On September 11th, 2022, in Jackson WY, surrounded by his loving family, Christopher Bland Walker Sr., sailed over the horizon, after attaining the ripe, prime number of 97.
Christopher was born July 25, 1925 in Lakeland, FLA, of John P. and Virginia Proctor Walker. He and his two brothers grew up on a farm in Collierville, TN, riding a mule to the school bus every morning.
During WWII he volunteered and spent a year in the Merchant Marines (one trip as mess boy on a freighter in the S. Pacific was enough for him), then two years in the Army Infantry, where he acquired a Combat Infantry Badge, a Purple Heart, with a final rank as Staff Sergeant in the 95th Division.
He received a B.S. from Davidson College in 1948 [valedictorian] and, three years later, a Ph.D. in Physics from M.I.T. in Cambridge, MA. After being awarded a Fullbright Fellowship Chris spent a year in Paris and then returned to M.I.T. as Instructor in the Physics Dept.; and then spent ten years doing research at the University of Chicago in the Institute for the Study of Metals. In February 1963 he accepted a Guggenheim Fellowship at the Harwell Atomic Energy Research Establishment in England for the next two years. Upon returning to the U.S. he took a Civil Service job as Research Physicist in the Army Materials & Mechanics Research Center in Watertown, Mass., where he studied x-ray crystallography for the next twenty years.
Although Chris lived in many interesting places he spent the majority of his life with his wife Helen ‘Nell’ McDill Walker (married in San Francisco ’61) living, working and raising their three sons: Chris Jr., Alex, and Bruce, at 22 Baskin Rd. in Lexington, Massachusetts. When not busy with the academic/research aspect of his life Chris enjoyed many hobbies and outdoor adventures with friends and family. Skiing in Vermont, the Alps of Europe, or in the Western Rockies, (primarily Jackson Hole, but rumor has it he met his beloved wife Nell by colliding with her on the slopes of Alta, UT). Sailing was also of great interest to Chris who, together with Nell, accompanied friends and family on different voyages primarily in the New England region, with occasional forays to further distant shores. We miss him and wish him a safe journey.
For a more detailed obituary please visit: https:// www.jhnewsand guide.com/valley/obituaries/walker-97-a-singing-scientist/article_fdcc0539-8cf4-51f4-ad41-698553766b5d.html
There will be a celebration of C.B.’s life at First Parish Church, Sunday October 30th at 2 pm.
He is survived by his brother Walter P. Walker (Mary-Francis), three loving sons Christopher Bland Walker Jr. (Heather Morrison), Alexander McDill Walker (Christine Warren) and Bruce Woodward Walker, grandsons Tenzing and Qiu Walker and many nieces and nephews.In lieu of flowers please donate to causes Chris supported: Doctors Without Borders: https://donate.doctorswithoutborders.org/secure/onetime-donate
Alzheimers Research: https://www.alz.org/get-involved now/ advocate/ research-funding Native American Rights Fund: https://www.narf.org/
Nature Conservancy: https://www.nature.org/en-us/