Chesterton Tribune

Wayne F. Walker dies

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Wayne F. Walker, of Michigan City passed away on Tuesday, March 20, 2008. He was 86.

He was born Dec. 25, 1921 in Vincennes, the son of Thelma Walker Fornear. He was raised by his mother and beloved grandparents, Milton and Jenny Walker.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 60 years, Janet (Baranowski), who preceded him in death on Jan. 19, 2007.

He is survived by two children, a daughter, Christine (Darrell) Fry of Michigan City and a son, Michael (Nancy Shaver) Walker of Sylvania, Ohio; two granddaughters, Jennifer (Craig) Bishop of PawPaw, Mich. and Erin (Brandon Funk) Fry of Chicago; one great-granddaughter, Maya Bishop; a sister-in-law, Florence Fornear, LeHigh Acres, Fla.; extended family members Tim Weatherbee, Michigan City, Nathan Rush, Muncie, David and Sarah Harmon, LaPorte, long-time close friends, Ralph and Jeannette Leonard, Michigan City and many other relatives and dear friends.

He was also preceded in death by a brother, John Fornear and a sister, Lou Patterson.

Wayne was a WWII veteran, having served in the North Africa and Sicily Campaigns as a Seabee in the United States Navy.

He attended St. Mary’s grade school in East Chicago and graduated in 1940 from Chesterton High School, where he was on the 1939 state championship football team. He worked at American Steel in Hammond, where he attended night classes at Purdue Calumet in Hammond and obtained a degree in Industrial Engineering. He later worked at The Frank G. Hough Company in Libertyville, Ill. and then in 1966 in Michigan City for Joy Manufacturing as a mechanical engineer until he retired in 1985.

He was an active member of John Franklin Miller American Legion Post 37, where he held the position of chaplain for many years. He was also in their military honor guard and a member of the 40 & 8. He was an active parishioner of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church for over 30 years.

He cherished his family and friends and enjoyed spending time with them. He loved the outdoors including fishing, gardening, golf, bicycling, hiking and especially his many travels with his son. He enjoyed many sports and was a loyal Cubs, Bears and Purdue Boilermakers fan. He was also known to enjoy a good joke and a good “half” cup of coffee.

A Mass of Christian burial, Revs. James P. McGrogan and Dennis Blaney officiating, will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 26 at Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church. Interment with full military honors will follow at Saint Stanislaus Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 3-8 p.m. Tuesday at Root Funeral Home, Michigan City.

Messages of condolence may be sent to the family at . Memorial contributions may be made to Share Foundation, Saint Mary’s Church or the charity of one’s choice.


Posted 3/24/2008