Michael Stephen Walker, 74, of Alexandria, VA, died at home on July 16, 2021.
Michael was born in 1947 in Charleston, WV, the third child of U.S. Army Major Jack William Walker and Helen Lee Hysell. He grew up in Ripley, WV, playing football and hearing stories about his father, who died in Korea in 1952. Michael considered studying engineering, but found his true calling in psychology, earning a Doctorate of Education from West Virginia University. Michael married Diana in 1974 in Huntington, WV. Their first son, Jonas, was born several years later.
In 1978, the family moved to Kokomo, IN, for work opportunities. As loyal Mountaineers, they assumed, at first, that they would eventually move back to WV. However, after their second son, Andrew, was born, and the years passed, the flatlands felt like home - although Michael remained a lifelong WVU fan.
Michael became a connoisseur of whitewater rafting, repeatedly descending the Upper and Lower Gauley River and New River, and introducing colleagues and friends to the wonders of WV (a stranger to blue waters) through annual rafting trips. He restored a 1970 cherry-red Porsche 911, won first place in an auto show in Highland Park, and enjoyed drives though the country roads surrounded by soybean and corn fields. Michael was a vestry member of St. Andrew Episcopal Church in Kokomo.
In his decades-long career, Michael treated patients at Howard Community Hospital and Family Psychiatric Center, though some of his most rewarding work was at The Specialty Center at St. Joseph Hospital, which included consultation at the Logansport Juvenile Intake Diagnostic Facility. Michael’s legacy includes the countless improved lives of his patients and their families. Michael and Diana retired to Alexandria to be near family.
The cause of death was chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder. In later life, Michael overcame significant physical limitations and remained central to the lives of his family members.
Michael is survived, loved, and remembered by Diana, two children and four grandchildren, his siblings (Dr. William Walker of Huntington, WV, and Dixie Lee Lambert of Worthington, OH), seven nieces and nephews and their families, beloved in-laws, and his former colleagues. Funeral 11:00 AM, August 4, at Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill, Zabriskie Chapel, 3606 Seminary Road, Alexandria.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to West Virginia Land Trust: https://www.wvlandtrust.org/projects/our-work/.
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The West Virginia Land Trust
P.O. Box 11823, Charleston WV 25339-1823