Bevan Mason Walker, an Imperial Valley native who had a long and successful career as a dairy farmer, died Oct. 6 as result of injuries sustained in a two-car collision on Highway 4 near San Andreas. He was 74.

Mr. Walker was born Dec. 23, 1923, in Holtville and moved to Santee in 1925, where he was reared on his family’s dairy farm. He graduated from Grossmont High in 1941, then attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for a year before returning home to operate his family’s dairy.

During his career as a dairy farmer, he served as a director of the California Farm Bureau Federation, was a member of the State Milk Stabilization Board and a director of the Rio San Diego Municipal Water District. He was president of the Dairyman’s League of San Diego and executive vice president of the Challenge Cream and Butter Association from 1964 to 1970. In 1963, when the Farm Bureau began naming Farmers of the Year for San Diego County, Mr. Walker was the first recipient.

In 1971, Mr. Walker sold his dairy and embarked on a second career as a missionary pilot with World United Missions. He performed medical evacuations and delivered mail and supplies to remote outposts, according to his son, Daniel.

In the 1980s, Mr. Walker retired to Sonora. About 9 a.m. on Oct. 5, according to a California Highway Patrol report, Mr. Walker turned left onto Highway 4 from O’Byrnes Ferry Road and into the path of a car traveling east at about 55 mph. Mr. Walker’s sedan was struck on the driver’s side by the other vehicle.

The driver of the second vehicle was treated for moderate injuries and released. Mr. Walker’s son, Daniel, who was in the vehicle with his father, suffered minor injuries.

Mr. Walker had been scheduled to depart for a church-building project in Uruguay on Oct. 12.

Mr. Walker is survived by Evelyn, his wife of 53 years, a resident of La Mesa; sons, Daniel of La Mesa and Samuel of El Cajon; daughter, Nancy Ediger of Hampton, Neb.; sister, Evelyn Hanlon, of Bend, Ore.; and 10 grandchildren.

A graveside service will be held Sunday at Alpine Cemetery, 2495 Victoria Dr., Alpine. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in Mr. Walker’s name to United World Mission, P.O. Box 250, Union Mills, NC., 28167.


San Diego Union-Tribune, The (CA) – Friday, October 23, 1998