Kenneth Walker was called to his heavenly home in the early morning hours of Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013. He had a very full and blessed life and even though he suffered greatly in later years; he never lost his sense of humor and joy of telling stories.
He could enter any room of strangers and know something about everyone before he left. Truly, he never met a person he didn’t like.
Ken was a tremendous athlete at West Frankfort High School, graduating in 1954 and setting many records in track, basketball and football. He was on several All-Conference and All-State teams. He loved to reminisce with old teammates about those glory days.
He won first place in acting two consecutive years, competing against the largest high schools in Chicago and surrounding areas. Then he moved on to Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Ill., where he played quarterback. He received his Bachelors, Masters and 6-year certificate in Education Administration.
Ken began his teaching career at Shelbyville, Ill.; moving on to Cuba, Ill., as Principal; to Harrisburg, Ill., as High School Principal; and then as Superintendent of Schools for 13 years at Eldorado, Ill.
Upon his retirement he fulfilled a life long dream of owning a Dairy Queen. He and Jody owned and operated the Princeton Dairy Queen for 30 years, only having to sell due to health reasons. Through the years they owned two other Dairy Queen Restaurants one in Cadiz and one in Dawson Springs. He also owned 50 percent of the Ponderosa in Draffenville.
Ken served on the American Dairy Queen Advisory Council for 10 years, representing all Dairy Queen Restaurants in Southern Illinois, all of Kentucky and 11 states to the Gulf of Mexico. He served four years as Chairman of the Dairy Queen Council and he was very active in both the Kentucky and Tennessee Dairy Queen Operators Associations.
Ken coached his sons in their sporting events and never missed his daughter’s events, regardless of how far he had to travel. He was active in Red Cross and Boy Scouts and served on the Princeton Water Board.
He was a member of the Saline County Board of Supervisors in Harrisburg, Ill., and was very active in the Democratic Party. He was a loving husband, father and friend. Nothing made Ken happier than having his family around him. He had two dogs whom he spoiled rotten, often telling his wife to “Tell Maggie to get down,” rather than tell her himself. He will be forever missed.
Ken was preceded in death by his parents, William Walker, Sr. and Muriel Whitnel Walker of West Frankfort, Ill.; sister Marilyn Krackenberger of Fla.; beloved daughter Linda Walker of Carbondale, Ill.; and his very special granddaughter Jenny Walker Choate of Cadiz.
He is survived by his loving wife of 41 years, JoAnne (Jody) Walker; first wife, Carol Mocaby of Carbondale, Ill.; two brothers, William Walker, Jr. (and wife Shirley) of West Frankfort, Ill. and James Walker (and wife Janet) of Carbondale, Ill.; two sons, Rick Walker of Science Hills and Brett Walker (and wife Trish) of Eldorado, Ill.; Kim Rice and family of Madisonville; granddaughters, Chasity Waggoner, Noel Walker and Chesney Walker; seven great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Cedar Bluff Baptist Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 105, Princeton, KY 42445 or to the charity of your choice.