Ralph E. Walker, 93
Funeral services for Ralph E. Walker, 93, of Wichita, Kansas, will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, March 29, 2019, at Downing & Lahey East Mortuary in Wichita. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the mortuary. Dr. Walker died March 24 in Wichita.
He was born Feb. 8, 1926, in Romance, one of the five sons born to James “Arles” and Mary “Ivy” Walker. He attended the one-room school at Romance, and sometime after his 1943 graduation from Gainesville High School, he returned to teach at Romance, where his students included some of his brothers as well as his oldest son, Mike.
Later, he served in the Army Air Corps, training to be a bomber pilot until being honorably discharged due to a medical condition.
He moved to Wichita to work in the aircraft industry and later attended Wichita State University, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education and administration. He worked as a classroom teacher and then principal in Wichita before earning a doctorate from the University of Oklahoma. He retired at age 60 in 1986 after serving as director of elementary education in District 259 in Wichita, the state’s largest school district; in that job he oversaw the work of 72 school principals.
He enjoyed traveling, and he was a prolific writer. During retirement, he and his wife, Louise, moved to Beaver Lake, Arkansas, where they lived for several years before returning to Wichita.
He was a member of Gideons International.
He is survived by Ellen “Louise” Walker, his wife of nearly 50 years; daughter Janet Link and husband Phil of Las Vegas, Nevada; sons Jerry Walker of Derby, Kansas, and Mike Walker and wife Cheryl of Wichita; step-son Mike Hardesty of Wichita; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and one brother, Gary Walker and wife Peggy of Nashville.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Russell Walker, Larry Walker and Jim Walker; grandson Jason Walker; and step-son Brian Hardesty.
Burial will be in White Chapel Cemetery in Wichita.
Downing & Lahey East Mortury, Wichita, directors.