Donnel Frederick Walden
Donnel Frederick Walden, died on August 25, 2017. Born Memphis, TN August 27, 1934. Parents Gertrude (Sue) Smith Walden and William Frederick Walden. Worked as a child with father and grandfather delivering Keathley Pies on their local route. At age 13, he went to work at the Fairgrounds Amusement park at the old Walking Charlie concession but had to move to the photo booth dark room so he could work without being seen because of child labor laws. He soon took over the photo concession at the Memphis Zoo and worked there until he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1957. He served two years in Germany.
In 1963, he celebrated two great events in his life -he married the love of his life, Nora Mason and also joined the Memphis Police Department, eventually managing the photo lab. He retired in 1993 with the rank of Captain.
Donne was an avid photographer and took pictures all his life. He had a vast collection of black and white 8x8 pictures of family, friends, and Memphis as it was in the 1950's and 60's. Copies of these pictures are maintained at the Memphis Room of the Memphis Public Library. He loved to share stories and show his pictures to friends and family.
He was also a frequent contributor and sometimes commentator on WKNO's MEMPHIS MEMOIRS documentaries about Memphis' past. His memory of Memphis history is also preserved in several books about the Zoo, Fairgrounds, and other Memphis topics. He was a member of the Mid-South Fair Historical Committee for years.
In addition to his beloved wife, he leaves two children, Donna Renee Fernandez (Jeff) of Laguna Beach, CA, and Donnel Frederick Walden II of Memphis, and two grandchildren, Katelyn Lockhart and Carmen Fernandez. Donne had five sisters: Jean Mitchell of Dacula, GA, Rosalyne Galbach (Regis) of Mt. Juliet, TN, Kay Preuitt (Fred) of Oxford, MS, and two deceased sisters, Sandra Peppers and Sharon Hall.
The family will receive friends Thursday, August 31 from 6-8 p.m. at Family Funeral Care. The services will be Friday, September 1 at 2 p.m. at Family Funeral Care, with burial to follow in Forest Hill East Cemetery.
The family requests that memorials be sent to Memphis Heritage, Inc., 2282 Madison Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104 or St. Jude Children' s Research Hospital.
Published by The Commercial Appeal on Aug. 30, 2017.