Charles "Chuck" H. Walker, age 83, went to his heavenly home peacefully on October 1, 2021 at Mercy Hospice House after a multi-year battle with Parkinson's disease. He was a loving husband, kind father, loyal friend, committed community and church member, and faithful Christ-follower who will be missed by many.
Chuck was born on August 1, 1938 in Reno, Nevada to Paul and Sylvia Walker. He grew up in Sparks, NV on a small ranch. He soon discovered his love for sports and teaching, playing basketball, football and running track as well as coaching his first basketball team while still in high school. In his childhood, the western-most baseball team in the U.S. was the St. Louis Cardinals, so he became a fan by listening to games on the radio, continuing all the way to watching their games from his hospice bed on his iPad.
Chuck received his B.A. in chemistry in 1960, and his master's degree in educational administration in 1964, both from the University of Nevada-Reno. After teaching and coaching at the high school level in California and Nevada for several years, he received his Ph.D. in Physical Education from the University of Utah in 1970.
On December 23, 1970, he married the love of his life, Linda (Stoker) in Winnemucca, NV. Chuck and Linda moved to Durango, CO in 1972 when Chuck was hired as the men's basketball coach at Fort Lewis College. Throughout his 31 year tenure, he coached multiple sports and developed innovative Exercise Science courses. His passion for teaching was well regarded by students and faculty alike, receiving the Alice Admire Outstanding Teaching Award in 2000, and retiring as department chair and professor emeritus in 2003. After retirement, he and Linda travelled extensively around the world, often with Chuck's sister Lael and his long-time best friend and brother-in-law Gary. His community contributions included serving as a deacon and on the missions committee at First Baptist Church, Durango School District 9-R school board member, teaching classes at the jail, and working at the soup kitchen in addition to his innumerable informal acts of kindness.
Chuck is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Linda; their children and families; Todd, Kim, August and Ada Walker of Walnut Creek, CA and Kristin, Brian, Isaiah and Hope Albright of Ferndale, WA; sister and brother-in-law Lael and Gary O'Neal; brother Lane Walker, and many nieces and nephews.
Please join us in celebrating Chuck's life on Saturday, October 23, 2021 at 10:00am at First Baptist Church, 332 E. 11th St., Durango, CO. Masks must be worn to attend. Honorary donations may be made to Gideon's International (www.gideons.org) or Living Room International (a hospice ministry in Kenya where his daughter served - www.livingroominternational.org).