Richard Lee Walker, age 77, passed away on Wednesday, June 24, 2020, in Louisville, Kentucky. He was surrounded by his wife and children at the time of his death.
Richard Lee and his high school sweetheart Marsha were married in August of 1963. He attended Lindsey Wilson College before earning a bachelor’s degree from Western Kentucky University in 1966. While he and Marsha attended Western, he sold Electrolux vacuum cleaners and farmed on weekends to support his family, which by late 1966 included two children.
After college Richard would continue dairy farming while working as a field representative for Kyana Milk Producers. In 1973, he was named Outstanding Young Dairyman by Dairyman, Inc. He later served on DI’s Board of Directors. Governors Wendell Ford and Julian Carroll both appointed Richard to the Governor’s Agriculture Council.
Richard earned his real estate sales associate license in 1973. That step would lead him to a 47-year career in real estate sales, brokerage and development. He was owner and principal broker of Walker Realty until his death.
His love of Adair County and a desire to make it the best possible place to live spurred Richard to serve through public office. He was elected to the office of County Judge Executive in 1985 and was re-elected in 1989. The Adult Education GED program developed during his first term enrolled over 300 students in its first year. Richard also served as chairman of the Lake Cumberland Area Development District and the Lake Cumberland Health Department during his time in office.
Richard served two terms on the Board of Trustees of Lindsey Wilson College. He saw Lindsey Wilson as a tremendous asset to the area and was an enthusiastic supporter of the school and its mission. In 2004, Richard was presented the Distinguished Service Award by the Lindsey Wilson College National Alumni Association.
Richard is survived by Marsha, his wife of 57 years. Other survivors include his daughter Leigh Ann (Mike) Parkinson of Nashville; his son Dicky (Amy) Walker of Columbia; granddaughter Katy Walker and her husband Seth Coomer of Lexington; grandson Drake Duncan of Nashville; granddaughter Abby Walker of Columbia; sister Marilyn (Harry) Craycroft of Brandenburg; brother Billy Walker of Columbia; and a number of beloved extended family members. He was preceded in death by his parents, William Richard, Jr. and Mary Evelyn Barnes Walker.
The family will be establishing a scholarship fund for Adair County students pursuing a nursing degree at Lindsey Wilson College. While floral tributes are appreciated, a contribution to the scholarship fund may be made at the funeral home or church or sent directly to the college: Lindsey Wilson College, Attn: Donor Relations/Walker Memorial, 210 Lindsey Wilson Street, Columbia, KY 42728.
Grissom-Martin Funeral Home is overseeing arrangements. Visitation will begin at 5:00 PM CDT on Saturday, June 27th at the funeral home, 200 Campbellsville Street, Columbia, KY. Funeral services will be held on Sunday, June 28th at 2:00 PM at the Columbia United Methodist Church, 202 Burkesville Street. Visitation will be held at the funeral home from 7:00 AM to noon and will resume at 1:00PM at the church. The family encourages everyone to wear a mask at the funeral home. In accordance with church policy, those visiting the church will be required to wear a mask. Online condolences may be sent at grissommartin.com.
Casket Bearers: Bob Barnes, Jason Corbin, Lyle Miller, Brad Scholl, John Shelley and James Walker.
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