Raymond B. Walker, 82, of Dayton, passed away on Sunday, January 21, 2018 at Life Care of Rhea County.
He was born April 25, 1935, in Spring City to the late Thomas Franklin and Lillie Mae (Durham) Walker.
Raymond was a graduate of the Spring City High School class of 1955. He was a dairy farmer and worked as a Farm Bureau agent for 41 years. He was member of the First United Methodist Church of Dayton.
He was a graduate of the Dale Carnegie Speaking and Human Relations program, was Dayton’s Young Man of the Year, University of Tennessee William and Mary Hale “Family of the Year”, recipient of the State 4-H Alumni Recognition Award, recipient of Tennessee Primary Care Association Recognition Award and recipient of Southeast Development Legislator of the Year Award in 2004.
Raymond was a Tennessee House member of the 100, 101, 102 and 103rd General Assemblies from 1996- 2004. He represented the 25th District: Rhea, Cumberland and Bledsoe counties, was State Representative of the 25th District in the 1977 Constitutional Convention, member of House Commerce Committee, Industrial Impact of Commerce, Finance, Ways and Means and TennCare Oversight Committee. Throughout the past eight years, he helped in securing numerous grants for industries in Rhea and Cumberland Counties and was instrumental in helping with the completion of the four lanes of Highway 27 and Blythe’s and Washington bridges over the Tennessee River and was instrumental in the grant to complete the road into the Industrial Park in Spring City between Highway 27 and Highway 68. The road was named Raymond Walker Blvd. He was also instrumental in securing the location of the Southeast Tennessee Correctional Facility.
He served as a member of the Industrial Development Board for Dayton from 1973 – 1992, was Chairman of the Ground Breaking Ceremony for La-Z-Boy Chair Company in 1974, was a current member and past board member of Rhea Economic and Tourism Council Development 1992 - 2000, member and past president of Dayton Rotary Club, member and past president of Dayton Chamber of Commerce, member of Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cumberland County, member of Chamber of Commerce of Bledsoe County, past board member of Rhea County United Way, past board member of Rhea County Medical Center, past president of Dayton Jaycees, lifetime member and senator of JCI, past president of Sweetwater Valley Life Underwriters Association and Federal District Coordinator of National Association of Life Underwriters. He served as foreman of the Rhea County Grand Jury for multiple years.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Sue Ann (Martin) Walker, two sons, Barry Lynn (Bonnie) Walker of Dayton and Keith Randall (Hope) Walker of Nashville and two granddaughters, Abigal Grace Walker and Hannah Faith Walker as well as several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services for Raymond will be held on Tuesday, at 3 p.m. at his church with Rev. Kenneth Pierce officiating. He will be laid to rest Wednesday at 11 a.m. in Spring City Memorial Gardens.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church Senior Van Fund P. O. Box 12, Dayton, TN 37321 and the Rhea County 4-H Public Speaking Program, Rhea County Extension Agent, 125 Court St., Unit 3, Dayton, TN 37321, ATTN: Rhea County 4-H.
Please share your memories of Raymond on his on-line guest register at www.vanderwallfh.com.
The family is being cared for by the Vanderwall Funeral Home in Dayton. The family will receive friends Tuesday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the church.