James E. Walker
July 17, 1940 – August 11, 2018
Jim Walker, 78, of Littleton, CO passed away after a very short illness on August 11, 2018. On July 25th he went to Littleton Hospital for sever pain in his right side. After days of tests, the Docs discovered his Gall Bladder was full of stones AND although he had quit smoking 4yrs. ago, his previous 56 years of smoking had caught up to him. Jim had Stage 4 Lung Cancer. He commented many times during those first days “A week ago I was thumbs-up and all of a sudden everything went to hell.”
He was born in Ft. Riley, Kansas on July 17, 1940 to Lisle Walker and Judy (Goodyear) Walker. When he was 1yr. old, his family moved to the Yakima Valley in Washington State. Jim was the oldest of 4 children and grew up on his father’s apple ranch in Naches, WA. He was only 6yrs. old when he started driving tractors. The year he turned 14 was very difficult - his parents got divorced and he had two incidents happen that nearly killed him. The first being when a barn-sour horse he rode over to a friend’s house was running for home. The horse ran onto the road right in front of a car/truck. By some miracle, the horse jumped over the hood of the car avoiding being hit. Like usual, the horse did not quit running until she reached the barn - luckily Jim was still on her back. The second incident happened when the whole family went to the coast to swim in the ocean. Jim got caught in an undertow and nearly drown. Fortunately, he survived both nearly fatal incidents and his Father married Tillie, a wonderful women and great cook. While in high school, Jim participated in most school sports and even held records in some of them.
He married Linda K. (Wooton), on April 30, 1963; had 2 daughters and shared 44 years with his wife. Linda predeceased him on October 18, 2007. Jim usually referred to her as Linda Kay.
Jim and his family moved to the Denver, CO area in 1972. He had a long career as a Drywall Installer/Finisher. A profession that is very hard on the body and resulted in 4 major back surgeries. He spent much of his free time hunting and fishing, riding motorcycles, playing chess, baseball, softball and bowling. Jim enjoyed going to gun shows, going skeet shooting, going to Bronco games and hanging out with the guys. He loved his High School reunions. They gave him the chance to hang out with his lifelong buddies. Many of the guys had known each other since they were in 1st grade. Jim and Linda moved to Littleton in 2005, to be closer to their children and grandchildren. He adored all his girls and loved participating in both his daughter’s and granddaughter’s grade school activities. When his daughters were in school, Jim sang in the Church Choir, worked at their school’s Bingo and even played Joseph in 1 of the Christmas pageants. While Jim and Linda helped out at the school, they met a group of friends that got together each month and had Poker Parties. This group also dressed up each year and went to the Mardi Gras celebrations/dances. They usually won 1st place for their costumes. Jim and Linda were very smooth/easy dancers and taught their daughters to dance as well. When the granddaughters came along, he helped one with her horse riding lessons every week and helped the other three girls by coaching their softball teams, running the school Chess Club and picking up one or more from school every day. As he grew older, he enjoyed playing golf, gambling in Central City and knitting blankets and washcloths. He loved playing Marbles, Dominos and his lifelong passion of playing Cards with family and friends.
He is survived by:
Daughters: Polly Johnston, of Littleton, CO; Sandy Churchman (Dave), of Centennial, CO.
Granddaughters: Kimberly Johnston, of Lakewood, CO; Marinda Waldner (Jace), of Wamsutter, WY; Heather Churchman and Kylee Churchman, both of Centennial, CO.
Siblings: Josephine Porter, of Yakima, WA. Predeceased by his brothers: Dake Walker and Billy Walker.
Aunt: Velda Welch, of Selah, WA.
In-Laws: Tom Wooton (Jane), of Moses Lake, WA; Patricia (Pat) Berthon and Elizabeth (Betty) Wilkie, both of Yakima, WA; Gloria Clark (Jack), of Sierra Vista, AZ; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Jim felt very lucky and grateful to have his wife, daughters, granddaughters, and all other family members and friends.