James Walker was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, April 14, 1934 to Rose “bud” Walker McQueen and Sylvester Walker (deceased) and was named after New York city mayor J. Jimmy Walker, the famed anti-prohibitionist. Jim’s parents were hard workers, and for a time he was raised by his loving grandmother Grace Brown in Atlantic City along with his brother William and sister Delores (deceased). Jim also considered himself a country boy, as he spent most summers with his mother’s parents Josephine and Walter Christie. Walter took Jim under his wing and taught him the trades of undertaking, shoe shining, newspaper jockey and film operator.
Jim held several jobs over the years including serving his country as a private in the army from 1957 to 1958, becoming head chef at Bellevue hotel, and Executive Chef of catering at Presbyterian hospital. Later he was promoted to Executive Director of Environmental services, holding this position for 30 years at Presbyterian Hospital. He served as Executive office for the Environmental Management Association, winning the award for service recognition in 1977 and 1978. In 1987 he resigned to take a position with the YMCA of Abington, serving as their facilities director for 15 years before finally retiring in 2003.
In 1958 Jim met and married the love of his life, Doris Lee Yates on November 21, 1958. Together they raised James Michael, Alimah “Lee” and Alisa “Lizzie” and lived in happy Matrimony for 52 years. Jim was a devoted husband and inspiring father and could always be counted on for endless practical jokes, a shoulder to cry on, or an emergency call for help. Jim and Doris raised their family in Germantown on Queen lane where Jim was the longest running block captain in the city of Philadelphia, serving his neighborhood for 38 years. In 2010 Jim’s beloved Doris passed away, and he found comfort in friends and community. He joined Enon Baptist church, and was baptized in the faith July 27, 2010.
In addition to his children, Jim is survived by his devoted son-in-law Steven Hansen, a daughter in-law, Tonya Walker, and grandchildren Kennisha, Kaitlin, Kuron, Anthony, Cedric, Alexandra, Tamara and great grandson Elijah Francis Walker. He also survived by sister-in-law Dorothy Mae Dillard, nieces Deborah Dillard, Kearston Dillard-Scott, Tammy & Tracie Yates, Sylvia, Bonita and Marie Walker; Nephews Linwood, Demetrius and Daniel Dillard, and a host of grand nephews, nieces and neighborhood friends.
A private memorial will be held at the family's request.
The family would like to request donations in honor of James Walker to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America and Liver Foundation.
Alzheimer's Foundation of America:
Cards and flowers may be sent to the family at the following address:
350 Harford Road
Somerdale, NJ 08083
229 West Upsal Street
Philadelphia, Pa 19119
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Walker, please visit our floral store.
American Cancer Society
P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City OK 73123