Donald “Don” Wayne Walker passed away on Saturday, April 20, 2019, at OHSU in Portland, Ore., due to injuries sustained after a fall. He was born on May 16, 1940, in Camas, Wash., to Kenneth and Lois (Herron) Walker. His father worked construction, so Don attended many different schools as a child. Kenneth and Lois later divorced. Don came to Hood River, Ore., in the seventh grade, after his mother had married Joe Allers.
Don met the love of his life, Joni Kelly, while at Wy’east High School. Throughout high school, he worked for Safeway. After graduating in 1958, Don went to Washington, D.C., to work for the FBI as a fingerprint technician.
He moved back to Hood River in 1959 and married Joni on Sept. 4, 1960, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Hood River.
In 1962, Don began working at Hood River Electric Co-op as a lineman. He worked his way up and retired as manager in 1997, after 35 years.
The couple had four children: Scott, Debbie, Chris and Eric. Don was active throughout the children’s youth in Boy Scouts, Little League and supporting them in 4-H. Don was an active member of St. Mary’s and was a charter member of the Mid-Columbia Knights of Columbus. He was very involved in church functions and duties. He was also a member of the Hood River Elks Lodge.
Don had many talents and helped build five houses for himself and his family. He always had a project going in his woodshop. He was the sort of person who didn’t like to sit — if something needed to be done, he was ready to go. He was generous with his time and was always willing to help a neighbor. Don was a compassionate person and a hard worker.
He was active in the community, volunteering where he could. Don was very giving to others and incredibly humble. He was his grandchildren’s biggest fan and logged many miles traveling to various ball games. He loved to be outdoors. He had a great sense of humor and was always the first to laugh at himself.
Don and Joni enjoyed traveling and experiencing other cultures around the world. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, hiking and golf. Some of his most enjoyable times were spent at elk camp, and one of the highlights was a moose hunt with his three boys in Canada.
His greatest joy was his family, and his children were his best friends. He enjoyed family gatherings and holidays. He loved sports, The History Channel and napping in his chair. He was the first to cut into dessert and had a great fondness for pie.
He was one in a million, and he will be greatly missed.
Don is survived by his wife of 58 years, Joni; his children, Scott Walker (wife Liz), Debbie Ketchum (husband Greg), Chris Walker (wife Elaine) and Eric Walker (wife Trisha); his grandchildren, Jessica Rauschenberg (husband Andy, and children Reid, Graham and newborn Bryce), Sam Walker, Weston Walker (wife Randi), Rachel Daniels (husband Jeremy), Kelly Ketchum (fiance Larissa), Keshia Harris (husband Brian, and children Kayden and Logan), Cody Walker, Kameron Walker, Abby Walker and Johanna Walker; sisters, Eleen Johnson (husband Clif), Geraldine Hutson (husband Gary) and Chris Weseman; uncle, Glen Herron; several cousins, nieces and nephews, and many dear friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and stepfather.
The family wishes to thank the Wy’East Rural Fire Department for their assistance with Don’s fall.
A rosary will be prayed at Anderson’s Tribute Center at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 26, with a viewing and time to meet with family following from 5:30-7:30 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, April 27 at 10 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 1501 Belmont Ave.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to FISH Food Bank or Wy’East Rural Fire Department, care of Anderson’s Tribute Center, or to your favorite charity.
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson’s Tribute Center (Funerals • Receptions • Cremations), 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River. Visit www.AndersonsTributeCenter.com to leave a note of condolence for the family.