Donald M. Walker, Jr – October 23, 1925 – October 7, 2016 – Alpine
Son of Hazel and Donald M. Walker Sr., Don was born and raised in San Diego County, a second generation San Diegan. Don spent the early years of his life at the historic Willows resort in Alpine established by his grandparents in 1894, occasionally helping to peel potatoes for dinner to serve to the guests at the resort, but mostly playing with his cousins.
Don attended Grossmont High School while milking cows at 3:30 each morning and again after school for his uncle at the Walker Family Dairy Farm in Santee, which is now the Walker Preserve Trail, a section of the San Diego River Trail.
After graduating from high school in 1943 Don joined the United States Navy. Soon after his discharge from the Navy in 1944 he started dating the love of his life, Maxine I. Wicker, whom he had met in high school.
After joining his father in the plumbing business, Don and Maxine were married in 1946. Four children followed; Donna, Glen, Marla, and Denis. Don and Maxine owned and expanded Olive Acres Mobile Home park in El Calon, built three custom homes in Grossmont and his last home in Alpine all designed by Maxine. All the while working full-time in the plumbing trades managing school construction projects as foreman.
Having joined El Cajon Rotary in 1945, he became the youngest person to serve as President of the club in 1954/55.
After retiring and moving back to Alpine on a parcel of The Willows land, he became interested in restoring antique tractors and farm equipment. He joined the Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Association Branch 22 where he and his red Farmall Cub tractor were a standard fixture in many events, such as the San Diego County Fair and the California Farm Equipment Show in Tulare, CA along with numerous parades around San Diego County. With his family being part of the early history of Alpine, he joined the Alpine Historical Society (AHS) where he volunteered to speak to 3rd grade students and regale them with stories about life at The Willows. He also pulled the Alpine Historical Society’s wagon float with his restored Farmall Regular tractor in the Alpine Parade each year. Over the years he donated historical items and photos from The Willows resort, five pieces of early farm equipment and a buggy which was lovingly restored by members of the AHS and revered by the society.
Preceded in death by his beloved wife Maxine Walker, son Glen Walker, and grandson Kayle Nichols, Don is survived by his sister Shirley Dyer of Descanso, sister-in-law Nyleene Bowman previously of El Cajon, daughters Donna Inversin of Carson City, NV and Marla Nichols of San Diego and son Denis Walker (Sherrie) of Lakeside, two grandchildren, Khayman Walker and Christine Coyle and five great-grandchildren, Garrett Coyle, Trent Coyle, Tyler Nichols, Madison Nichols and Gabriel Nichols. Friends and family are invited to a Celebration of Life on Saturday December 17, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. at South Willows Ranch, Alpine CA. In lieu of flowers please consider donations to the Alpine Historical Society, P. O. Box 382, Alpine, California 91903.
Published in The San Diego Union Tribune from Dec. 4 to Dec. 11, 2016