A Memorial service is to be held on Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 10:30 am at First Baptist Church of Eastland held under the direction of the Summers- Bakker Funeral Home in Eastland to celebrate the life of Dale Wayne Walker of Carbon, Texas. Dale passed from this earth on his 85th birthday at M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston, TX with his family by his side. His warmth and gentleness will be missed by all who knew and loved him.
Dale was born near Carbon, Texas on November 2, 1924 to William Elmer “Slick” and Mary Gertrude “Cricket” Walker. Following high school, he attended one year at Texas A&M before enlisting in the Army Air Corp. During WWII, Dale was stationed in Polebrook, England with the 351st Bombing Squadron of the 8th Air Force. He flew 35 combat missions over Europe, functioning primarily as a tail gunner. He was also awarded a meritorious combat medal for actions taken during his 17th mission when his plane was shot down over France. Dale’s military service was always a source of humble pride for both him and his family.
Following the war, Dale worked for Western Telegraph in San Antonio where he met and married Tena Riddle of Polar, Texas on November 22, 1947. A daughter, Cindy, was born in 1949. The family subsequently moved to Odessa in 1951 where Dale began his 33 year career with Gulf Oil Company. His duties there ranged from engineering to geology, and he worked at various localities
across the booming West Texas Oil patch. A son, Kent, was born in Odessa in 1961.
Dale and Tena’s life consisted of hard work and their kids’ activities. Dale was never more in his element than when working with kids, whether as a baseball coach, Sunday School teacher, or chief carpenter for many dance recitals. He simply saw the good in all children. Also, during this period, Dale found time to establish a successful upholstery company and for many years was the upholstery instructor at Odessa College.
In 1985, Dale and Tena returned to Carbon where he began a new chapter in life as a pecan farmer and community leader. He served as city councilman and mayor pro tem of Carbon. He was chairman of the Leadership Advisory Board of the Agricultural Extension Service and also worked with the Eastland Historical Commission. Dale was a past deacon of the First Baptist Church of Eastland and especially loved to work in the nursery.
Dale was preceded in death by his parents, Slick and Cricket Walker, his sister, Lila Ussery of Weslaco, TX and daughter, Cynthia Dale. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, his son, Kent and wife, Ginger of Tyler, TX, and brother, Monte Walker of Hobbs, NM. He also has two grandsons of whom he was especially proud, Collin and Sam, of Tyler, TX.
The family would especially like to thank Dr. Jivesh Sharma of Dallas, TX for all his help during Dale’s brief illness. In lieu of flowers, it is requested that donations be made to the Eastland Memorial Library, 210 S Lamar, Eastland, TX 26448.