James Allan Walker

April 21, 1936May 17, 2018
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James Allan Walker, 82 “Mr. Lighthouse”

Jim passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, on May 17 at Cape Cod Hospital. Jim was a very active member of the Hyannis community where he lived his entire civilian life.

He leaves behind his wife Sylvia and children Jimmy and Lynnette all of Hyannis; and his sister Judy Walker Selby Van Zante of Georgia. Jim was predeceased by daughter Cheryl and son Richard.

He met and married Sylvia Fish of New Bedford (“The biggest fish he ever caught”) in 1961. They had four children: Cheryl, James Jr, Richard and Lynnette. They were married for over 57 years.

Inspired by the true life story of the Pendleton wreck, Jim joined the Coast Guard after graduating from Barnstable High School. He was first in his class for Aids to Navigation. After his CG enlistment he worked as a Civil Servant for the Coast Guard, mainly as Industrial Foreman at Base Woods Hole, and later spent a few years at Otis until his retirement.

He loved the ocean, ships and lighthouses in particular. He tried to restore Nantucket/New Bedford Lightship but when that project fell through, he acquired permission for access to Race Point Lighthouse in Provincetown. The first few years of the restoration project was done with family and friends, until the organization grew and joined forces with New England Lighthouse Foundation, later to become the American Lighthouse Foundation. Jim also designed and installed the top to Sandy Neck Light with another group of volunteers. He helped establish and maintain the Coast Guard Museum in Barnstable Village.

One of the first citizens volunteers at Barnstable Police Department, Jim spent every Friday morning there for many years.

A wake will be held Sunday, May 27, 1-4 pm, at Doane, Beal & Ames, Hyannis, along with a Masonic Service. A Memorial Service and Reception will be held at a later date at Federated Church of Hyannis.

Donations in his memory can be made to Shriners Hospital, Coast Guard Museum or American Lighthouse Foundation.


  • Shriners Hospital


  • Visitation Sunday, May 27, 2018
  • Memorial Service Saturday, June 23, 2018

James Allan Walker

have a memory or condolence to add?

Susan Jenkins Yarusites

June 19, 2018

Ty,for your kindness to my family,Jack,Marion Lawhead and my Grandmother,Frances R.Lawhead ,Myself and My daughter ,Kassie Carlson.Your families caring and inclusiveness helped so many at our Federated Church of Hyannis,Mass.Rest in Peace fine man,Soldier and Dad and Husband.

Judy Walker Selby VanZante

June 16, 2018

My brother Jim has always been part of who I am even though we lived in different states most of the time. He was the glue that kept my memories in place and going “home” to see him has been a great joy to me. Sorry I’m not able to attend Memorial services now. My sincere condolences to my sister in law Sylvia and to my niece and nephew as they celebrate the wonderful man we all remember. Love, Judy

Nancy Wentzel-Beaty-Johnson

June 2, 2018

We want to send Heart-Felt Thoughts to you Sylvia and your Family for the loss of Jim. After reading his Obituary there is no doubt he had a full filling and rewarding life.
Nancy, Mark, Ronald, Chanda, Scott, David

Mark Toomey

May 29, 2018

I had the pleasure of working with Jim at Group Woods Hole Engineering Division. Jim always helped us out with any project that came up. He had a stellar work ethic and was always able to make things happen on time and under budget. He was a class act and will certainly be missed.
God rest his soul!

CWO2 Mark Toomey USCG Retired

Susan Stankiewicz

May 24, 2018

Dear Aunt Sylvia , Jimmy and Lynnette,
At this time of loss please know that some of the happiest memories I have are those when I was spending time in the summer or when I was staying with you all. Although I did not spend a lot of time with Uncle Jim, I will always remember the Harwich police car, washing machines, baking pies, General Patton Drive, and sharing Sandy dog with him. I know we don't see each other like we used too, but you are all in my memory and my heart.

Matty Shaughnessy

May 24, 2018

Sincere condolences to Sylvia and the Walker family for their huge loss . God Bless all of you. Matty Shaughnessy and family.

Debbie ( Selby )Webb

May 22, 2018

So glad we were able to spend some time visiting last summer. Wish there were more visits over the years, but am blessed to have known my uncle and his family. RIP Uncle Jimmy, God rest your soul. ♡