John P. Walker, Jr. ’47, of St. Inigoes, Md., died July 23 in Solomons, Md. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Mary Frances “Lynne” Walker, P.O. Box 609, St. Inigoes, MD 20684; their two sons, John P. Walker III and James L. Walker; two grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and two brothers, Christopher B. ’48 and Walter P. Walker ’48.
He was born in Lakeland, Fla., the eldest son of John and Virginia Proctor Walker. He grew up on the family farm in Fayette County, Tenn. He graduated from Davidson with a bachelor of science degree in physics and from Penn State University with a master of science degree in physics in 1950.
He joined the U.S. Navy in 1942 as an aviation cadet, received his wings in 1944, and was a pilot in VF33 aboard carriers Sagamon and Chenango in the Pacific during the last year of World War II. Between 1950 and 1976, he worked for several defense contractors in the area of infrared reconnaissance systems.
In 1976, the Walkers bought their cruising sailboat, Gusto. After a “dry run” to the Caribbean the next year, they set out on their circumnavigation of the Earth, finishing in 1982. This was followed by a tour of the Mediterranean as far east as the Greek island of Samos. Sensing that it was time to retire, the Walkers built their home on St. Inigoes Creek in 1990.
He and his wife continued an active lifestyle, cruising with family and friends on the Chesapeake Bay, skiing in Alta, Utah, and traveling. He was a member of the United States Power Squadrons and the Southern Maryland Sailing Association.