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Theodore Roosevelt Walker was born on December 3, 1933 to Ben Walker and Julia Alberta Walker in Atmore, Alabama. He was the eighth child out of eleven. They didn’t have a lot, but they were raised to eat at the dinner table together, be respectful and obedient, do their chores, get an education, and love one another. He went to Owen Elementary, Dunbar Middle, and Central High schools. As a child, he was very smart and he wasn’t lazy. While in high school, he was in a work experience program where he learned a trade…auto shop. He would miss his lunch and physical education class to go to the work experience program. So he went to school, work and home…no playing sports or other activities with his friends. Because he did so well in school and the work experience program, his teacher, Mr. Fonville and the owner of the auto shop, Mr. Pierce, got him a job working for the government, Brookley Fields Air Force Base in Mobile, Alabama. So, Theodore Roosevelt Walker was making money at the age of 18.
When Theodore started making money, he was considered “rich.” He was able to afford nice clothes, shoes and cars. His first car was a light blue Ford. He loved that car. And the girls loved it, too. He rarely had a problem getting the attention of girls. He got Lynette Latteria Hope’s attention. He met her at 20th Century Business College. He was no longer called Theodore (unless by his family), she started calling him Ted. Before getting married, he was drafted to serve in the Army and fought in the Korean War from 1952 to 1955. They got married in 1956. On December 21, they would have celebrated their 67th anniversary. They had three children, Sherrie, Ronald (deceased) and Kenneth.
While living in Mobile, he served faithfully at Mount Olive #1 for seven years. Due to politics, Brookley Fields Air Force Base shut down. Ted Walker packed up his family and moved to Sacramento, California. He started working for McClellan Air Force Base, where he painted airplanes. He and his family attended Shiloh Baptist Church, where he faithfully served as a Trustee and Deacon. Also, he tried to get housing for seniors who belonged to the church. While working and being a family man, he obtained an Associate’s degree from Sacramento City College and a Bachelor’s degree from Sacramento State University in California.
In 1978, he transferred to Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, where he retired as a Contracting Officer in 1990. When he transferred to Eglin Air Force Base, he moved to Shalimar, Florida. He became involved with the organization, Blacks in Government. He was instrumental in getting Blacks, especially youth, to obtain jobs in government and government contracts. On November 8, 1990 he received a “Congratulations on your retirement…” from President George H. W. Bush. Because of his expertise, Ted provided consulting services to small businesses after retirement. While living in Shalimar, he became a member of Beulah First Missionary Baptist Church. He served faithfully as a Trustee and Deacon, and created, implemented and managed the WE CARE ministry. He was called to the ministry and became the Youth Pastor. He loved young people, no matter the age. His eyes would light up just being around them. He ministered to them not only with words, but with actions. He took them on college tours, as well as to Washington, D.C. In 2010, Ted Walker made his last move with his wife to Orange Park, Florida, due to his health. He and Lynette joined Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church.
Theodore Roosevelt Walker had many names…Theodore, Ted, Dad, Teddy, Theo, Pops, Uncle Ted, Grandy, Grandfather, Mr. Walker, and Rev. Walker. He loved life. He loved being a servant. All he wanted to do was make the world a better place, and he did in so many ways. He received so many accolades and awards. Although he interacted with famous sports figures, politicians and historical figures, he always remembered his humble beginning. He was very adventurous…a go getter…very persistent…a giver. He was always smiling, laughing, telling bad jokes…trying to make people laugh…trying to make people happy.
Theodore is survived by his wife, Lynette; daughter, Sherrie; son, Kenneth (Janet); grandson, Kenneth, Jr. (Damaris); granddaughter, Kanisha (Deion); great grandchildren, Kaleb, Deion Jr., Jazzaniah; sister, Mary Wilton; brothers-in-law, James Hope (Elizabeth), Winfred Hope (Betty), Michael Hope; sisters-in-law, Elizabeth Hope (the late Paul), Margaret Hope (the late Robert) and Bonita Hope (the late Alvin); god children, Ellen Joiner, Stacy Worthy, Jason Hope, Jaime Hope; adopted mother, Alveda Cooke; adopted sister, Josie Lott; adopted sons and daughters, Roy Campbell, Lee and Rene Jones, Rev. Cecil Williams, Art Blakely, Chlotia Garrison, Melissa Johnson, Jenny Broadnax, Sharonlyn Graves, Ethel Woods and Kenneth and Adrianne Lathrop; special friends, Lafayette Turner, Vercell and Myetta Vance; a host of special nieces and nephews, and many, many friends.
A special thank you to Amedisys Home Health…Stacy, Missy, Kevin and Tracy... for making him feel so special.
A visitation will be held on Wednesday, September 27, 2023 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Aaron and Burney Bivens Funeral Home, 529 Kingsley Avenue, Orange Park, Florida 32073. A Celebration of Life will be held on Thursday, September 28, at 11:00 a.m. also at the funeral home.