Morgan Wailes Walker Jr.
|Morgan Wailes Walker Jr.|
|Born||November 5, 1928|
Alexandria, Rapides Parish, Louisiana, USA
|💀Died||August 12, 2008 (aged 79)|
Covington, St. Tammany Parish, LouisianaAugust 12, 2008 (aged 79)
|Resting place||Greenwood Memorial Park in Pineville, Louisiana|
Businessman; Horseman; Rancher; Farmer
|👩 Spouse(s)||Sue Field Walker.|
|👶 Children||Morgan W. Walker III|
Donald Hancock Walker
(1) Walker was born into a prominent Alexandria family involved in dairying and bus transportation.
Morgan Wailes Walker Jr. (November 5, 1928 – August 12, 2008), was a prominent businessman invested in farming, cattle ranching, catfish production, restaurant management, and banking, originally from Alexandria, the seat of government of Rapides Parish and the largest city in Central Louisiana.
Walker was one of six children born to Morgan W. Walker Sr., a native of Dodson in Winn Parish. Walker's mother, the former Genevieve James (1900–1960), was the youngest of fourteen children born to Mr. and Mrs. William Calvit James, originally from Boyce in northern Rapides Parish. The senior Walker, who graduated with a business degree from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, owned Walker Cloverland Dairy, which subsequently became Walker-Roemer Dairy. Beginning with a taxi service, the senior Walker also established Trans-Continental Bus Lines, the forerunner of Continental Trailways. For a time, Walker Sr. was also the president of the Rapides Parish School Board and, from 1970 to 1978, was chairman of the board of former Guaranty Bank and Trust Company.
Walker was reared on the family plantation off Horseshoe Drive in Alexandria. In his teens, he delivered milk for the family dairy. Like his mother, he became accomplished at horsemanship. He was an Eagle Scout. He graduated in 1947 after four years of study at the defunct Sewanee Military Academy in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He soon left Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge to work in farming and ranching in Louisiana. In the early 1950s, during the Korean War, Walker joined the Seabees Reserve and was honorably discharged in 1954 from the United States Navy.
In 1970, Walker converted his 1,100-acre (4.5 km2) cattle ranch located off Louisiana Highway 28 West in Alexandria into catfish ponds. He became a pioneer in the raising and sale of catfish for consumption. He redesigned a small farmhouse on the ranch into the former Grand Maw's House, a catfish restaurant. In 1985, Walker was elected to the board of Guaranty Bank, which occupied the tallest building in Alexandria, located across Third Street from the Alexandria City Hall. The Guaranty building is now anchored about Capital One. Walker learned to fly and used his Cessna to reach family farming operations near Ferriday, a town in Concordia Parish in eastern Louisiana. He also piloted state and national politicians around the country.
In 1979, Walker acquired the Washington, D.C., franchise for Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits, based in Atlanta, Georgia. He moved his family to the D.C. area for a time and was named to Popeye's Hall of Fame. He sold his last franchise in that area in March 2007. In 1993, Walker purchased a horse farm in Clarke County in northern Virginia and raised registered American Quarter Horses. Invited to ride with the Blue Ridge Hunt, named for the Blue Ridge Mountains, he became accomplished at foxhunting. His obituary describes him as "at heart a cowboy." In 2003, he retired to the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain, where he taught disabled children how to ride horses. He was a volunteer in Habitat for Humanity.
Death and family
Walker died at his home in Covington in suburban St. Tammany Parish near New Orleans. Survivors included his wife, the former Sue Field; three sons, Morgan Walker III (born 1958), an associate professor of painting at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon; Donald Hancock Walker, a financial consultant on films in Venice, California; and John Luke Walker (born 1960), an assistant U.S. Attorney in Lafayette; five grandchildren; and brother Edgar E. Walker Sr. He was preceded in death by four sisters. Services were held on August 19 at St. James Episcopal Church in Alexandria. Burial was at Greenwood Memorial Park in Pineville.
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- "Deep Roots and High Branches: Genevieve James Walker". longrootshighbranches.blogspot.com. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
- "Morgan Walker Jr". Alexandria Town Talk. August 16, 2008. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
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