Celebrating the life of Thomas Andrew Walker
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Thomas Andrew Walker, age 95 of Emporia, Virginia went to be with his heavenly Father on Sunday morning, September 17, 2023. Thomas loved his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, above all and served him faithfully all his life.
Thomas was born on March 15,1928 to John Henry Walker and Elma Victoria Childress. His family were tobacco farmers in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. He grew in his Christian faith attending Trinity Methodist Church and graduated from Park View High School in South Hill. Upon high school graduation, he worked for seven years at a department store in South Hill while continuing to farm tobacco until he attended college.
He attended Lynchburg College (now University of Lynchburg) where he was nicknamed “Deacon” by his classmates because of his Christian faith and character. He was also a member of the track team. After three years in college, God intervened in his life through the actions of Mr. Armisted from South Hill who encouraged him and financed a medical education that he could not otherwise afford. From that time, he never forgot this generosity and repaid it many folds with a life of generosity by funding many scholarships and college education for others.
At Lynchburg College, he met the love of his life, Barbara Hall Jones from Richmond. She also shared his love for Christ. They were married in 1955 following her graduation from Lynchburg College and while he was still a medical student. Together they shared a loving marriage and were loving and exemplary parents to their three children. In November of 2022, he was separated from Barbara following her death. They enjoyed a marriage of 67 years.
Thomas attended the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond and graduated in 1958. Thomas wanted to be a country doctor, and after completing his family medicine training, he was recruited as the first doctor in Stony Creek. For seven years he cared for the people of Sussex County and loved his years and the people there. Emporia built a new hospital, so in 1965 he moved to Emporia to continue his medical practice.
He practiced medicine in Emporia from 1965 until 2012 completing a 47-year career and a 54-year total service in medical practice. Most of that career was at Emporia Medical Associates and at Greensville Memorial Hospital where he served as chief of staff several times. When he retired in 2012, he still had patients who he had served in his first medical practice.
His Christian faith was central to his life. He was an active member of Main Street United Methodist Church in Emporia for 58 years. He served as a Sunday school teacher and lay leader.
Dr. Walker loved to watch and participate in sports and was a runner and liked to play tennis. He also enjoyed square dancing with his wife as part of the Whirlaways in Roanoke Rapids. He fell in love with Duke athletics when he was in high school after attending a Duke football game. He became a charter life member of the Iron Dukes and a lifetime lover of Duke athletics. He loved to attend football and basketball games with his family.
Thomas also loved his alma mater, Lynchburg College. In 1977, he was presented the T. Gibson Hobbs award from Lynchburg College for service to church, mankind, and his alma mater. He also served for decades on the Board of Trustees of Lynchburg College. In 2019 he received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Lynchburg College.
Among his community involvements he helped start the Greensville-Emporia Gideon Camp which included a prison ministry in the Greensville Correctional Center. He was a member and past president of the Gideons. He was also a member and camp doctor for the Old Dominion Area Council of the Boy Scouts. He was a founding member of the Hospice Board in Emporia. In 2005, he was the recipient of the Emporia-Greensville Chamber of Commerce’s Eugene Bloom Lifetime Achievement Award.
Not letting his farming skills go unused, around 1990 he became passionate about growing roses and learned everything there was to know about them and he loved to spend time taking care of his rose bushes. At one time he had almost 200 rose bushes and loved to share what he knew about them with others. He truly enjoyed sharing his roses with many different people.
Dr. Walker’s lifetime of generosity was recognized in 2010 when he received the Spirit of Giving Award for his and Barbara’s gifts to the United Methodist Family Services (UMFS); Lynchburg College where they funded the Human Performance Laboratory and the Susan Lynn Walker Scholarship Fund which is a nursing scholarship; Greensville Memorial Hospital where they funded the new rehab department with needed equipment, among a few philanthropic contributions.
Thomas was predeceased by his father, mother, brother, James Benjamin Walker, sister, Ina Elizabeth Walker, three half-brothers, William Walker, Martin Walker, Leslie Walker, and one half-sister, Annie Jones Bracey.
He is survived by his three children, Virginia Walker Castillejo and husband, Alvaro, of Lewisville, NC, Susan Walker Holliday and husband, Dallas, of Winterville, NC and Stephen Walker and wife, Linda, of Elkin, NC. He also leaves behind five grandchildren--Jordan Thomas Castillejo and wife, Elicia, of Greensboro, NC, Stephen Christian Castillejo and wife, Brittany, of Lewisville, NC, Leigh-Ana Castillejo Garrigues and husband, Jonathan, of Mount Pleasant, NC, Jonathan Walker and wife, Sarah, of King, NC, and Camille Walker of Silver Spring, MD. He also leaves behind eight great-grandchildren - Shamgar Joshua, Shekinah Gloria, and Emerald Peace Castillejo of Greensboro, NC, Bella Grace and Leighton Jude Castillejo of Lewisville, NC and Madeline Faith, Arabelle Grace, and Caroline Ann Walker of King, NC
The family will be receiving visitors at the Main Street United Methodist Church, 500 South Main Street, Emporia Virginia on Saturday, September 30, 2023 from 10 until 11:45 AM with service to follow at noon. Interment will take place following the service. A reception at the Main Street United Methodist Church will be held following interment.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to either The Gideons, Emporia/Greensville camp, PO Box 105, Emporia, VA 23847, or Main Street United Methodist Church, 500 S Main Street, Emporia VA 23847
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500 South Main Street
Emporia, VA 23847
500 South Main Street
Emporia, VA 23847
Emporia, VA 23847