Nelson R. Walker

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Mercer Funeral Home
1231 West Cumberland Road
Bluefield, VA

Nelson R. Walker BLUEFIELD, WV - passed away Thursday, December 27, 2018, at his residence. Born October 26, 1930, in Huntington, W.Va., to the late George Randolph and Bertha Carroll Walker, he moved with his family to Bluefield in 1935. A 1948 graduate of Beaver High School, Walker graduated from Georgia Military Academy in 1949 and the University of Tennessee in 1952 where he received a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Management. He was also President of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity while at UT. Post-graduation, he served a four-year stint as Captain in the U.S. Air Force as a Jet Pilot during the Korean War. He is survived by his loving wife of 38 years, Phyllis Thompson Frazier Walker, also of Bluefield. Walker's love and devotion for the community he called home was evident in his tireless commitment to enriching local business and revitalizing economic development in the area. He served as Vice President of the Industrial Supplies Group at Bluefield Supply Company from 1979-1985, prior to a ten year stint as Executive Director of the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce. As Executive Director at the Chamber, he was credited with establishing the annual Mountain Festival, the Bluefield Area Foundation, the Greater Bluefield Community Center and the restoration of the East River Mountain Overlook. He served as Executive Director of the I-73/74 King Coal Highway Corridor Association, the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce Executives and the Bluefield Area Development Corporation. He was Treasurer (and past President) of the Bluestone Convention and Visitors Bureau and Treasurer for the Development Authority of Mercer County. Walker was also President of the West Virginia Business Foundation from 1988-89. In 1993, Walker was named Outstanding Citizen of the Year by the Greater Bluefield Jaycees. He was also a recipient of the Robert Francis Hamilton Award presented by the Chamber of Commerce. Throughout his career, he also served on the Boards of the Bluefield Armory, the Bluefield Baseball Club, the Center for Management Development at Bluefield College, the Alliance for the Arts, the Appalachian Hardwood Consortium, the Southern West Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Southern Wholesalers Association and the Coal Foundation, Inc. Walker was a member of Christ Episcopal Church in Bluefield and also served a term as President of Bluefield Country Club. He was an avid golfer and loved spending time with his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Among his countless accomplishments, those closest to him may revere him most for his world famous 'Gangie Breakfasts.' In addition to his parents, Walker is preceded in death by his sister, Carolyn Walker Coppinger; brother-in-law, H.W. Coppinger; niece, Deb Coppinger Sarver; and son-in-law, Bing Sudduth. He is also survived by his sons: M. Randolph (Kristin) Walker, of James Island, S.C., Joseph Nelson Walker, of Isle of Palms, S.C., Douglas Scott Walker and Steven Gray (Julie) Walker, both of Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.; Diane Frazier Sudduth of Bluefield and J. Taylor (Melanie) Frazier III of Richmond, Va.; nephew, Wally Coppinger; niece, Cindy Coppinger Thompson; Grandchildren: Wesley Walker, Jarrod (Heather) Sudduth, IV (Amber) Sudduth, Medley Walker (Roddy) MacBride, Austin Walker, Grace Taylor Sudduth, Sally Walker, Gray ("Ludgi") Walker, Savannah Walker, John Nelson Walker, George Walker, Lucy Walker, and Harry Walker; Great-Grandchildren: Charleston Grace Sudduth, Greyson Sudduth, Madison Sudduth, and Rodrick MacBride III; sister-in-law, Elizabeth B. Thompson; caregiver, Beverly Anderson; and very dear childhood friend, Paul W. Cole. Services for Walker will be held Thursday, January 3, 2019, at Christ Episcopal Church, 200 Duhring St., Bluefield. Visitation will begin at 1:00 PM with a service to follow at 2:00 PM, with the Rev. Chad Slater officiating. A graveside service will then be held at Monte Vista Park Cemetery, as pallbearers will be Marc Meachum, Pete Sarver, Ernie Hays, Peter Taylor, David Taylor, and Mike Sudduth. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to Christ Episcopal Church Food Pantry, 200 Duhring St., Bluefield, WV, 24701, (304) 327-6861; or Bluefield Union Mission, 2203 Bluefield Ave., Bluefield, WV, 24701, (304) 327-8167. Those wishing to share memories or condolence messages with the family may do so by visiting Mercer Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the family of Mr. Nelson R. Walker. Visit our guestbook at charleston

Published in Charleston Post & Courier on Jan. 1, 2019
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