Colonel Roy Walker, United States Air Force (Retired)
Colonel Roy Walker, United States Air Force (Retired)


4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Saturday, July 6, 2024
Historic George Funeral Home & Cremation Center
211 Park Ave SW
Aiken, South Carolina, United States

Obituary of Colonel Roy Alan Walker, United States Air Force (Retired)

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     Colonel Roy Alan Walker, United States Air Force (Retired), widower of the late Lois Gayle Hill Walker, passed away peacefully on Monday evening, July 1, 2024, at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center following a period of declining health. He is finally reunited with his beloved wife of 65 years who preceded him in death on August 11, 2023.

     Colonel Walker was born on October 4, 1935, in New Kensington, Pennsylvania, a town about 30 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.  He attended Pennsylvania State University, graduating in 1957.  He was the Cadet Commander of the Air Force ROTC unit and was a Distinguished Graduate (DG) of the program.  His degree was a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Psychology.

     Colonel Walker was married to his high school sweetheart from 10th grade, Lois Hill.  The marriage took place in New Kensington on Nov 30, 1957.  They made the first of 26 moves to McChord Air Force Base in Tacoma, Washington, where Colonel Walker was assigned as a Personnel Officer.  Next was Tachikawa Air Base outside of Tokyo, Japan.  The family, now grown to 5, with 2 girls and a son (Tracy born in Tacoma, WA, Kimberly and Roy Jr both born at Tachikawa AB).  Roy was then assigned to Navigator training for a year at James Connally Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama graduating as a DG.  Next was McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey, flying C-130s and spending a lot of time in the air to Europe, Middle and Far East, Africa, and Vietnam once a month.

     Then came a series of 4 assignments in the Air Rescue Service.  The first one was the worst, to Libya for 9 months.  Lois and the children were literally about to get on the airplane to join Colonel Walker the next day when Colonel Gaddafi took over from the monarch King Idris.  Gaddafi would not let any commercial calls be made, so Walker went out to one of the airplanes, fired up the Aux Power unit, and was able to make a phone call to wife Lois through the MARS system.  He told her not to get on the airplane the next day, or the family would be living for 2 years in an old Airstream 10X30 foot trailer.  She yelled back, the connection was not the greatest, sounds like you are saying don’t get on the airplane, and he said, roger don’t get on the airplane-she didn’t.  The Walker family was offered either Moron Air Base in Spain or Lajes Air Base in the Azores and chose Spain.  Next came Tan Son Nhut Air Base in Vietnam, where Colonel Walker was assigned to the 7th Air Force Command Post as a Combat Rescue Controller.  This tour was very satisfying in the sense that some of the missions to rescue a single pilot involved as many as 500 airplanes to “prep” the area for the pickup.  Then to Pease Air Force Base in New Hampshire.

     Colonel Walker and family then went to the year-long Air Force Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama.  While there, Colonel Walker was able to go to night school and receive a Master of Science degree in Personnel Guidance and Counseling from Troy State University.

     Next was four years at the Pentagon.  Colonel Walker served the first two years as a liaison officer with the other services in developing war and special circumstances plans; he also negotiated the contracts with NASA for the Air Force officers preparing to become astronauts; he was also responsible for processing Medal of Honor applications.  Part of his responsibilities included development of a plan for emergency evacuation of military personnel and dependents from hostile environments, such as happened in Vietnam in 1973.

     The last two years he served as Executive Officer to Major General Bennie L. Davis, the future 4-star commander of the Strategic Air Command.  His major accomplishment during this time was assisting in the development of the All-Volunteer Force.  Colonel Walker was able, through night and weekend classes, to finish a Master of Science degree in Project Management through the University of Southern California.  He had started study for this degree while stationed in Spain. 

     The Walker family then was assigned to Carlisle Barracks army post in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  Colonel Walker attended the United States Army War College, graduating with the class of 1978.  For the next two years, he served on the faculty as one of the two Air Force representatives, where part of his job responsibility was to develop plans and lecture on joint Air Force-Army issues.  He then was selected to serve as the Senior Air Force Representative at the War College, responsible for supervising 20 Lt Colonel/Colonel students until his retirement in 1984.

     During his many years of dedicated service to his country, Colonel Walker was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, the Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon with Five Oak Leaf Clusters, the Vietnam Service Medal with Four Bronze Service Stars, the Air Force Presidential Unit Citation with One Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal along with many other distinctions. 

     After he retired from the military, he worked at the PA Dept of Transportation (PENNDOT) for 5 years in the Training Dept. His major accomplishment there was the development of a weeklong, off-site leadership program for supervisors, followed by a similar program for managers.  He was awarded for these efforts by Tom Larson, Secretary of PENNDOT.  Next was 13 years at Highmark Blue Shield, 11 years as Manager of Training and then 2 years as Manager of Executive Development.  Then, after 30 years in Carlisle, PA, they moved to Aiken, SC.

     He belonged to the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association (AAFMAA), Masonic Lodge in New Kensington, PA, and The Nittany Lion Club of Penn State.  He and his wife belonged to St Paul’s Lutheran Church in Aiken.

     Roy is survived by 2 daughters, Tracy Morgan and Kim (Donald) Sokoloski of Mechanicsburg, PA; a son, Roy Alan (Jackie) Walker, Jr., of Myrtle Beach, SC; 6 grandchildren, Michael Morgan, Laura Morgan, Ryan (Hilary) Sokoloski, Katie (Carson) Sokoloski Baker, Roy Alan (Gabi) Walker, III & Lauren (John) Morrissey; 3 great-grandchildren, Bryce Baker, Blair Baker, and Emma Maria Morrissey.  In addition to his wife, Lois, and his parents, Mr. Walker was pre-deceased by his three brothers Jim, Dick, and Ross.

     The family will receive friends on Saturday, July 6, 2024, from 4:00pm until 6:00pm at The Historic George Funeral Home & Cremation Center, 211 Park Ave SW, Aiken, SC 29801 (803) 649-6234. 

     Interment with full military rites awarded to the rank of Colonel will be held in Arlington National Cemetery Old Post Chapel in the fall. The date and time will be announced when final scheduling has been completed. 

     Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association, 7272 Greenville Ave., Dallas, TX, 75231. 

     Online expressions of sympathy for the family may be left by visiting 

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