Photography

Willie F. Walker, Sr.

1942 ~ 2022 (age 80)

Obituary

Willie Franklin Walker, Sr.’s journey began on February 6, 1942, in Vernon, Alabama, to the union of Christian parents, Willie and Naomi Ford Walker. He was the oldest of two siblings, he and Betty. Growing up in Venice and Madison, Illinois, his nickname was “Rook.” As a young boy, Willie endeavored to make something of his life and showed signs of a life of service.

 Willie matriculated with honors through the public schools of Venice and Madison, graduating from Madison High School. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University and a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin. In 1971, this God-fearing man married the love of his life, Frizall Glasper. They were married for 50 years, becoming the parents of four remarkable children. Willie was a family man who truly loved his children and spent much time with them. This love also extended to his family in Illinois and elsewhere, which took him on many out-of-town trips for weddings, family reunions, funerals, and just pop-up or I want-to-see you visits. Willie loved sports, playing cards, and travelling. He also had a hearty appetite and was especially fond of fruits. He was a Christian man who taught Sunday school and handled all situations with diplomacy. He was also a gentle giant who turned life’s adversities into steppingstones to reach heights of grandeur for many individuals. His favorite song was, “Jesus is Love,” by the Commodores. If he could speak now, he would say, “I have been blessed and I would not have asked for one moment more on this earth. My journey has been rewarding, well spent, and complete.”

 Prior to Dayton, Willie was an executive in the Chicago Regional Office of the National Urban League and was president and CEO of the Madison County Illinois Urban League.  During his 37 years in Dayton, Willie has been known for and referred to as:  a man for all seasons, a man of change, an honorable man, a man who works in the trenches, an uncommon man with common sense, a negotiator, and an encourager. Prior to becoming the president and CEO of the Dayton Urban League (DUL), Willie was an educator. So understandably, his first passion was children and their education. He was instrumental in preparing young minds for adulthood and for getting them their first job, as well as being a mentor for the Youth and Young Professionals Programs. As the CEO, Willie was a leader among leaders and served the Dayton community flawlessly, effortlessly, dutifully, and unselfishly, always seeking to do the best for his fellow man. He was socially responsible, as well as intelligent, disciplined, and honest-minded. 

In December 2004, he organized and facilitated a capital campaign that raised $3.5 million resulting in the purchase of the former Fifth Street YMCA building for the DUL. In May 2008, under Willie’s leadership, the DUL received a rating of 4.88 out of 5 during the National Urban League’s tri-annual performance assessment (This assessment, rates how well an organization is operated.). Willie was a member of various organizations and boards and received numerous awards, recognitions, and accolades. He was also president of the Ohio Council of Urban Leagues and was one of the founding members of Parity 2000. He retired from the DUL in 2008 after 23 years of service.       

Willie’s foundation and training was the church, as he accepted Christ at an early age and became an ordained deacon at age 19 under the pastorate of the late Rev. C. D. Buchanan of New Salem Missionary Baptist Church, Venice, Illinois. He later became chairman of the Deacon Board. Willie also served as superintendent of Sunday School and drove the church bus. He was chairman of the building committee at New Salem from ground-breaking to completion of the new church. Willie was a passionate, faithful, and dedicated member of St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church in Dayton, Ohio, for 37 years, holding various positions in the growth of the church. In 2002 under the leadership of the late Rev. Sylvester Walker, he facilitated and managed the successful erection of its $2.9 million edifice on Gettysburg Avenue.

On Saturday afternoon, April 2, 2022, at Kettering Health Dayton, the angel of mercy came into the lives of the Walker family, and gently sealed the eyes of Willie, with his wife, Frizall, at his side. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, Willie and Naomi Walker.

Left to cherish his memory and celebrate his legacy are: devoted wife, Frizall Glasper Walker; caring sons, Shannon Rehnquist (Monique) Walker, Willie Franklin Jr. (Ronda) Walker, Alex Chadwick (Ayisha) Walker; loving daughter, Teresa Frizall Walker; grandchildren, Zariah, Anna, Lauren, Sophia, Vivian, Whitney, Angyneller, Bryce, Chad, Alexis and Alecia Walker; great grandchildren, Karvon Jr., Khloe and Kamryn Sampson, Alany Walker, Messiah Thompkins; siblings, Betty Walker Caldwell, Elder Betty (Rev. J. Bridges) Walker Bridges, Martha Pennington, and Willie Walker; special nephew, Lavall Jr. (Charlotte) Glasper; blended family of Monique Walker; and a host of relatives and friends. To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose; in that regard, Willie F. Walker, Sr.’s journey of 80 years, one month, and 27 days is finished, but his legacy lives on. 

Service will be held 11 am Saturday, April 16, at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, 5301 Free Pike. Visitation 9-11 am. Family will receive friends 10-11 am. (Mask Required). Service can be viewed via St Margarets Episcopal Church Facebook Trotwood, Ohio. Arrangements entrusted to House of Wheat Funeral Home, Inc.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Willie F. Walker, Sr., please visit our floral store.


Services

Visitation
Saturday
April 16, 2022

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
St. Margaret's Episcopal Church
5301 Free Pike
Dayton, OH 45426

Funeral Service
Saturday
April 16, 2022

11:00 AM
St. Margaret's Episcopal Church
5301 Free Pike
Dayton, OH 45426

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