Aaron Steele Walker

Obituary
  • "I am deeply saddened with the loss of Aaron Walker. To..."
    - Jessica Brown
  • "We had the pleasure of meeting Aaron when he visited..."
    - Kristin O'Rourke Salamanca
  • "Cynthia, I'm so sorry for your loss. I offer you and your..."
    - Karine Rochont
  • "Aunque no conoci a Aaron, trabaje con su esposa. Cyntia,..."
    - Myriam Quimbay
  • "Aunque no conoci a Aaron, trabaje con a su esposa. Cyntia..."
    - Myriam Quimbay

Aaron Steele Walker passed unexpectedly and of natural causes the week of December 31, 2018 in his home in New Orleans, Louisiana. Aaron was preceded in death by his parents Patricia Jane Robie Walker and Andrew Walker. He is survived by his sister Sarah Walker and her husband Brockton Hunter, his aunt Catherine O' Brian and her family, and his wife Cynthia Garza and their two children, Isabel and Malcolm Garza Walker. Aaron was born in Lusaka, Zambia where many of his cousins, aunts and uncles continue to live. Aaron was a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and a Fulbright Scholar in Brazil who spoke Spanish, Portuguese and Mandarin. His capacity to master languages was matched only by his brilliant mind, both of which made him a star on the Clear Lake High School debate team. He and his partner won numerous local tournaments and qualified for both the Texas Forensic Association state tournament as well as the National Speech and Debate Association national tournament. Aaron traveled extensively and was at home in many parts of the world. He had a strong appreciation for different cultures and a deep empathy for the suffering of others. Aaron moved to New Orleans in 2000 to attend graduate school at Tulane University in Latin American Studies, where he built a strong community of friends and colleagues and where he met his wife Cynthia. This move also began his love affair with the city of New Orleans, which he said he had no intention of ever leaving. Aaron spent his professional life committed to public service and seeking justice. He was a respected investigator and Capital Defense Mitigation Specialist committed to criminal justice reform. He worked with A Fighting Chance / NOLA Investigates for several years, then went into private practice and worked closely with Scharlette Holdman, Denny LeBoeuf, and many others on the Guantanamo military commissions. He has worked with NAACP LDF, ACLU, and court-appointed attorneys on cases in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and across the country. He went the extra mile to develop strong working relationships with clients, as well as their families and friends. His legacy is his dedication to those in society who were often discarded or ignored. Aaron fostered new friendships at all stages and aspects of his life, and he was the rare individual who maintained multiple lifelong friendships from as far back as his early teens. He was known for his quick wit, dry sense of humor, and booming laugh. Aaron and his friends spent countless nights up late debating everything from philosophy to music. He challenged everyone who knew him to be better and to question everything. A gentle giant, he could often be found in the neighborhood at his local coffee shop or with his children at the park. He was an incredible father to his two children and instilled a love of reading in them with books in both English and Spanish. He shared his love of New Orleans with his children as well. Aaron and Cynthia, and later Isa, spent many a Sunday at second lines, and when Malcolm was born, many an early morning at their local boulangerie. A celebration of life will be held at Ashé Cultural Center, 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., at 9:30 AM on Sunday, January 20, 2019 to be followed by a second line and repast. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Promise of Justice Initiative's Client and Family Assistance Fund via http://justicespromise.org.
Published in TheNewOrleansAdvocate.com from Jan. 10 to Jan. 20, 2019
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