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Julian Rice Walker

 

 May 5, 1928  -  April 9, 2011

 
Julian Rice Walker was born May 5, 1928 to Rufus Lee and Josephine Moyanhan Walker in Lexington, Kentucky, and departed this life Saturday, April 9, 2011.

Julian grew up in Lexington, Kentucky and graduated from high school at the age of 16. He attended St. Bernard Junior College in Cullman, where he earned an Associate of Arts Degree and went on to the University of Kentucky earning his A.B. Degree in Education with an area of concentration in Physical Education. In 1961, Julian completed his Master of Arts in Education Administration also at the University of Kentucky.

Julian began his professional career as Recreation Director of the Manchester Center in Lexington, Kentucky. He then went on to Woodford County Schools in Versailles, Kentucky and was Supervisor of Health, Physical Education and Recreation and continued on to become Principal of Pisgah Elementary School. Julian spent eight years working in recreation as Superintendent of Fayette County Recreation and Parks Board in Lexington and six years as Director of Recreation for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Department of Parks in Frankfort, Kentucky. He was also a Recreation Consultant with Hunter-Knepshield Company in Lousiville, Kentucky before coming to Decatur.

For three decades, Julian R. Walker headed Decatur Parks and Recreation and for a quarter-century also directed Point Mallard, the city owned park famous for having the first wave pool in North America. During his tenure, he spearheaded the renovation of Fort Decatur, which was the old National Guard Armory, and converted it to the Parks and Recreation office and recreation center that you see today, managed the development of Wilson Morgan Park and orchestrated extensive recreation programs throughout the city at the recreation centers, ball fields and tennis courts.

Julian established the Miss Point Mallard Pageant as a preliminary to Miss Alabama and Miss America. He worked diligently with both the Spirit of America Festival and the Alabama Jubilee. One of his biggest thrills was the fourth of July in 1984 when President Reagan came to the park. He had only one week to prepare for the president's arrival. He established the first national water park association, which met annually at the park.

Julian received notable recognition as the recipient of the first Decatur/Morgan County Mr. Tourism of the Year Award, which is now known as the Julian Walker Mr. Tourism Award. It was so named because Julian not only excelled in his profession but also spent many years teaching and encouraging others in the tourism industry. In 1990, he was recognized by the Alabama Recreation and Park Association as, "Professional of the Year." He also served on numerous boards and committees during his tenure at local, state and national levels such as the Alabama Travel Council, the Alabama Mountain Lakes Association Board, Special Olympics C
ommittee, Decatur Convention and Visitor's Bureau Board, Decatur Beautification Board, National School of Arts Committee, National Aquatics School Board, Revenue Sources Management School Board and Southern Regional Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

Julian Rice Walker was a devoted husband and father. He totally enjoyed his professional career and was a wonderful grand pop. He was preceded in death by his parents, Rufus and Josephine Walker and one sister and brother-in-law, Willy Jo Ramsey and Ross Ramsey. He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Beverly A. Walker; three sons, Paul Walker (Carol), Parker, Colo., Peter Walker (Anna), Eufaula, Bernard Walker (Sandy), Franklin, Tenn.; four daughters, Patricia Robins (Rob), Ormond Beach, Fla., Jane Taylor (Steve), Bardstown, Ky., Tish Hazel (Michael), Decatur, and Jennifer Walker, Decatur; one brother, Kenneth Walker (Mary); one sister, Shirley Fuller (Wilton), both from Lexington, Ky.; twelve grandchildren, PJ Walker, Jonathan Walker, Seth Walker, Kara Thors, Lara Johnson, Carina Jackman, Blake Bernard-Walker, Clare Taylor, Julia Taylor, Mallory Taylor, Brayden Birgans and Chloe Hazel; plus four great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, 2011. A memorial service will be 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at Shelton Funeral Home.  Memorials may be made to Hospice of the Valley, 240 Johnston Street, SE, Decatur, AL 35601.
(Obituary, The Decatur Daily, April 10, 2011)


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