Stephen Edward Walker Sr.
Stephen “Steve” Edward Walker, Sr., 93, of Mascoutah, Illinois, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, passed away at Bria of Mascoutah, on Sunday, October 16, 2022, after years of loving care from family, friends, and the warmhearted staff of Bria.
Steve was born at his childhood home on Aldrich Road in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on July 24, 1929, which he shared with his parents and two older brothers. Steve attended Portsmouth schools where he played football and was captain of the Portsmouth High School track team, where he broke the state record for indoor long jump. He then went to the University of New Hampshire where he was a member of the UNH track team, as well.
Steve was introduced to his future wife, Marion Watson, by his cousin, Florence “Pat” Holland, who was a neighbor of Marion’s in the Atlantic Heights of Portsmouth. Marion saw Steve’s high school senior picture in Pat’s living room and asked, “Who’s that handsome guy?” Introductions were made and the rest is history. On April 13, 1949, the couple married and lived in the Atlantic Heights while raising their first two children. Upon graduating UNH in 1951 with a degree in accounting, Steve was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force. Steve and Marion had three more children and traveled as an Air Force family—living at bases in New Hampshire, England, Turkey, New York, Japan, and Illinois. After retiring from the USAF in 1971, the family moved to Mascoutah, Illinois. Steve accepted a position as a chief auditor with the Veteran’s Administration in St. Louis, MO, where he worked until he retired in 1991.
Steve and Marion lived in Mascoutah for decades where they established a lifelong bond with neighbors, Donnie and Kay Ostrom, and their children. Together, with other close neighbors Bob and Jeannie White, the couples had regular get-togethers and multiple adventures. Steve and Marion also spent their retirement years going on several cruises with daughter Patty’s family. They frequently traveled to Virginia and New Hampshire to enjoy family visits and celebrate holidays. With his signature New England accent (which he refused to give up), Steve, the resident punster and entertainer, loved nothing more than being in the company of those he held dear.
After the death of his beloved Marion in 2010, Steve continued to live in their family home in Mascoutah. With health failing, he became a resident of Bria of Mascoutah nursing home. Steve continued to share his sense of humor and his enthusiasm for life, becoming a favorite among the staff there. He would greet the staff each morning singing the “Good Morning” song—always with a smile and a ready joke. During the covid lockdown and thereafter, Steve also delighted in weekly Zoom calls with family and friends. While Steve’s family mourns his loss, they take comfort in the knowledge that his puns, generosity, and love will live on for many years to come.
Steve is preceded in death by his wife, Marion; his son, Bruce; his mother, Edna; his father, Henry; his brother, Richard “Rip” and wife Margaret; his brother, William; his father and mother-in-law, Ernest and Eleanor Watson; his brothers and sisters-in-law, Fred and Mary Ann Watson and Robert and Ann Watson; “cousin” Betty Ann Snively; and niece, Deborah Watson.
Steve is survived by his children, Col. Michael (Joan) Walker, USAF/Ret. of Springfield, VA; Stephen (Deborah) Walker, Jr. of Greenland, NH; Dr. Barbara Walker of Charleston, IL; and Patricia (Mark) Fairbairn of Greenland. Steve is also survived by his cherished grandchildren, Kathleen (Spencer) Fisher, Gregory (Felix Barrera) Walker, Christopher (Taylor Frarie) Walker, Andrew Fairbairn, Jessica (Joshua) Walker-Kolojeski, Shawn (Molly Shoot) Walker, Emma (Logan) Schmidt and Scott Walker. He is also survived by many adored nieces and nephews.
Services: Visitation will take place at the J. Verne Wood Funeral Home – Buckminster Chapel, 84 Broad Street, Portsmouth, NH, on Saturday, November 5th from 10 am to 11am. A service will then be held at 11 a.m., with interment to follow at Harmony Grove (South Street) Cemetery. A reception, lunch, and camaraderie will be held at the Portsmouth Country Club at 80 Country Club Ln, Greenland immediately following the interment.
Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of your choice. For online condolences, visit: www.jvwoodfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements are under the direction and care of the J. Verne Wood Funeral Home – Buckminster Chapel, Portsmouth, NH.