John F. Walker, a retired police officer who worked closely with community organizations, died on Friday, July 12, 2019. He was 83.
He was born on April 5, 1936 in Augusta, Georgia to the late David Boyd and Annie L. Walker. He was the second oldest of six children.
Walker attended public elementary school and Immaculate Conception Parochial High School in Augusta, Georgia, graduating in 1955. He was an outstanding basketball player and was captain of the team in his junior and senior year. Walker led the team in scoring as the team won its district and division championships in 1955.
Walker attended Tuskegee University and Fort Valley State University, where he played basketball. He was initiated into Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Upsilon Chapter in April 1959. He graduated from Temple University School of Criminal Justice in January 1975 with an associate degree.
Walker served two years in the U.S. Army/military police and was honorably discharged in 1966.
He married Elizabeth Walker on July 20, 1963 and two children were born to their union.
Walker joined Transfiguration Catholic Church in West Philadelphia in 1963 and St. Therese in 1968. He enjoyed his service as a Eucharistic minister. He served faithfully at St. Therese and Holy Cross for many years, ministering to the homebound and nursing home residential parishioners.
Walker retired from the Philadelphia Police Department in 1989. He was assigned to various units during his 26 years on the force including Street Patrol for the 19th District. For the 12th District, he was a member of the Vice Squad and served as a community relations. His final assignment was in the Civil Affairs Division, where he was assigned as a member of the security team for former Mayor William J. Green.
The division that Walker enjoyed the most was community relations where he worked closely with local community-based organizations in Southwest Philadelphia. He also wrote articles for The Globe-Times, a neighborhood weekly newspaper.
Walker felt privileged to be asked to speak to the young and older people about his career and expertise. He spoke to students in Philadelphia public schools on several occasions. He spoke seven times to the students in the Criminal Justice Program at Upper Darby High School. Walker was also given the opportunity to do a presentation and walking tour of the Police Administration Building for the law students from the Defender Association of Philadelphia. One memorable experience for him was when he was presented to the Shrine Club of Philadelphia.
Walker was recognized for receiving an Achievement Award from the Philadelphia Police Department and many letters of accommodation for his work during his years on the force. He received a citation for Outstanding Years of Service from Philadelphia City Council and the Four Chaplains Legion of Honor Award for his community service in 1980.
After a few years of retirement, Walker returned to work. He was a field manager for SpectaGuard for many years, followed by three years at Community College of Philadelphia as the manager of Security Services.
Walker joined St. Jude Council Knights of Columbus 1985, where he received his 2nd and 3rd Degrees in April 1985 and the 4th Degree in May 1986. He served in several capacities in the Council prior to becoming grand knight in 1988. He served as outside guard deputy grand knight, chairman for clergy appreciation, delegate to the Philadelphia Chapter and a voting delegate to the state convention.
During his work with the Knights of Columbus, Walker was instrumental in influencing the use of the cap and chapeaux for St. Jude’s Color Guard during Council and church activities.
He was a longtime member and bus leader of the Senior All Stars for more than 25 years. He enjoyed the day trips he organized for the group, especially the ones to Atlantic City.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Jesse Emmett.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by: his daughter, Corliss Y. Walker; honorary daughter, Heloise Johnson; son, John K. Walker (Kelly); grandsons, Tyrell W. Walker, Cailen L. Walker, Trey K. Walker; honorary grandson, Michael W. Pressley; sisters, Nina Boddie, Dorothy Smith, Laura Walker and Doreen Washington (Michael) brother, Eddie Walker; brother-in-law, the Rev. Samson Walker (Navy); sisters-in-laws, Ophelia Walker, Mary Gaines, Ellene Williams and Mattie Sanders and other relatives and friends.
Services were held July 22 at Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church, 140 E. Mt. Airy Ave. Burial will be held July 23 at Washington Crossing National Cemetery.
Emmanuel Johnson Funeral Home handled the arrangements.