Nova Addie Walker, 74, passed away Dec. 8, 2010, at her home after a brief battle with cancer.
Nova was born Oct. 24, 1936, in Grand Junction, Colo., to Leo and Wanda McKissen Wells. The family moved to Milton-Freewater, where she started kindergarten at Ferndale School. The family moved again to a country home outside of Joseph, Ore. She attended a one-room country schoolhouse and helped out at the sawmill, which her family owned. From there her family moved to Nampa, Idaho, where they lived for a
few years. In her high school years, the family moved back to Milton-Freewater. She attended and graduated from Umapine High School in 1955. After high school, she worked for Pacific Northwest Bell as a telephone operator. On Nov. 9, 1957, she married Gene B. Walker in Waitsburg. They spent the next three years following the construction of telephone lines in Washington and Idaho. They moved to Walla
Walla, where they raised their family. In 1979, Nova started her career in food service for the Walla Walla
School District, retiring in 1999. After retiring, she enjoyed her weekly outings to the tennis courts, where she played tennis with the same group of ladies for over 20 years. She was able to play tennis right up to three months of her passing. She was an avid reader and loved following all sporting events, especially those events where her granddaughter participated.
She is survived by her husband; her two daughters, Shari Gehrett (Jay) of Walla Walla, Staci Williams (George) of Colorado Springs, Colo. and her son, Chad Walker (Carri) of Stanwood, Wash.; three brothers, Dan Wells (Carol) of Nampa Idaho, Max Wells (Linda), Rex Wells of Milton-Freewater, and one sister Roberta Smeltzer (Bud) of LaPine, Ore. She is also survived by eight granddaughters, Kristin Erikson (Ellis), Meghan, Kaitlin and Kindall Gehrett, Lauren, Whitney, Gracie and Ashlyn Williams and one great-grandson, Mason Gehrett. She was preceded in death by her parents and one sister, Kay Anderson of Portland.
A memorial funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 13, 2010, at Assumption Catholic Church. There will be a private family graveside service at Mountain View Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Walla Walla Community Hospice, Providence St. Mary Regional Cancer Center or charity of choice through the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder, Walla Walla, WA 99362.