Michael Neal Walker
3/29/1941 - 9/3/2021
Michael Neal “Mike” Walker, 80, of Kerrville, Texas, passed away peacefully into the presence of his Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:8) on Friday, September 3, 2021. A formal celebration of life will be held at 2 PM, December 18, 2021, at Trinity Baptist Church, during the college school break so all the family can attend. This event will include virtual live feed access, for those who might not be able to attend.
Mike was born in Fort Worth, Texas and was preceded in death by his parents and baby daughter, Kari Lynn. He is survived by his loving wife, Ginny, his younger sister, Suze, his sons, Chris, Mark and Dustin, two daughters, Tiffany and Heather and their spouses, eight grandchildren.
He was a man who loved the Lord, his wife, all his family, especially his grandkids and friends deeply and passionately to the very end and now for all eternity. He was truly larger than life. He recognized he made mistakes and tried to overcome and learn from them.
His smile and grin could light up a room and fill it with joy. He was a devoted big brother and loved and cared very much for his little sister. He adopted many individuals “by heart” as they say. He called many a person brother or sister and meant it. He tried hard to make people happy and to love as Christ loved (Ephesians 5:1-2) and his presence will be truly missed.
He had an adventurous spirit. Many a story will continue to be told of what was known as, “Adventures with Mikey.” Those adventures included, 1st place Endurance Team motorcycle racing at Texas World Speedway, trips to race and watch motorcycle competition at Daytona International Speedway and unofficially a little street racing across Texas in the later 1970’s and early 1980’s, so the stories go.
He enjoyed numerous motorcycle cross-country trips with friends and family to Colorado, New Mexico, a once in a life-time solo trip up Highway 1 in California into Canada and back down the heart of the United States. One of his favorites was his many trips with friends and family to Big Bend National Park and West Texas.
He was a graduate of Texas A&M University in 1963 and proudly called himself an Aggie. He was a member of the Aggies Corps of Cadets in the Squadron 11 Unit and continued to enjoy Saturday Aggie football and alumni fellowship and close friendships till the day of his passing. He was maroon and white to his very core. Knowing this, there will be a proper Aggie memorial tribute at his celebration in December.
He was a good garage mechanic and loved working and tinkering on motorcycles and old cars. His favorite was his old ‘40 Ford Flat-head V8 Engine, with chrome-plated grille, bumpers, trim and hubcaps,” which he took to Texas A&M University.
He shared many stories of working on cars and building motorcycles with his cousins, Jerry and Tony as young men. He repaired and built motorcycles that he raced. He had a passion for anything that could introduce adventure and challenge into life. In Kerrville, he is most recognized when he was driving his “Dusty Old Brown Van.”
From 2001 to around 2018, Mike faithfully ran a Sunrise Lion’s Club flag route. He loved and honored “Old Glory” and the Texas Flag on many holidays. In his dusty old brown van (its name is Dusty), as his wife would drive, he would hang out the open door of the van with a flag in hand, ready to step out and plant the flag before popping back in to go to the next stop. Each year Mike and a crew of Kerrville Sunrise Lions would proudly put out hundreds of flags during federal and state holidays to honor and pay tribute to this country and for the many brave men and women who have fought and died for our freedom.
Mike loved music and singing and sang bass in the Faith Christian Church choir up until the last few years, when traveling for treatments took him away from his church activities. Over the years, he would volunteer and took pride in serving on many church boards during his 41 plus years of living in Kerrville. His last service was as an active Elder and Board member of Faith Christian Church, Kerrville, where some of his most rewarding years of service and ministry was the time spent teaching and leading an adult Bible Study group at Faith Christian Church.
He loved music and promoting ways to encourage young musicians. He never learned to play an instrument; he had hoped to learn to play the fiddle someday. He was a founder of the Kerrville Jimmie Rodgers Jubilee, and in 1987 became a founding board member of the Texas Heritage Music Foundation which continued the tribute to Jimmie Rodgers. "September 17, 2021, 11:30, at The Trailhead, the Jimmie Rodgers tribute will be dedicated to Mike Walker," declared Dr. Kathleen Hudson, producer of this event.
Besides his music, he loved to cook, and he did cook many a dish well. Prior to coming to Kerrville, he quit architecture for a season, and he established, owned, and operated the Old Abbott School House and Gadabout Dining Establishment, Houston, Texas, where the headlines of the Houston Business Journal (August 16, 1976, weekly addition) proudly boasted, “Old Abbott School: A search for the perfect hamburger over.” This was an understatement; they were better than perfect burgers.
He had family residing in the Kerrville and the clean air and simpler life of the Texas Hill Country caused him to relocate with his then wife, Kat, and son, Mark, to live in Kerrville in 1980. He purchased and was the first to restore the 1915 SA&AP train station (known as “Rails” today) and created a family-operated Old Kerrville Depot and Gadabout Dining Establishment which to this day many locals share fond memories of tasty food and good fellowship.
When he wasn’t cooking or riding his motorcycle around the Texas Hill Country, he loved to design, create, restore, and renovate homes and buildings via his license in Architecture. These three things were his life’s work and tangible legacy. Loving life and those in his life, even if for a moment, that was his greatest enjoyment.
On a more professional note, Mike Walker went to Reagan High School in Houston. He graduated from Texas A & M University in 1964 with a Bachelor of Architecture; he has been providing professional architectural services to the Texas Hill Country since 1980. Walker, Texas Architect, has been a licensed architect since 1967. Prior to relocating in Kerrville, he practiced in the Houston area, occasionally venturing back there for projects of interest.
His architectural graduate thesis was centered around developing a master plan for the City of Orange, Texas, including Central Business District Plan, Preservation Plan, Convention Center and City Hall design, subsequently implemented by the Chamber of Commerce and City of Orange, Texas.
From 1965-1972, he was employed as an Associate Architect, with Denny & Ray Architects, Houston, Texas. His employment involved all phases of architectural design and construction of commercial, residential, historical, public buildings and schools. Active in the Houston Junior Chamber of Commerce as Director, Vice-President, and President (1971), he organized and programmed National Pollution Control Conference and Exposition and created Jaycee Urban Development Foundation to sponsor construction of a $3.8 million low-cost housing complex. He was employed by the Astrodomain Corporation as Manager of Facilities Services at Astroworld where he acted as manager, developer, designer, coordinator, contractor, and supervisor for over 100 creative and maintenance employees.
Over the years, his charitable and volunteer service has included service on boards of: Texas Air & Water Resources Foundation, Central Presbyterian Church, Theater Under the Stars, Houston Area Forum, Vice-President - Harris County Young Republicans, Treasurer - Houston Chapter of American Institute of Architects. Hill Country C.A.R.E.S. (Building Chair), Dietert Senior Center (Secretary), St. Paul's United Methodist Church (Board of Trustees Chair and Pastor/Parish Relations Committees), Hill Country Crisis Council (Secretary), City of Kerrville Sign Ordinance Committee and Hill Country Emmaus Community Board Member (Secretary), Kerrville Sunrise Lions Club (President, Treasurer), Annual Easter Festival and Chili Classic (Chairman).
A couple of years ago, he laid out perpetual plans in which, instructions after his passing to his heavenly home, “his promotion” (as he and his wife, Ginny, affectionately called it), was to share that in the last year, they both found comfort in leaning heavily upon the knowledge and peace found in James 1: 2-6 (NIV), please remind yourself of these truths often when faced with Trials and Temptations:
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”
It is with heavy hearts that we are preparing to say our final good-byes and celebrate a life lived in service and hope of making a difference. Mike would hope that prayers and spirits are lifted, rejoicing with the angels in heaven that another saint has gone home. We find comfort in knowing that scripture promises, for those who have called upon the Lord (Romans 10:9-13) and committed their lives to Christ, as was true for Mike and all who believe, (2 Cor 5:8) "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord," and to that we find peace in knowing that it will not be long before we meet again, Mike Walker!
(2 Peter 3:8 NIV), “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the LORD a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” His wife, Ginny, reminded him many times, “don’t get too comfortable up there, because in a blink of an eye, we’ll see you again!”
Mike’s final prayer for all: May God Bless you each and everyone. May you know the peace and joy in a Life lived in and for Jesus Christ. May He draw you closer to Him each and every day! ~ May you be blessed with God’s Love, Peace and Joy ~ Mike Walker
His wife and family would like to personally thank the wonderfully caring staff of Peterson Hospice for the exceptional level of care and compassion they delivered over the last few weeks to Mike, before his passing. They gave over and beyond in the call to service for our grieving family. His wife would also like to thank all those in the medical community, both Kerrville and Fredericksburg, who helped in his care. Mike was truly blessed to have benefited from the professional and compassionate medical care he received during his final journey this last year. Bless you all!
For memorials and in lieu of flowers, the family has asked that memorial donations be given to the local Texas Veterans Assistance Dogs of Texas (VADogs.org) or to Peterson Health Foundation, specifically for the Peterson Hospice care program either one in the name of Michael N. Walker. ~ Gig’em!
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