Sam Walker

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March 27, 1921 -- Dec. 30, 2009

CLARKSTON -- Former Walla Walla resident Samuel "Sam" Dean Walker, 88, died Dec. 30, 2009, at his home at Evergreen Estates in Clarkston.

The funeral service will be 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Episcopal Church of the Nativity, 731 Eighth St., Lewiston. Inurnment will be at a later date on the family property in Oregon. Arrangements are with Merchant Funeral Home, Clarkston.

Mr. Walker was born March 27, 1921, in Steubenville, Ohio, to Philip and Josephine Kerr Walker. When his mother died in 1930, he and his brother were sent to boarding school at Mooseheart, Ill., where he completed high school in 1939.

During World War II he was stationed at Pendleton Air Base, where he met Rachel Johnson of Wallowa. They were married April 28, 1942, in Hammondsville, Ohio.

He joined the Army Air Corps in October 1939 and retired from the Air Force with the rank of captain in June 1963. During World War II he was an aircraft mechanic, serving stateside, on Ascension Island and then in Natal, Brazil, until the war's end. He re-enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1946, and held overseas assignments in England, Libya and Germany. While in Germany he became lifelong friends with several Luftwaffe pilots and joined their Aeroclub.

He held FFA power plant and air frame licenses and flew as a private pilot for many years.

After retiring from the Air Force, the Walkers settled near relatives in Walla Walla, until Mrs. Walker's death in March 2009. Mr. Walker worked for the Walla Walla district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers until his retirement in 1978. He returned to Corps service in 1981 for a short tour in Saudi Arabia.

He and his wife enjoyed traveling, and fishing and camping on family property north of Wallowa. He watching World War II aircraft fly at the Reno National Air Races.

He was a life member of the Loyal Order of Moose, the Retired Officers Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Mooseheart Alumni Association. He was also a member of the Walla Walla Elks No. 287, the Corps of Engineers Retired Employee organization and the Air Force Association.

He is survived by a daughter, Merrily Lillard of Clarkston; a son, Larry Walker of Walla Walla; and two grandchildren.

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