Marshall Leon Walker was born on November 29, 1930 in Eldorado Oklahoma to Cloie and Marshall Walker. He grew up working on a cattle ranch and drove the school bus to earn tuition money for Wayland College. At Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, he met Beth Murray who brought her creative whirlwind into his otherwise structured world. She was his ghost writer, color-coordinator and truth-speaker. She kept his full attention throughout 62 years of marriage.
He served as Director of Religious Activities at Hardin Simmons University and later joined the Department of Communications at The Baptist Sunday School Board. He coordinated five Baptist World Alliance conferences. Marshall loved every job he had, but he especially thrived in student ministry.
Marshall had a deep affection for the West Texas plains, Glorieta, NM, and the Murray farm in Georgia. He was thrifty, hard-working and perpetually active. He liked jeans ironed with enough starch to stand on their own. He picked up hitchhikers and volunteered in emergency shelters. He was a good cook and an avid yard-groomer. But mostly, he loved to plan. Give him a yellow legal pad and a pen, then move out of the way! Banquets, mission trips, international conferences, chapel services and family vacations alike were planned in detail, and each schedule began with “Rise and Shine” and ended with “Lights Out” Raise your hand if you still have a copy of a “Marshall Plan” with those very words!
He was the consummate caregiver to his wife, enjoyed watching his children find their talents, and delighted in neighbors and friends. He is survived by his wife, Beth; daughter and son-in-law, Nena and Eric Egli; son Lee; three siblings, Lueise, James and “Sweet Angie”; sister and brother-in law, Mary Lee and Jesse McNiel, along with numerous nieces and nephews. Special thanks go to Sara, Linda and his many caring and capable doctors.
He died with words of thanks and gratitude on his lips. He was a gentle man of God who found his purpose through servanthood. Marshall, your earthly life has reached “Lights Out”, but we know that it is your time to “Rise and Shine”.
A memorial service is planned for January at Glendale Baptist Church in Nashville. Details forthcoming. In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to Habitat for Humanity, Heifer International or to a charity of your choice. An online guestbook is available for the Walker family at www.woodfinchapel.com.