James M. “Stud” Walker, age 89 years, retired longtime Vienna businessman, passed away Sunday morning, October 14, 2012, at 3:15 a.m. at his home.
He was born June 20, 1923 in Grantsburg, Illinois. Stud was the son of James and Minnie (Trovillion) Walker.
Stud was united in marriage to Ruth E. Casper on June 14, 1945 in Vienna, Illinois. Together, they enjoyed over 50 years of marriage prior to Ruth’s death on August 11, 1995.
Stud is survived by one son and daughter-in-law – Gregory Walker and Leigh Anne DeLeonardo Walker of Woodstock; a daughter and son-in-law – Jill and Charles Meyer of St. Louis; four grandchildren – Julie Schellman and her husband Chris, of Denver, CO; Jennifer Meyer and Jamie Meyer both of St. Louis; Haley Walker of Woodstock; a great grandson – Christopher Walker Schellman of Denver and a sister – Margaret Price of Metropolis.
In addition to his parents and wife, two brothers – Wade Walker and Damson “Dee” Walker, preceded Stud in death.
Stud was baptized at an early age at the Grantsburg Baptist Church. Following his marriage, however, he spent many years as a very active member of the Vienna First United Methodist Church, where he had served several terms as Sunday School Superintendent. Additionally, he served in various other positions within the church through the years.
Stud was a U. S. Navy veteran, serving during World War II. He formerly served as the Commander of the Harry Sullins American Legion Post and Quartermaster of the Beggs-Gurley VFW Post both in Vienna.
Stud’s first business venture was in the retail hardware business in Vienna. He hosted “Vienna On The Air” for 17 years on WMOK radio and was widely known for his folksy humor on this daily radio broadcast. Stud also served as manager of the Grand Theater in Vienna for a period of time. Later business ventures included the construction of the Vienna IGA grocery store as well as the Vienna Dairy Queen, which the family owned and operated for many years. Stud also was employed as a salesman and later sales manager for the Frank Thornber Company.
Stud was a very active and involved member of the Vienna community. He is well remembered as master of ceremonies for the local “This Is Your Life” programs. He was also a past president of the Vienna Chamber of Commerce and Vienna Kiwanis Club. He headed the committee that developed the Vienna Ball Park and was a longtime supporter and promoter of baseball programs for teens and young adults.
Stud was active in Republican politics in Johnson County for many years as served as County Clerk & Recorder from 1962-1966 and then again from 1970-1974.
Stud was a 66 year member of Vienna Masonic Lodge # 150 AF&AM. He enjoyed gardening, fishing, golfing and was a devoted Chicago Cubs fan.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday morning, October 17, 2012, at 10 a.m. at the Vienna First United Methodist Church. Pastor Don Meeks will officiate.
Burial, with military flag presentation accorded by the Illinois National Guard Burial Honors Detail, will be in the Vienna Fraternal Cemetery.
Visitation will be from 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, October 16 at Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna.
The preferred form of remembrance is a memorial to the Vienna First United Methodist Church, PO Box 1349, Vienna, IL 62995 or to Lourdes Hospice, PO Box 7100, Paducah, KY 42002-7100.