d. Jan. 19, 2013
Raymond F. Walker, a resident of Davis for more than 50 years, died Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, at the age of 99.
Born in Toledo, Ohio, his youth mirrored the struggles of a nation experiencing the depression and later the war. He worked several jobs in high school to help support his mother, and left the University of Toledo when he heard that jobs were available elsewhere across the country. 1938 found Ray in Seattle, where he was hired at Boeing Aircraft.
Having attended courses at the universities of Toledo, Idaho and Washington, he worked first as a mechanical drafter, tool designer, and then as a mechanical engineer — completely self-taught. War production sent him to San Jose for work with International Mineral and Chemical, where he met Gertrude (Trudy) Peterson a secretary from Monmouth, Ill. They were married in San Francisco in December 1947.
The couple moved to Sacramento, where their four children were born: Constance, Christopher, Karen and Thomas. A licensed professional engineer, Ray worked as a mechanical engineer for the State of California in what would become the Office of Architecture and Construction. The family moved to Davis in 1961 where the children attended local schools. He retired from the State in 1976. On July 4, 1976 he planted the acorn that is now the giant oak tree in the front yard of the family home on Mills Drive.
Ray was a quiet, studious and conservative man — honest, deliberate and charitable in his dealings with other people, patient, even-tempered, and instructive with his children, calm and responsible in all his activities. An avid bowler and a cultivator of his citrus trees, his early hobby of black-and-white photography resulted in some wonderful large photos of his wife and children.
Years later, he returned to a talent for drawing and began to paint in oil — many wonderful pieces grace the family home to this day. Ray passed on his love for books and old bookstores, and liked nothing better than book sales at the Davis library. Travelling throughout the U.S. with Trudy, he saw spectacular scenes in his beloved West. He took great pleasure in the adventures and exploits of his children and found in later years the special delights and rewards of knowing his grandchildren, Anne Walker Fogerty, 24, and Evan Thomas Walker, 18.
Ray’s life spanned a century of spectacular transformation in technology, society, and information; he witnessed it all with reserved enthusiasm. He leaves behind Turudy, his wife of 65 years, of Davis; daughters Constance (Randolph Fogerty) of Minneapolis and Karen of Sonoma; sons Christopher (Gloria Guzman-Walker) of Sacramento and Thomas (Vicki Walker) of Davis; granddaughter Anne of Calistoga; and grandson Evan of Davis.
In remembrance, plant a tree — make it your personal tree and take care of it. — “The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” (Nelson Henderson).
Services will be held on Friday, Jan. 25, at 1 p.m. at St. James Church, 14 and B streets in Davis, CA followed by graveside services at the Davis Cemetery, 820 Pole Line Rd., Davis.
Those who wish to sign a guestbook online may do so at www.wiscombefuneral.com