They moved to Venezuela, spending six years as expatriates, until Lynn took a position with Felmont Oil Corp., located in New York City. He and Bettye settled in Darien, CT, where they raised three sons. Lynn ultimately rose to Chairman and CEO of Felmont, retiring in 1988, and he and Bettye moved to Williamsburg's Kingsmill community in 1990.

A student of the Civil War, Lynn collected books from the period and read modern accounts of the conflict. He was also a collector of firearms and an avid participant in shotgun sports. A fan of movies, particularly period dramas, he often remarked that he would watch Jeremy Irons in any role, in any film. Lynn and Bettye were dog lovers, and their home was never without a loyal canine. He also had a lifelong interest in feeding and watching birds, and Bettye was the recipient of many cherished bird figurines given to her by Lynn. They shared an enthusiasm for antiques, and their homes featured pieces acquired during trips around the U.S. and abroad. A homebody at heart, Lynn nevertheless acceded to Bettye's love of travel, and when he found himself on an island somewhere or in a foreign land, he would grudgingly admit he was glad he had come. They also enjoyed vacation homes in Nantucket, MA and Newport, RI.

Lynn gamely tried his hand at various sports so that his sons would have the opportunity to learn and enjoy them. The family shared many happy hours on Long Island Sound sailing and in New England skiing (sometimes with injurious results for Lynn). One art that he thoroughly mastered was cooking his famous, giant breakfasts, and one could always count on enjoying one of these feasts on the morning of departure after a stay at his house. In everything this devoted and protective husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather did for his family, there were elements of love, self-sacrifice, and generosity.

Siblings who predeceased Lynn are Cecil "Red" Walker, Oma Ray Lyon, Verline Wade, and Grover C. Walker, Jr. He is survived by two siblings, Wayne Walker and wife Jeanie Walker of Abilene, TX, and Joyce "Joy" Walker Gay of Lago Vista, TX; and by his three sons, Randal K. Walker and wife Linda E. Walker of Chadds Ford, PA, Damon C. Walker and wife Lisa J. Newsum of Mill Creek, WA, and Kevin C. Walker and wife Andrea K. Walker of Chatham, NJ. Lynn is also survived by his six grandchildren, Sarah Kier and husband Everett Kier of Vienna, VA, Elizabeth Walker of Nashville, TN, Brendan Walker and wife Valerie Miller of Kirkland, WA, Corey Walker of Woodinville, WA, and Addison and Ethan Walker of Chatham, NJ; and by his three great-grandchildren, Catherine and Charlotte Kier, and Corey's daughter Kay Bolin.

A family memorial service is planned to inter the ashes of Lynn and Bettye at Arlington National Cemetery. The family would be most grateful for contributions made in Lynn's memory to the Wounded Warrior Project at www.woundedwarriorproject.org.

Published in Virginia Gazette from Nov. 21 to Dec. 20, 2012
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