William “Bill” Clemens Walker, almost 90, died at 7:35 a.m. on Friday, April 24, 2015 at the Pacifica Senior Living Belleair in Clearwater, Fla.
Bill was born in Grantsburg, Ill., on May 5, 1925, and was the first of four children of Lewis Henry Walker and Ina Mae (Clemens) Walker.
He enjoyed a picturesque rural childhood in southern Illinois, where he attended a one-room schoolhouse, worked at his father’s general merchandise store in Grantsburg, later worked at his father’s furniture store in Vienna, Ill., and also enjoyed working at the family concession at Dixon Springs State Park, Ill.
Bill graduated from Vienna Township High School in Vienna in 1942, Northwestern University in 1945, and Harvard Business School’s Mid-Officer Certificate program for Navy Supply Corps Officers in 1945.
He proudly served as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy, stationed as Commissary Officer on Guam, until he was honorably discharged in 1946.
He married Joyce Hazel (Harkins) Walker on Jan. 16, 1955 in northern Georgia after they met while both working at Rust Engineering in Oak Ridge, Tenn. They welcomed a son, Jeffrey Clemens Walker, in 1955 while living in Knoxville, Tenn., and a daughter, Nancy Carol (Walker) O’Neill, in 1959 while living in Louisville, Ky.
Bill joined General Electric in Louisville in 1956 and spent over 32 years, working primarily in computer systems, in GE locations near later homes in Syracuse, N.Y., Ormond Beach, Fla., Doraville, Ga., and, finally, in Wilton, Conn., where Bill worked at the Stamford headquarters of General Electric Credit Corp. until his retirement in 1988. His hobbies included photography, cooking, writing, tinkering, and computers. Bill was a kind man who loved his family unconditionally and his ready smile and warm laugh were legendary.
After Joyce’s death, Bill married BettyAnn (Cameron) Walker in 1997 and lived in Naples, Fla., New Bern, N.C., and Safety Harbor, Fla. She survives in Clearwater, Fla.
He is also survived by his sister, Elizabeth Jane (Walker) Franks, of Harrisburg, Ill.; son, Jeff, and wife Suzanne (Connelly) Walker of New York City; daughter, Nancy, and husband John O’Neill of Tiburon, Calif.; seven grandchildren, Courtney Clemens (Walker) Berwind and husband David Berwind of Duxbury, Mass.; Ryan Thomas Walker of Nashville, Tenn.; Morgan Connelly Walker and fiancé Braden Riley of Pinehurst, N.C.; Hunter Pyung Walker of New York City; Kathleen Joyce O’Neill of Tiburon; John Walker O’Neill of Tiburon; and Joseph William O’Neill of Tiburon.
Bill was preceded in death by his father, Lewis, in 1978; his mother, Ina, in 1992; his wife, Joyce, in 1988; his brother, Newton Dee Walker, in 1939; and his brother, James Newton Walker, in 2011.
Bill was cremated and a family celebration of his life was held in southern Illinois. For those who wish, memorials may be given in his name to Cure Alzheimer’s Fund at http://curealz.org/in-memory/william-clemens-walker.