James Danny Walker, age 74, of Perkins, died Friday, June 9, 2023 at Post Acute Medical (PAM) Hospital in Oklahoma City. As a veteran, Jim will be inurned in the Columbarium in the Fort Gibson National Cemetery at 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 20, 2023 with military honors. Strode Funeral Home and Cremation is in charge of the arrangements.
Jim, who was called "Danny" by his family in Arkansas, was born and raised in Booneville, Arkansas March 21, 1949 to Jimmy Walker and Velma Irene Bennett.
In 1967, he joined the U.S. Navy and became a communications technician and later became a cryptologic technician. Basic training was held in Great Lakes, Illinois. He attended communications school in Pensacola, Florida and was then transferred to COM7thFleet, onboard the flagship U.S.S. Providence, a light cruiser which made its homeport in Yokusuka, Japan. He was transferred to the U.S.S. Oklahoma City when it became the flagship for Com7thFleet, and, in 1968, the ship was assigned gunfire support on the offshore "blue waters" of the Republic of Vietnam. Jim was transferred to Naval Communications Station, Wahiawa, Hawaii in January 1969 due to the manpower shortage of cryptologic technicians to decode classified messages being sent from forces in Vietnam. He was stationed there until the end of his enlistment in February 1971. He returned to Arkansas for 2-1/2 years, during which time he went to college at Westark Community College and University of Arkansas. In August of 1973, he re-enlisted in the Navy. He was sent back to his last duty station in Hawaii while his security clearance was updated.
It was here that he met and married Lou Ann Pastian on December 8, 1973. The couple was transferred to Vallejo, California until his enlistment ended with his honorable discharge in 1977. After living a few years in California and South Dakota, they moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Jim began working at the Armstrong Flooring plant, where he was assigned to the print line. His son, Justin Daniel Walker, was born in Stillwater in December 1989. Jim retired from Armstrong after working there for more than 20 years.
Jim was an avid reader and his extensive book collection has been donated to the Perkins Public Library. Other hobbies included stamp collecting, Civil War re-enactment, riding motorcycles and playing games online with his son. One of his proudest accomplishments was the Bachelor of Arts degree he earned from Western Illinois University in 2000.
He experienced a sudden health issue in October 2022 which left him hospitalized until his death on June 9, 2023. His father and his grandparents preceded him.
Survivors include his son, Justin D. Walker, mother Emma Walker, brother Michael Wade Walker, sisters Melinda Jo Hiatt and Debra Lynn Tycer, and his ex-wife and closest friend Lou Ann Walker, along with many nieces and cousins.
Strode Funeral Home and Cremations is in charge of the arrangements.