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2013 February 28: Ken Walker

The Alumni Club is saddened to report the death of one of our members, Ken Walker who passed away peacefully on February 28, 2013. Ken will be deeply missed by everyone.

Walker, Kentner C. (Ken) was born on January 17, 1946 to Ernest Byron Walker and Ethel Marie Seim Walker. He grew up in Miller, SD as a front runner of the Baby Boomer generation! Upon graduation from High School, he enlisted in the US Air Force. He was assigned to the Air Force Intelligence Service. He served 1 ½ years in Brindisi, Italy and later transferred to Taipei, Taiwan for another 1 ½ year assignment. After his Honorable Discharge, Ken attended Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD where he obtained his degree in Business (Accounting) with a minor in Mathematics. He graduated from NSC in 1971. While in college, he worked full time as an Advertising Sales Representative for KABR, a local radio station. While attending Northern, Ken met his wife Julie Ann while both of them were singing in the Zion Lutheran Church Choir. They were married in 1969 and have been married for 43 years. Ken began his post college work as an Accountant for Safeguard Industries in Aberdeen, SD (an automotive aftermarket parts manufacturer and foundry). Later he changed careers and began working in the Management Program for Osco Drug. Ken worked in Osco stores for five years in a variety of capacities, as he and Julie Ann moved several times including Minot, ND - Green Bay, WI - West Lafayette, IN - Springfield, IL and Benton Harbor, MI. In 1978, he moved to a Corporate Position as Regional Operations Manager and thereafter served in a number of capacities: Regional Operations Manager, Labor Scheduling Development Manager, Manager of Real Estate Acquisition for Chicago and Upper Midwest, District Manager, Vice President of Financial Planning, Vice President of Finance and Administration, and Vice President of Store Development. These positions were located in Oakbrook, IL, Moline, IL, Salt Lake City, UT and Scottsdale, AZ. They also were under the umbrella of various parent companies as the result of mergers and acquisitions over the years, beginning with Jewel Osco, then American stores Company and eventually Albertson's Inc.

Ken retired in 2005 from Albertson's and he and Julie Ann reside in Scottsdale, AZ. He has been active in his retirement with involvement in the leadership positions at Living Water Lutheran Church, a Board Member of Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center and volunteer activities in his HOA, as well as operating a software development company (a hobby company). His outside interests of running marathons, hiking in the mountains, down hill skiing and mountain biking, all of which have given way to golf, walking and some biking. Ken and Julie Ann have traveled extensively around the world during their years together, and have numerous overseas friends. Kentner is survived by his wife Julie Ann, his brother Darwin of Brookings, SD, and sister Janice (Orr) of Spencer, IA.

More about Ken Walker's life can be found on Caring Bridge Website (, including memorial gifts, and Celebration of Life arrangements.

A Celebration of Life Event had been planned by Ken.

His Celebration of Life Event will be :

Saturday, March 16, 2013 3:00 p.m. Living Water Lutheran Church 9201 East Happy Valley Road Scottsdale, AZ 85255 Phone: (480) 473-8400

We hope you can attend.

Full Military Honors Burial will be held:

Monday, March 18th at 11:00 a.m. The National Cemetery 23029 N. Cave Creek Road Phoenix, AZ

Ken's wishes were the following for memorials:

Living Water Lutheran Church (address above)

Hospice of the Valley 1510 E. Flower St. Phoenix, AZ 85014-5656 (602) 530-6900

Click HERE to visit Ken's Journal.

We received the following message from Julie Ann, Ken's wife.

Thursday evening heaven received a new events planner. It is with sadness and joy that I share with you that my beloved, Ken, died Thursday night. As you all know Ken fought to the very end. His final steps in his journey were shared with family and friends. He died peacefully which truly was a gift. Your gift to us has been your continued prayers and support.

Love and Blessings, Julie Ann and family. Our dear friend Elizabeth Hale has and will continue to create our Caring Bridge updates and will share details about Ken's celebration of life event.

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