Dr. James Silas Walker – Sun of Jamestown

James Silas Walker lived a long and full life and passed away peacefully on May 1, 2022, at the age of 88.

Jim was born to John Charles and Ruth Yeagle Walker on August 21, 1933 in Walnut Grove, TN. The family soon moved to Tucson, Arizona, where Jim met Nadine Leas Mortenson.

They married on May 28, 1954 and had 4 sons. Jim is survived by them and their spouses: Steven and Anna; David and Terry; Brad; Scott and Vicki, his beloved sister, Jeanne “Tookie” Stocker, 9 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by Nadine on 11/18/21 after 67 1/2 years of marriage.

Jim’s parents instilled in their children strong values ​​of education, church and service. After earning bachelor’s degrees in philosophy (1954) and theology (1956), Jim moved to Basel, Switzerland, to study with Karl Barth, the famous theologian who authored the 1934 Barmen Declaration in which German Protestant leaders condemned the distorted Christian nationalism promoted by Hitler’s Nazi Party. Barth was a beacon in Jim’s life. Jim returned to the United States, completed his doctorate. in Religion from Claremont University (CA) in 1963.

As the family grew, they lived in Denver, CO, and Huron, SD, before moving to Hastings Nebraska in 1966, where Jim became a professor of religion and philosophy at Hastings College. He served Hastings College as Professor (1966-75) Director of Development (1975-79) and Dean of the College (1979-1983). The height of his professional career was when he moved to Jamestown, ND, in 1983 and served as president of Jamestown College, now Jamestown University, until his retirement in 1998. He and Nadine loved the residents of Jamestown and their time with the college. .

Throughout his life, Jim valued community and church service. Ordained in 1956, he avidly exercised interdenominational ministry, preaching more than 1,100 services in more than 20 churches. He served in Rotary for over 60 years (including president and district governor), was active in the Salvation Army (president), and donated over 5 gallons of blood. He was a role model, mentor and inspiration to many and will be greatly missed.

“Well done, good and faithful servant…Enter into the joy of your Lord.” –Matthew 25:23

About Jefferey G. Cannon

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