Donald Roy Walker

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    - Richard Walker
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Donald Roy Walker October 2, 1941 July 15, 2016 LUBBOCK-Dr. Donald Walker, Professor Emeritus of History at Texas Tech University was a brilliant lecturer and beloved professor of history before ultimately focusing his teaching interests and research on the political and social history of Texas. His graduate-level courses were always full and waitlisted with students hoping to get a chance to study under him. Prior to receiving his Ph. D. in History, he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Texas and a Master's Degree in History from Lamar University. Don served in the Peace Corps in the West African country of Gabon from 1965 to 1968 and served with the U.S. State Department in South Vietnam from 1969 to 1972. When asked what his duties were in South Vietnam his response was I could tell you but then I'd have to kill you. Don was the author of numerous books and articles for scholarly journals. Texas A&M University Press published his book Penology for Profit: A History of the Texas Prison System, 1867 to 1912, and Frontier Texas Mercantile: The History of the Gibbs Brothers and Company, Huntsville, 1841 to 1900. He was commissioned to research and edit the papers of Texas Governor Preston Smith. At the time of his death he was researching and writing about the Governorship of Alan Shivers. His other research interests were the evolution of Western Swing, giving him the opportunity to work with Hank Thompson and the development of a curriculum of the history of Texas Ranching. Don was fluent in French, Vietnamese and American Sign Language and in the process of learning German. Don loved to cook, garden, bird watch, visit with his friends and spoil his girls. He also enjoyed the company of his pugs; Bebe, Captain Turk, Tommy Boy and Sally Goose. China, Maggie, Molly, Wheezie and Posey greeted him at the Rainbow Bridge. Don retired from Texas Tech University in 2008 as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. However, he continued to teach on a part-time basis because formal retirement could not keep him away from the classroom. Don is survived by his wife, Jonette McElroy Walker, and two daughters, Jolie Marguerite Walker of Austin, and Jennifer Debs Walker of Lubbock. He is also survived by sisters, Francis Lambert of Fort Worth, Sue McMullan of Jasper; and brother and sister-in-law, Richard and Teresa Walker of North Richland Hills. He also leaves behind beloved in-laws, nieces and nephews, cousins and countless friends. He was preceded in death by his parents Gaus Wilburn Walker and Juanita Sellers Walker. His services will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 23, 2016, at St. Christopher's Episcopal Church at 2807 42nd St. His family requests memorial contributions to PugHearts of Houston, PO BOX 5053, Alvin, TX 77512-5053, or St. Christopher's Episcopal Church, 2807 42nd St, Lubbock, TX 79413. As one admirer said it best Texas is a little less Texas today.

Published in The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal from July 22 to July 23, 2016
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