James Hugh Walker
Jan. 20, 1943-Aug. 31, 2023
Biloela, Queensland, Australia
Submitted by Molly A. Walker
A loving husband, father and grandfather, Jim Walker was the hardest of hard workers. Interested in everything and everyone, he was known for peppering new acquaintances with questions. It was impossible to embarrass him, as he didn't care what others thought or said about him. Generous and kind, he saw the good in people that others may have given up on.
Jim's many friends and large family, both in Australia and the United States, mourn his passing on August 31, 2023, in Biloela, Queensland. His loving wife, Deirdree, was at his side.
James Hugh "Jim" Walker was born in Livermore, California, on January 20, 1943, to Dr. Robert Hugh and Eugenia Marie O'Shea Walker of Pleasanton. "Bob" Walker was a veterinarian and rancher and "Genie" was a housewife and bookkeeper for their veterinary practice.
Jim enjoyed assisting his dad with veterinary work and helping out at the Walker family cattle ranches. Following Bob Walker's premature death, Genie married John Edmands, then editor and publisher of The Pleasanton Times. For a short time, Jim worked at the newspaper.
Jim attended St. Michael School in Livermore for eight years and spent two years at Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton. He was a seminary student at St. Joseph's College, Mountain View, CA, for five years, followed by two years at Chabot Community College in Hayward, CA. He worked various jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area and volunteered with Amigos Anonymous during the summer of 1965 doing community development in the village of Copándaro de Galeana in the state of Michoacán, Mexico. At 21, after being admitted to Gonzaga University in Washington state, he was drafted into the US Army and served two years in the Special Forces.
Jim moved to Australia and eventually purchased "Thorpedale," a cattle property near Jackson, Queensland, in 1969, which he managed with his wife and partner, Deirdree, for 50 years. To help sustain the property, located in rugged country and subjected to capricious climate changes, he worked numerous day jobs, including service at the Wheat Board, Main Roads Department, Council Roads Department, several sawmills and a feedlot.
Jim was a man of high moral values, and his Christian faith played a large role in his life. He often said, "...Whatever the good Lord wants." This philosophy gave him a sense of calm and resolution when times were tough. He was immensely proud of all his children and loved sitting at the head of the table, listening to their stories, and would laugh until tears ran down his face. On car rides in the country, he could tell you the size and ownership history for the past 50 years of every property you passed.
Extremely fit his entire life, Jim was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2008 and slowly degenerated in his mobility. In 2021, Jim and Deirdree sold "Thorpedale" to Joaquin "Jack" and Mim Walker, their son and daughter-in-law. They retired to the community of Biloela, Queensland, where they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in their lovely garden with all their family in 2022.
Jim is survived and will be missed greatly by his wife, Deirdree, and their seven children and 14 grandchildren, who include Michaeleen (Ben) Brown of "Capitol Hill," Mt. Perry, Qld., Bailey (Emily), Hayley and Lindsay; Tuny (Stephen) Troeth of Innes Park, Qld., Shea and Georgie; Bobbie (Adam) Foot of Brisbane, Qld., Isabelle and Elizabeth "Libby"; Dr. Dayton Walker of Adelaide, S.A.; Joaquin "Jack" (Mim) Walker of "Fairholme," Theodore, Qld., Charlie, Molly and Hugh; Dr. Bridget (Ross) Newman of Fairybower, Qld., Sydney and Sinclair; and Virginia (Brenten) Lowe of Beeron, Qld., Lexie and Matilda.
Jim is also survived by his sisters, Molly Walker (George Csicsery) of Oakland, CA.; Patricia W. Cleveland of Prosser, Wa; and Theresa Smith of San Francisco, CA, and by numerous nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews.