John Robert “Bob” Walker, Jr., 83, of Mystic, passed away Saturday, May 11, 2013 at Mercy Medical Center in Centerville.
Bob was born May 10, 1930 in Mystic, the son of John Robert and Jacquetta (Young) Walker, Sr. He graduated from high school in North Phoenix. Following graduation, Bob accepted a full ride football scholarship to Arizona State University. He spent two years at ASU until Bob’s grandfather asked him to come back to Iowa and learn how to farm.
He married Betty Lou Jackson on June 30, 1950 at Betty’s parents’ home in Phoenix, Ariz. Bob and Betty moved to Mystic in 1950. After buying the family farm, Bob and Betty spent the next 63 years on the farm. The farm was truly a family operation. Everyone in the family had a part in the purebred pig sales. Their pig sales became a global operation. Not only did Bob and his family sell pigs in the United States, but they also sold to countries all over the world, including Japan, Malaysia, Venezuela, Taiwan, South Korea, Chile, Mexico and Canada.
Bob also had a passion for fishing. Yet, due to his devotion to the family farm operation, Bob spent more time talking about fishing than actually going out and engaging in the hobby. When he did take the time to fish, Bob enjoyed taking his grandchildren to numerous rivers and ponds to fish. He also enjoyed hunting deer, pheasant and turkey.
He is survived by his wife Betty Walker of Mystic; two children, Jim (Teddy) Walker of Mystic and Deborah (Dan) Mastin of Jacksonville, Texas; three grandchildren, Josh (Stacy) Walker, Jenny (Robbie) Morgan, and Lois Mastin; six great-grandchildren, Alexis Hudson, Katy Morgan, Justin Walker, Jackson Walker, Grace Walker and Jonathon Walker; a sister, Reta Thompson of Tempe, Ariz.; two brothers-in-law, Richard Bowland of Arvada, Colo. and Jim Jackson of Phoenix, Ariz.; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a stillborn brother, Rex Walker; a sister, Colleen Bowland; and a brother-in-law, Richard Thompson.
Funeral services will be held at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 15 at Lange Funeral Home and Crematory in Centerville. Burial will follow in the Garfield Cemetery in Mystic. A visitation will be held today at Lange Funeral Home and Crematory in Centerville from 12-8 p.m. with the family present from 6-8 p.m.
Memorials have been established to the Appanoose County 4-H Foundation and may be given to Lange Funeral Home and Crematory, 1900 S. 18th St., Centerville, Iowa, 52544.
Condolences may be shared online at www.langefh.com.