Garland Wayne Walker, II was born at home on December 16, 1935, in Bixby, Oklahoma. Wayne was the first of four children welcomed by Haskell and Bonnie (Shores) Walker.
Wayne was always a spirited youngster. One time he got into his moms Karo Syrup and washed his little sister Shari's hair with it. While laughing, his mom asked of Wayne, "What in the world are you doing?!" He honestly answered, "I took a notion to wash her hair." Shari didn't seem to mind, though, as she licked the syrup, as it dripped down her face. As much as Wayne could be ornery, he also did the occasional good deed. One time as a 4th grader, Wayne led the local schoolchildren in collecting paper: magazines & newspapers, to support the effort of WWII. Raised mostly in Bixby, Wayne worked at the local grocery, Brassfield's. As Wayne grew older, he would find a buddy in Pat Daily, and the two would cause a little trouble in this then, sleepy small town. If anyone was wondering who was turning over all the outhouses during Halloween, it was Wayne and Pat. The two boys together, along with Tom James, Don House, and Eddie Sager, were always getting into to mischief. A favorite pastime for the boys was to chase Wayne's little sister with worms and snakes to hear her squeal! The boys spent their fair share of time outdoors, fishing, and hunting. They would take their guns to school with them and leave them in the school office. After school, they would gather their guns and go squirrel hunting.
In September of 1953, before graduating from High School, Wayne joined the Oklahoma Army National Guard as an Infantryman. In his military career, Wayne would eventually serve a total of 11 years and three months, attaining the rank of Staff Sargent, and serving as the Infantry Communications Chief, before receiving his Honorable Discharge. Currently, his 20-year-old grandson, Jensen, is a Specialist in the US Army Infantry and has also become a Radio Transmitter Operator, just like his Papa.
While serving in the Guard, Wayne went to college at Northeastern State University, even joining a fraternity. Little did young Wayne know, but his son would later follow in his footsteps someday, attending college at NSU, too.
It was in December of 1964 that through a mutual friend, Wayne was set up on a blind date with Ellen Metzger of Broken Arrow. December 3 was their first date. When Wayne picked Ellen up, he told her she needed to scoot closer to him in the car, because the passenger seat was wet, and he didn't want her sitting on that spot. Whether it was his suave ways or simply that they were a perfect match, it didn't take long for this couple to take the next step. Before the month was over, they were married in a Broken Arrow wedding ceremony and have celebrated over 54½ years together.
In his career, Wayne would work a short time for the W.C. Norris Company before beginning a nearly fifty-year career with American Airlines, eventually retiring as a Quality Assurance Inspector. Looking back, when Wayne executed an airplane inspection, he used so many "red-card" to mark the violations, earning him the nickname "Red-Card Walker." Believe me, "Red-Card" would never let a questionable piece or part through without having it examined and usually overhauled. When asked why he was such a stickler, he said, "I mark every single thing, because my family sometimes flies on these planes."
As an adult, Wayne followed in his father's footsteps and became the Mayor of the City of Bixby in 1970. During his time as Mayor, Wayne accomplished many things such as: working on a new sewer system for Bixby, creating a City Park Department, hiring three new city employees, assisting the City to set up zoning codes and the funding for additional personnel for the Bixby Police Department. In 1971, anticipating the arrival of their son, Garland Wayne "Ike" Walker, II; the continuous late-night calls, and sometimes threats, were more than Wayne cared to shoulder. He would resign from this position and seldom look back because it was his family that brought him more joy than anything!
Wayne had an incredible knack for being able to pull something apart and put it back together again. Whether at work or a project at home, he could fix just about anything. He took wrecked cars and made them like new again. Wayne took the family home in Bixby on Stadium Rd, from 1300 sq. Ft., expanding it over the years, to eventually become over 3000 sq. Ft., doing 95% of that work himself. This included making all the cherry-wood kitchen cabinets from scratch and constructing a full brick fireplace. He made his knives, Ham radios, and built multiple pieces of furniture, often preferring to work in Pecan wood. Wayne enjoyed taking Ikie to turkey shoots where he was quite successful with his goose gun. He liked listening to Bob Wills' music, and he always enjoyed a good western flick.
Growing up, Ike says he learned so many things from his dad. Some of his best pieces of advice that Ike attributed to his dad were, "If you're going to do a job, you need to do the job right!" Another piece of sage advice from his dad, "One should always use the right tool for the job." Wayne always bought the best quality of tools to make the job at hand go smoothly. If you ever needed a tool, Wayne was quite likely to have it around. Ike's other favorite things to do with his dad were to make bikes out of bike scraps, going metal detecting and spending time at Boy Scout campouts together.
Back when Teresa was nine, she had a Bantam Rooster and Bantam hens in the backyard. That ole Rooster would start crowing at 3 am. This made the one neighbor they had angry. He'd call Wayne and yell, but Wayne would hang upon him. He thought Teresa should have her beloved chickens, and he didn't care if the neighbor didn't appreciate the early morning wakeup. Teresa says it made her feel so good when during Summer break, Wayne made sure he made time for her every day before he had to leave for his 3 pm afternoon shift at American Airlines. Wayne took her fishing or rock collecting and made sure she had her favorite Banquet macaroni and cheese TV dinner for lunch. He was quite a considerate father.
Wayne will be remembered for several things. One of those was his ability to eat and eat and never even gain a pound. His daughter-in-law always teased him that he must have a hollow leg to store all that food. Ellen said that for as long as she could remember, he would eat three peanut butter sandwiches a day. Ike said his dad would come home from work every day and scoop peanut butter into a bowl, mix in some honey or maple syrup and eat it all with a spoon!
Wayne had quite the sweet tooth, and he made sure he shared that love of sweets with his grandchildren, always taking them for ice cream and making sure his house was stocked with cookies and pounds of fudge and peanut brittle from Carmichaels before they came to visit. Kami remembers one time; the grandkids were playing miniature golf. Of course, Wayne had to buy the grandkids all the goodies! He ordered snacks and drinks for all 8 of us. Little Kami wanted to help him carry things, but because she was only seven years old, Wayne just would not let her help carry - not even her bottle of soda. She said sometimes he was just so stubborn; it was funny to hear!
Wayne is described as caring, selfless, steadfast, intelligent, stubborn, kind, generous, loving, ornery, a protector and a jokester. Wayne was a man of faith and a family man who was proud of each one of his children and grandchildren.
A husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, great-grandfather, and friend who will undoubtedly be missed by those family and friends that will remain here to carry out his legacy. And what a legacy he leaves behind.
Wayne slipped into the arms of the Angels on the evening of July 21, 2019. Wayne was 83 years old.
Those surviving include: his loving wife, Ellen; children: son, Garland Wayne "Ike" Walker, II and wife, Roxann; daughter, Teresa Scamardo and husband, Brad; six-grandchildren: Logan Walker; Jensen Walker and wife, Caitlin; Griffin Walker; Marinne Walker; Erikson Courtney and wife, Tabitha; Kamren Moose and husband, Adam; three great-grandchildren: Kylar, Zander, and Wade; and his sisters: Sherilyn Ann Smith and Mary Alice Hall.
He was preceded in death by his parents: Haskell and Bonnie Walker; brother, Johnny Bill Walker and two brothers-in-law, Jim "Bear" Smith and L. John Hall.
Services to honor and remember Wayne Walker will be held at 4:00 PM, Friday, July 26 at RiverCrest Chapel. Family will welcome visitors 5-7:00 PM, Thursday at Bixby Funeral Service.