Mr. Lee Henderson Walker, Sr. formerly of Burr Ridge, Illinois, died at age 80 on Thursday, November 8, 2018 after a long- extended illness and surgery in Montgomery, Alabama surrounded by his children and family.
Mr. Walker was born in Troy, Alabama on October 6, 1938 to the late Mr. Amos Pick Walker and Ms. Lois Bean.
Mr. Walker grew up in the Troy and Brundidge area where he was raised by his beloved late grandmother Mrs. Dora Lumpkin and his great aunt Mrs. Gussie Warren. This is where he began his lifelong love of books, education and learning as they taught him the importance of education. He attended Oakland Street Elementary School and Academy Street High School in Troy before attending Alabama A&M and then Alabama State Universities. Once in college among other well-read and academic minded people, Mr. Walker began to also develop his next lifelong passion, a love of civil rights and conservative economic minded politics. Mr. Walker met and worked with many of the civil rights heroes while attending school at Alabama State in Montgomery, such as and the late E.D. Nixon and the late Dr. Martin Luther King. Mr. Walker was one of dozens of students who volunteered to guard Dr. King’s residence on Jackson Street in Montgomery, Alabama during the turbulent civil rights era.
Mr. Walker like a lot of young educated blacks of his time felt it was easier to fight the civil rights battle from a position of economic strength which he felt could not be achieved in the deep south during this time. He made the decision to move north early in 1959. By then he had met and married a young and beautiful Montgomery High School senior, Ms. Patricia Ann Howell late in 1958. He took his young bride to New York to begin his life outside of the deep south. To this union Mr. Walker’s five children were born; Coella Danette, Regina Bernadette,(Deceased) Janine Yvette, Lee Henderson II, and Darryl Gardner Walker.
After trying to get established coming from the south with literally nothing, Mr. Walker although educated, took janitorial jobs in hospitals in order to live and support his wife and young family. Mr. Walker continued his education at Fordham University at night while working during the day to support his family. He began his professional career entering corporate America through a position he landed with the Winston Muss Company. This was the door he had been planning and waiting for his entire young life. With a degree in economics, Mr. Walker’s career began to thrive and he obtained other positions until he began work with the Sears Corporation in the late 1960’s. Mr. Walker continued his career with Sears as a Senior Buyer and Logistics Administrator until he took an early retirement in 2000.
Late in the 1960’s Mr. Walker’s first marriage ended and he then later married Ms. Audrey Rose Davis of New York in 1968. Lee and Audrey remained married until her death in April of 2013. Mr. Walker never lost his love of reading, education, civil rights or politics. He nourished all of his passions throughout his life. His crowning achievement in his political career was being named as the State Republican Chairman for the State of Illinois, serving in that position for many years. During that time, he and Audrey attended many Presidential Inaugurations including President Ronald Reagan’s and President George H.W. Bush’s inauguration. Upon his retirement in 2000 from Sears, he devoted most of his time to writing books and and articles as a political strategist, civil rights historian and economist. Over his lifetime, Mr. Walker collected and owned one of the largest personal civil rights and post slavery libraries in the country. His children have donated his library and some of his art work to the Archives of Alabama State University.
Mr. Walker is preceded in death by his beloved grandmother and great aunt who raised him Mrs. Dora Lumpkin and Mrs. Gussie Warren; parents Mr. Amos Pick Walker and Mrs. Lois Bean Carlisle, his wife and lifelong companion, Mrs. Audrey Davis Walker; siblings Ms. Clara Ribarto and Mr. Joe Carlisle and his beloved son- in- law, Mr. Lamar Judkins.
Mr. Walker leaves to cherish his memory, his beloved children, Mrs. Coella Walker Judkins, Montgomery, AL, Mrs. Janine Walker Conway (Jerry) Birmingham, AL, Mr. Lee Henderson Walker, II, (Diane) Montgomery, AL, Mr. Darryl Gardner Walker (Eileen) Columbus, GA; a stepson Mr. Max Andre DeRoche’ San Antonio Texas; his first wife and caretaker, Mrs. Patricia Howell Walker Montgomery, AL; his beloved grandchildren, Ms. Regina White, Ms. Alesha Judkins, Mr. Tarvis Judkins, Mr. Cedric Judkins (Gatria), Mrs. LaQuita Smith (Anthony) Ms. Elicia Walker, Mr. Darron Walker, Mrs. Christina Arnold (Demond), Mr. Lee Walker, III; his greatgrandchildren, Mistress Kenedy Judkins, Mistress Deonna Arnold, Master Noah Judkins and Mistress Noriah Judkins; his brothers, Mr. Andrew Robinson, Troy, AL and Mr. Robert Carlisle (Anna) Sylacauga, AL ; his sisters Mrs. Coella Sutton and Mrs. Myrtle McKinney, NY, Mrs. Queen Atherly, FL and Mrs. Florence Tucker (Tim) and Mrs. Elizabeth Bell of AL.
Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, November 17, 2018 at Noon with visitation starting at 11:00 am at White Chapel-Greenwood Funeral Home in Montgomery, Alabama.