Wayne Richard Walker, 94, died peacefully at home Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021. He was born April 12, 1927, in Lovell to Merl Boyce and Enola Thaxton Walker, the second of eight children.
While growing up he spent most of his time helping his father on the family farm and training horses for other people. It taught him to work hard, be honest, appreciate his parents and family and to deal with the challenges life sent his way. At 16, his English teacher had managed to get him expelled three times in a short period of time. His ag teacher got him back almost immediately each time. It was WWII, and after the third time, Wayne asked his father to take him to Billings and sign for him to go into the Navy. He was sent to San Diego for basic training. From there he was assigned to the USS Mindanao, a repair ship that roamed the South Seas repairing damaged ships just enough to get them to dry dock. He learned many skills, including overhead welding, that he used for the rest of his life.
After his release from the Navy, he went to barber school and became licensed. He then came home and finished high school, served a church mission in Nebraska and attended spring semester at BYU in Provo, where he met and married his wife, Marva Mae Smith, of more than 70 years on June 1, 1951. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple. Wayne and Marva raised six children, Marwyn, Bryce, Gayle, Lori, DeAnna and Wendell. They did nearly everything together. One was very seldom seen without the other, usually holding hands wherever they were.
Their social life centered on family and church, where they taught teens and others to dance, preparing them to perform in ward, stake, regional and world-wide all church dance festivals in Salt Lake City. Temple work was his favorite, which he did in the Idaho Falls, Billings and Nauvoo temples. Wayne and Marva served a temple mission in Nauvoo, Illinois, while in their 80s.
Wayne’s pecan, cashew and peanut brittle were famous, and he continued making it in 8 lb. batches up until a couple weeks before his death.
His entire life was one of service, and many benefitted. Lawns were mowed; snow was removed; plumbing, carpentry and mechanical work was done; and money was donated when others were in need. He tried to be a friend to everyone and did not believe in being cruel or gossiping.
Family members preceding him in death include his parents; sisters Euniece Wardell and June Wood; brother Farrell Walker; brothers-in-law Callis Wardell, Fenton Wood and Darrell Asay; son-in-law Melvin Layne; great-granddaughter Hope Walker; nieces Betsy Wardell, Valerie Wertz and Tammy Stiles; and nephews Mike Wood, Neil Wardell, Rusty Orr and Dave Rock.
Surviving family members include his wife, Marva; children Marwyn Layne, Bryce Walker and Wendell Walker all of Lovell, Gayle Schott of Denver, DeAnna (Jim) Greene of Cheyenne and Lori (Perry) Martin of Watauga, Tennessee; sisters Char Asay of Billings and Bonnie (Mack) Wardell of Lovell; brothers Dale (Carol) Walker and Dennis (Dorothy) Walker of Lovell; 24 grandchildren; 43 great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren.
There will be a viewing in the West Chapel Thursday, Dec. 23, at 9 a.m. and funeral services will follow at 10 a.m in the East Chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Stake House in Lovell. Interment will follow at the Lovell Cemetery. Haskell Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Wayne Richard Walker, please visit our floral store.