John "Jack" E. Walker
June 24, 1918 – October 30, 2018
John "Jack" E Walker, age 100, passed away October 30, 2018 at the side of his beloved wife, Bettie, of 74 years. He was born in Birmingham, AL on June 24, 1918. Jack graduated from Phillips High School and attended Auburn University for two years before returning home to work due to the Depression. Jack joined the US Army Air Corps in 1942 where he learned to fly and glide land a glider airplane, with the dangerous job of flying troops into battle behind enemy lines. Jack was a Flight Officer and served until October 1945. While flight training in Plainview, TX, he met his precious Bettie on a blind date. They were married in Bennettsville, SC on August 1, 1944, which is where they renewed their vows 70 years later. Jack was deployed 8 days after they were married and returned home one year later, right before their 1st anniversary. After the war, Jack spent his working years in the wholesale plywood distribution business. He worked with Birmingham Sash & Door, Evans Products, Wickes Corporation, and opened his own company, Walker Plywood with several warehouses in Alabama. Jack was appointed President of the National Plywood Association in 1962. Throughout his life, Jack was very active in church activities, teaching Sunday School and leading Bible Studies. Jack and Bettie both spent much of their time giving back to the community by volunteering with the Red Cross, working in the clothes closet at the Church of the Reconciler and Oak Mountain Mission, as well as tutoring school children through the Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church tutoring program. Jack also loved gardening and landscaping, playing golf and bridge, and beating his wife in gin rummy. The delight of Jack's heart was spending time with his wife, 7 children, 12 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. Jack celebrated his 100th birthday on June 23, 2018 at Vestavia Country Club, where he and Bettie have been long-time members. It was a wonderful celebration of Jack's life with many family and friends in attendance. Jack was predeceased by his parents, Richard Anthony Walker and Alice Biddle Walker, his sisters Mary Jennings and Helen Ratcliff, his brother Richard Walker and his infant daughter Susan. Jack is survived by his wife Bettie Day Walker; sons, James Richard Walker (Helen), John Edward Walker, Jr. (Charlotte); daughters Day Walker Weitzman (Alan), Nancy Walker Herzel (Larry), Mary Walker Pool (Bennette), Peggy Walker Barnes (Ron), Janet Walker Whatley (Bill); grandchildren, Elizabeth Walker Fry (Robert), Ryan Walker Graham (Jon), John Edward Walker, III (Kennedy), Robert Winston Weitzman, William Walker Thompson, Lauren Thompson Spicer, LeeAnn Ruff Davis (Paul), Lindy Ruff Payton (Shane), George Gamble Ruff (Jenn), Ronald Howard Barnes, Jr., John Whitman Barnes, and Jackson Paul Whatley; along with 13 great grandchildren. Services will be held Friday, November 2 at Mountain Chapel Church. Visitation will be held at 9:00 a.m. followed by a memorial service at 10:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Oak Mountain Missions, 2699 Pelham Parkway, Pelham, AL 35124; Mountain Chapel United Methodist Church, 2541 Rocky Ridge Road, Birmingham, AL 35243; and Big Oak Ranch, P.O. Box 507, Springville, AL 35146.
- Visitation Friday, November 2, 2018
- Memorial Service Friday, November 2, 2018