Feb 282014

Donal Lee Walker, 66, passed away on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, at his home surrounded by his loved ones after a courageous year-long battle with Stage IV colon cancer. A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 8, at the Valley View Baptist Church in Snowflake. Another service will be held at a later date in his hometown of Escondido, Calif. Interment will follow in Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, Calif.
Don was born Feb. 19, 1948, in San Diego to Robert and Janet Walker.
He grew up primarily in San Diego and Escondido, graduating from Orange Glen High School in Escondido in 1966.
While in high school, Don met the love of his life, Judy Ebner, while attending the Escondido First United Methodist Church youth group. They were married at the church on Feb. 28, 1970.
After Don graduated high school he joined the United States Navy in 1967 and served until 1975 as a hospital corpsman. He served with the United States Marine Corps and with the United States Armed Services Entry Station.
He attended Palomar College in San Marcos, Calif., and also Grossmont College in El Cajon, Calif., where he received an Associate of Science degree in bio-medical technology.
Don worked for more than 20 years as a cardio pulmonary technologist at Palomar Hospital in Escondido, Good Samaritan in Los Angeles, Hoag Memorial Hospital in Newport Beach, Calif., and Corona Regional Hospital in Corona, Calif.
He and his wife raised their two daughters in Southern California, primarily in Norco, where they lived for 13 years.
In 1999, Don and Judy moved to Snowflake, where they purchased 60 acres of land and established J and D Ranch.
He worked for Navajo County for more than 12 years, retiring in April 2012 from the Navajo County Public Health Department where he served as program manager for the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Department.
Don was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and brother. He worked hard all his life, but always put his family first. If it was broken, he could fix it; if it needed to be built, he could build it. He was the family’s mechanic and handyman. His sense of humor was priceless and if you met him once, you instantly liked him. He was our hero who put on a brave fight against colon cancer this last year.
Survivors include his wife of nearly 44 years, Judy; two children, Nicole (Walker) Reeves and Kimberly Walker; three grandchildren, Abigail, Joshua and Hannah Reeves; four brothers, George Walker, Richard Walker, Jon Walker and Marc Walker; and his sister, Pam Walker.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Janet Walker; and his oldest brother, Robert Walker.
Silver Creek Mortuary of Taylor was in charge of the arrangements.Walker, Donal