HUDSON, Colorado -- Robert Freeland Walker was born Dec. 27, 1922, to Josephine Bell Brown Walker and Emmit Lee Walker at Grandfather Brown's farm located southeast of Indianola, Nebraska. He grew up in the Lebanon and Indianola areas of Nebraska. He attended country schools for three years and moved to the Lebanon area where he attended grade school and graduated from Lebanon High School in 1941.
He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Nov. 13, 1942. He took basic training in San Diego then went on to Norman, Oklahoma for mechanics school. He was in elite company during his training time, Henry Fonda was in his training company. He spent five and one half months in Jacksonville, Florida, then returned to Oklahoma for Gunnery School for six weeks.
He was then shipped to the Pacific theatre; being stationed in the New Hebrides Island Chain. He was stationed there for one and a half years. He was likened to Gruber from the television show McHale's Navy. He was a scrounger and provider for the rest of his unit.
After his stay in the New Hebrides Island Chain, he was sent back to Pearl Harbor for B-24 training. The war soon ended and he was discharged from the Navy and returned home to Lebanon, Nebraska, where he went to work for Joe Pool, farming and raising cattle.
He married Lorene Wymore in 1947, and adopted her three-year-old daughter, Arliss. They resided in the Lebanon area and had two additional children, Sharilyn and Robert Jr.
In 1956, the family moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming, where they bought their first house and Robert went to work for the Land Air Company working on aircraft sheet metal repair.
In 1957, the family moved to the Brighton, Colorado area where Robert worked for various farmers the area. In 1977, they moved to Hudson, Colorado. After obtaining a new job with Farmer's Marketing Association in Denver, Colorado, he was placed in charge of the seed cleaning operation for the company. He would remain with the company for 18 years before retiring in 1982. He continued with the company as a statewide consultant part-time assisting other grain elevator operations throughout the state.
After retiring, Robert and Lorene took to the road in the pickup truck and camper, and explored a large portion of the country on the road.
When not traveling, Robert loved fishing and hunting with his son and grandchildren. He taught them the values of what a true sportsman should portray. Safety and common sense were instilled in all his kids. He was always ready to take grandchildren fishing when they came to visit.
Once, he and grandson, Rob latched on to a 37-inch tiger muskie which had drifted down from Barr Lake. It was more fish than either of them bargained for. This scary fish had a mouth full of razor sharp teeth. They finally did land it and it was the biggest fish they ever caught together.
He shared his knowledge on how to repair and maintain cars with his son and grandsons. He was patient enough to teach his son and grandsons the value one could obtain by working one's own cars; lessons which have served them well in their lives.
Robert passed away Dec. 25, 2010, at the Alpine Living Center in Thornton.
Robert is survived by his wife, Lorene; daughter, Sherilyn Testa of Thornton; son, Robert F. Walker Jr, of Conifer, Colorado; brother, Leslie Walker of Littleton, Colorado; sisters, Burdene Kasson of Beaver City, Nebraska, and Elvira Potthoff of McCook, Nebraska; five grandchildren; and three great-grandhcildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Joan Meader; brothers, Wallace Walker and Richard Walker; and daughter, Arliss Hall.
Funeral services were Dec. 29, 2010, at Erlinger Funeral Chapel and interment was at Hillside Cemetery in Fort Lupton, Colorado with Chaplain Daryl Meyers officiating.