John Sherman Walker, Jr., 86 years young, was the eldest of 3 children born to the late Lucy T. and John Sherman Walker, Sr. John Jr. was born on October 26, 1933. He entered into rest on Thursday, March 19, 2020, at Manor Care Rehab and Nursing Home in Allentown, PA.
John was baptized and became a member of First Baptist Church in Lawrenceville, VA. He attended local schools, then joined the military, serving in the army. While in the army, he met and fell-for Barbara Gaines (predeceased); both anticipated marriage. They had 1 daughter, Paula.
After the army, John returned to VA for a short time; he then moved to NY where he lived for about 50 yesrs. His various jobs included taxi, maintenance and airport work.
About 15 years ago, the search for a better NY apartment ended in a move to Allentown, PA with his longtime sweetheart, Sarah Graves (predceased). John later moved to a senior-citizen development in Emmaus, PA.
John made it his business to visit family and friends in NY, but was always eager to get back home to PA. His lifestyle there was relaxing and leisurely. He listened to radio-news, sports and politics; no television; loved R&B oldies, watched movies; and went to the casino with friends or just laughed and talked junk. He developed lasting, supportive friendships with Sadie, Ronnie and Booker T, Allentown friends who always had-his-back.
Walking kept John fit and moving. He had quit smoking and drinking years ago. The last of his (bus) trips to NY was this past Christmas (2019). As usual, he did that long walk, tapping his cane all-the-way, from the 103rd Street subway to the family house on 105th. But, this time, he said he was tired. Rarely complaining, he was upbeat and optimistic, even as he battled serious illness the past few years. Thank goodness he had his Allentown friends on those days when he needed help, or felt his worse, or even when he felt his best.
John will forever hold a special place in the hearts of many. Those left to cherish his memory include: 1 sister, Shirley McDuffie of NY; 1 daughter, Paula Reed of AZ; 2 grandsons, Tyrone Graves of NY, and Quinntin Reed of MA; 1 granddaughter, Avani Reed of AZ; 3 nieces, Brenda McFadden and Teashia Townsend of NC, Barbara Ransome of NY; 1 grand-nephew, Bernard Ransome, Jr. of PA; 1 great-grandniece, Kiana Howard of FL; 2 great-grandnephews, Shaquel and Shatiek Ransome of PA; cousins, Hulan, Connie, Ronnie Taylor and Ayesha Smith of NY; 3 great-grandchildren in MA and 3 in AZ; 1 grt-grt-grandniece in FL and 2 grt-grt-grandnephews in PA; and a host of other relatives and friends.
John was preceded in death by his younger brother, James Claiborne Walker of VA; and his nephew, Bernard Donell Ransome, Sr. of NY.
Due to Coronavirus Precautions, a memorial gathering is best held at a later date. Additionally, graveside services cannot be held currently.
The burial for John will be handled by the Fort Indiantown Gap National Cementery, Annville, PA, 9:30 am, Thursday, April 2, 2020.
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