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Richard Allen "Al" Walker 1941-2005

WALKER, BAKER, JOHNSON

Posted By: David Hellwege (email)
Date: 6/23/2006 at 23:04:23

Richard Allen "Al" Walker, 64, of Absarokee, Mont., passed away Thursday, Dec. 29, 2005, at St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings, Mont.

Al was born to LeRoy and Edith Walker on Aug. 12, 1941, in Boone, Iowa. He graduated from Boone High School in 1959, where he excelled in basketball. He was then recruited by Swede Erickson to play for Casper College in Casper, Wyo. It was there that he met his wife to be, Jackie Baker, and they were later married in 1962. Al then continued on to Eastern Montana College, where he played for Mike Harkins and Nels Christiansen, and later earned a bachelor's degree in history.

Al and Jackie then moved to Absarokee where he began a teaching and coaching career that spanned five decades.

Al taught history, government, and physical education at Absarokee High. His passion for teaching history and government equaled his passion for athletics. After his first year, Al returned to Eastern Montana College to coach basketball with Mike Harkins for one season. He then went back to Absarokee and over the years coached football, boys and girls basketball and track. His coaching career was highlighted by many accomplishments, including three consecutive state football championships and back-to-back state basketball championships. He also coached football in Class C All-Star Games, Mon-Dak and Shrine games. Al had just finished his seventh summer of coaching the Montana-Wyoming All Star team. Al was inducted into the Montana Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1989 and the inaugural Eastern Montana College Hall of Fame in 1991. Al also ran the Stillwater Track Meet for 25 years and basketball camps in Absarokee for 15 years. After retiring from teaching, Al's new challenge was becoming owner of the Cowboy Bar and Supper Club in Fishtail, which he ran successfully for 10 years.

Al will be remembered for the way he touched and inspired all of those who came into contact with him, especially the student-athletes in Absarokee, whom he loved dearly. Al's bigger-than-life presence and his compassion of people were qualities that drew others to him. His sense of humor and special brand of vernacular will be imitated and remembered for years. Al also loved to golf, where he could get out and "cuff the pill."

He loved coming home and relaxing with his pets.

He was preceded in death by his parents. Al is survived by his wife, Jackie of Absarokee; his daughter, Kerri and her son Rily of Absarokee; his son, Tim and his wife Lynette and their son, Jake of Lewiston, Idaho, and son, Mike and his wife Jennifer and son Reagan of Billings; his sisters, Mary Jane and her husband Kenny Walters and family of Boone, Iowa, and Judy and her husband Jerry Johnson and family of Boone, Iowa. Al also leaves behind countless numbers of students, athletes and friends who were all a part of his family.

A funeral service to remember and celebrate the life of Al was held at 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 2, at the Absarokee High School Gymnasium.

The Al Walker Memorial Scholarship Fund at Absarokee High School has been established and memorials may be sent to PO Box 171, Absarokee, Mont., 59001.

[Source: Boone News-Republican via the WWW.]


 

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