Friends and family gathered recently at the Walker Ranch in Cherokee to celebrate the 100th birthday of Gene Walker, a resident of Buchanan Dam. The festivities were held in the same house where Mr. Walker was born on September 23, 1909.
Graduating from San Saba High School in 1927, he went on to attend Southwestern University in Georgetown and the University of Texas, before teaching school in Richland Springs. Several years later, when Texas A&M opened its Department of Wildlife Sciences, he returned to school, graduating with the first class from that department in 1940. He then worked for the Texas Game & Fish Commission, which later became Texas Parks & Wildlife, retiring as the Director of Wildlife in 1970.
Mr. Walker served in the United States Army during World War II. He was a member of the 304th Infantry Regiment, 76th Infantry Division.
Among the many guests were his wife, Roxie Walker of Buchanan Dam; his children and their families: Mary Catherine & John Holley of Cherokee; Matt & Mandy Holley, with Ryann & Luke, of Georgetown; Carl & Anna Holley, with Savanna & Sawyer, from the U.S. Virgin Islands; Robert Holley, who was able to come home from Iraq on leave from the U.S. Army, with his wife, Cassie, and their baby, William Justice; Kenneth Walker of Round Rock; Corby & Kris Walker, with Kolt & Carsyn, of Spring Branch; Kyle & Katie Walker of Lubbock; and Cary Taylor of Buchanan Dam.
Other family members in attendance were Steve and Carolyn Walker, Cheryl and Lou Quallenberg, Heather and Terry Martin of Llano; Shawn Walker of Austin; Jo Carol Mason & George Camponeschi of Dallas; Claudia McKneely & Jimmy McKneely of Georgetown; Jo Beth Fielder & Dorcas of San Angelo; and Lynda Bauman of Valley Springs.
Extended family and friends included Joe & Jimmie Lou Holley of Glen Rose; Sallie Ann & Gary Anderson of Carrollton; Jimmy & Nancy Shook of San Saba; Susan Niemtschk of Art; Gene Marshall of Dickinson; Sylvia Taylor, Duane & Gwen Blakeslee of Florence; Skeet Birkner of Vanderpool; Bob Ramsey & Frank Ramsey of Kerrville; Al & Dorothy Springs, Logan & Jane Frederick, Tom & Phyllis Moore, Jerry & Marie Richardson, Lonnie & Barbara Evans, Mae Carter with Allen & Alexander, and Sue Reese of Austin; Marvin & Audrey Soward, Diana Williamson of Georgetown; Cherie King of Wimberley; Pete McQuiston of Round Rock; Cynthia Goerner of Pflugerville; Michael & Lynda Randolph, Sue Rhoades, Willena McKneely, Roddy & Barbara Maddox of Cherokee; and Bob Mattingly of Buchanan Dam.
Gene & Roxie had one day to rest up after the party before they left with Cary Taylor on a week-long vacation through the Guadalupe Mountains, Palo Duro Canyon, and the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas.
Happy Birthday to a man who has inspired all of us for the past century!