Kilgore College is mourning the loss of longtime board member James Walker who died March 22 at the age of 82.
Walker was honored at the Dec. 11 (2017) board meeting for having served 20 years on the KC Board of Trustees. He served the Voting Unit #2, Place 2, North Zone (representing Gladewater, White Oak and Sabine).
He was a constant advocate for KC and will leave a legacy of celebrating student success.
“The loss of Mr. Walker and his dedication to our students will definitely leave a void. His passion for students and KC was evident,” said Dr. Brenda Kays, KC president. “He was dedicated to celebrating student success through his presence at various events ranging from graduations to athletic competitions. His legacy will definitely reflect that his work as a trustee changed student lives.”
He was first elected in to the KC Board of Trustees in 1997, filling the position of O.G. Johnston who did not seek reelection.
In 2003 and 2009 elections he was unopposed and served as board secretary from 2011-13; board vice president from 2013-17; and presiding officer of the board from 2014-15.
He won the 2015 election, defeating Jim Dunaway, and served on the board until his death on March 22.
Walker served his hometown as mayor of Gladewater and is a former president of the East Texas Pharmacy Association and Gladewater Chamber of Commerce.
Graduating from Athens High School in 1954, Walker attended Stephen F. Austin State University for two years on a tennis scholarship.
He graduated from The University of Houston Pharmaceutical School in 1959 and owned and operated a pharmacy in Gladewater from 1960-2011.
Funeral services for Walker were March 26 at First United Methodist Church in Gladewater with the Rev. Dick Dobbins and Dr. Bill Holda officiating.
Burial followed at Gladewater Memorial Park.
More about James Walker:
- Served six years on the Gladewater City Council (1969-71 and 1978-79)
- Served six years as Mayor Pro Tem for the City of Gladewater from 1971-76 as the youngest mayor of an incorporated city in Texas
- President of Gladewater Jaycees (1962)
- President of Gladewater Kiwanis Chapter (1971)
- Served four terms as Mayor of Gladewater (1976-77, 1979-82 and 1984-86)
- Won Merck Distinguished Registered Pharmacy Service Award in 1988
- Inducted into the Mayor Hall of Fame in 1995
- Named Who's Who of America in 2001
- Won more than 500 tennis tournaments and three state championships in men’s singles and mixed doubles tennis matches from 1969-94.