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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Cloyd Walker

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

(Photo)
Cloyd Walker, a man about town, who lived a most remarkable and joyful life, died on March 20, 2010, in Dexter. He was 93.

Cloyd was born on Sept. 8, 1916, in Sturdivant to Eugene and Mary Jane Walker. He was the sixth child of nine brothers and sisters: Paul, Jessie, Cledis "Joe," Truman, Wilburn, Georgie, Wanda, Harold, and Mary Lou. Of his siblings, Cloyd is survived by his youngest sister, Mary Lou Kinder of Essex. As a boy, he worked at his father's general store and sawmill and passed his time playing baseball. In 1935, Cloyd pitched for the Poplar Bluff All-Stars against Satchel Paige's Bismarck Churchills. Of that game, Cloyd was proud to say that "Satchel Paige struck me out three times on nine pitches."

In 1943, Cloyd was drafted into the U.S. army, and he served his country as staff sergeant in the European-African-Middle Eastern theater campaign. He achieved a bronze star medal for bravery on April 28, 1944. Shortly after returning to Missouri from his military service, Cloyd met and married his wife of sixty-three years, Easter Lorene Hardgrave Walker, who survives him. Together they had three children, Myron, Myla, and Riche.

For the first nine years of his farm business career, Cloyd managed the Farm Bureau in Advance. He then began his own business, Missouri Delta Chemical Company in 1960 and grew it into the largest distributor of anhydrous ammonia in the state of Missouri. He later retired as branch manager of the Dexter Southeast Co-Op in 1984.

He lived an active life in those years that followed. He accompanied other World War II Veterans on an Honor Tour of Washington, D.C., attended ballgames with his sons and grandsons at the new Busch Stadium, and visited the World War II Museum in New Orleans just this past year. And though he traveled, Cloyd never needed to go far from Dexter to find happiness. He loved nothing more than sitting next to someone, a total stranger even, and sharing stories.

Cloyd will be best remembered for his stories, his passion for living, and his endless jokes. When asked what he wanted his grandson to say at his funeral, Cloyd said earnestly, pointing towards an imaginary casket, "Hey, look, everybody! He moved!"

In addition to his wife and his sister, Cloyd is survived by his children and their spouses, Myron and Marsha Walker of Dexter, Myla and Garry Randolph of Columbia, Riche and Donna Walker of Advance; his eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. His memory lives on within us all.

The family requests that donations may be sent to the O.A.K.S. Center of Dexter, located at 23 W. Stoddard, Dexter, Mo. 63841. Memorial services will be held at Morgan Funeral Home in Advance. Information regarding services can be obtained by calling 573-722-3535.