Cover photo for Richard L. Walker's Obituary
Richard L. Walker Profile Photo

Richard L. Walker

November 22, 1929 — December 8, 2022

Overland Park

Richard L. Walker “Dick” was born November 22, 1929 in Topeka, KS to Don T. and Elma Walker. The only child of childhood sweethearts, he was raised during the Great Depression in a home filled with love, laughter and music. He would later recount that his mother played organ, his dad sang tenor and he joined right in. He went on to sing and play his way through life, including the Santa Fe Band, Topeka Civic Symphony, Washburn University band, The University of Kansas band and symphony, United States Army bands, church choirs, ensembles and just about anywhere or anytime there was an opportunity.

Dick earned a BS in Journalism from the University of Kansas William Allen White School of Journalism in 1952 where he held positions at The University Daily Kansan and was a member of Alpha Delta Sigma advertising fraternity. Following graduation, he served 2 years in the US Army playing trombone for the 101st Airborne and 2nd Army Headquarters just outside Washington, DC.

After military service, Dick pursued graduate studies in journalism, radio and television at the University of Missouri, Columbia. It was there he met “his girl” – fellow graduate student, Carol Mitchell – he’d definitely met his match. According to Dick, he thought he knew just about everything there was to know about journalism at that point – that is until he crossed the state line and met Carol. He became one of her students in the Radio News Lab at MU and would later joke that he was able to judge his progress with his writing and their courtship by monitoring the ups and downs of his grades in “Carol’s Lab.” He succeeded on both counts – they each earned Master’s degrees and were married in a small ceremony at her parent’s home in Columbia, MO. After graduation, Dick landed a job at KWTV Channel 9 and Carol at the Hall Advertising Agency in Oklahoma City. They were off and running.

In 1957, Dick began his storied career as an Account Executive at KCMO-TV, Channel 5 in Kansas City during what he described as the early, creative, formative and fun days of commercial television. He sold and developed television advertising for many big-name accounts including Kansas City Power & Light, McDonald’s, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Coca Cola, Goodyear, Western Auto, Milgram’s and H&R Block.

Dick left network television in 1982, switching gears to become Sales & Marketing Director for Reuter Pipe Organ Company in Lawrence, KS, a custom builder of pipe organs with installations around the world, and a few years later as Senior Vice President at AMC Theaters, spearheading the very successful startup of National Cinema Network with offices around the US. He retired in 1992.

Dick and Carol enjoyed spending time with their 3 children and 8 grandchildren including family vacations to Colorado, neighborhood camping trips and fun-filled weekends at their Lake of the Ozarks cabin. They visited all 50 states and Canada after becoming empty nesters.

Following the death of his beloved Carol from Alzheimer’s disease in 2016, Dick moved to Brookdale Senior Living in Overland Park where he continued to play piano daily – most days with an audience, which he loved – and also sang in the community’s choir. He was a life-long church and choir member, attending Overland Park Christian Church, Asbury United Methodist Church and United Methodist Church of the Resurrection. During the past several years he shared the gift of music with area nursing home residents, playing piano and singing the old standards.

Music, faith, family, curiosity, integrity and learning were hallmarks of Dick’s life. He was a true gentleman, a class act – witty, charming and kind with a generous spirit and unwavering love for his family and friends.

Dick passed away unexpectedly, swiftly and quietly on Thursday afternoon, December 8th, about 20 minutes after playing a beautiful grand piano within earshot of passersby, residents and staff. His long-time wish to be reunited with his girl, Carol, was granted in an exit that was perfectly scripted. All in due time, Dad…all in due time. We love you. xo

Dick is survived by his children, Judy Walker (Mike Hodges), Linda Walker Pepin, Mark Walker (Julie); grandchildren Shelby McLaughlin (Paul), Morgan and Grant Dorris; Konnor and Gregori Pepin; Ryan and Taylor Walker. He was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Carol; son-in-law, Michael Dorris; daughter-in-law, Stacy Walker; grandson, Vitaly Pepin.

A visitation will be held from 12:30 to 1:00 pm, Wednesday, December 14th, 2022 at United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in the Wesley Chapel, followed by a funeral service at 1:00 pm. Richard will be laid to rest next to his wife Carol Walker at Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Overland Park, Kansas.

The family suggests contributions to the Alzheimer’s Association – Heart of America Chapter in memory of Carol L. Walker, 3846 W. 75th St. Suite 4126, Prairie Village, Kansas 66208 or online by clicking here.

Donations:

Alzheimer's Association
225 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago IL 60601
Web: http://alz.org

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard L. Walker, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

12:30 - 1:00 pm (Central time)

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United Methodist Church of the Resurrection

13720 Roe Avenue
Leawood, KS 66224

*Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

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United Methodist Church of the Resurrection

13720 Roe Avenue
Leawood, KS 66224

*Standard text messaging rates apply.

Graveside Service

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

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*Standard text messaging rates apply.

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