John W. “Jack” Walker
December 11, 1938 - April 13, 2021
John W. “Jack” Walker, Sr., age 82, of Middletown, DE, passed away on Tuesday, April 13, 2021.
Born in Wilmington, DE, on December 11, 1938, he was a son of the late Charles Vernon and Theresa Gertrude (Amatuzio) Walker. Jack graduated from Wilmington High School, and served in the U.S. Army Reserves as a combat engineer. He later attended Brown Vocational School for the masonry trade. He started his career in the Bricklayers Local #1, and was a Union member for 18 years. Jack was known for his exceptional craftsmanship, skill, and pace as a journeyman bricklayer, and incorporated those skills into stone masonry and cement finishing.
After graduation, Jack, or “JW,” as many in the community called him, worked diligently in the masonry trades. His technical and leadership skills helped him quickly rise from bricklayer to foreman to superintendent. Wanting more for his family, and with the support of his amazing wife, Mary, Jack founded J.W. Walker & Sons Inc. in 1972. Serving as president and CEO for over 31 years, Jack, along with Mary and their 4 sons, helped build many of our surrounding communities’ commercial and industrial sites. Beyond working to build the business, JW loved to teach and share his skills with his family and employees. Passing along a strong work ethic, Jack supported the development of his 4 sons as both business and technical leaders, and proudly watched as his grandchildren joined the company in both trade and administrative positions.
When not working, Jack loved boating and fishing with his navigator and first mate, Mary. He held a USCG U.S. Merchant Marine Officer 100-ton master mate license. One of his most proud adventures was running his 28’ Center Console on a solo journey from his home port on the Bohemia River to his final destination on the Caloosahatchee River in the Gulf Coast of Florida. This journey took him through 6 states and over 1,000 nautical miles. Whether fishing off shore with his sons, teaching his grandkids how to run the boat, or cruising the Chesapeake Bay in pursuit of the best Maryland crabs and fresh lemonade, Jack’s passion for boating lasted for over 50 years.
JW also enjoyed traveling in his motor home, spending time at his place in Ft. Myers, FL, and riding motorcycles. When nice weather set in, Jack always found time to ride his Harley and explore the winding back roads of Delaware, Maryland, and Florida. He was a life member of the H.O.G. Motorcycle Club, and cherished riding motorcycles with Mary on their adventures from New York to Florida.
As part of his service to the community, Jack was a lifetime member of the Minquadale Fire Company and an honorary member of both the Christiana Fire Company and the Volunteer Hose Company of Middletown. During his time with Minquadale Fire Company, Jack served as a firefighter, ambulatory tech, and deputy chief. He was a member of Nur Temple and Nur Temple Yacht Club where he participated in many events to help and support special needs children.
Jack was a founding member of the local chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Delaware and served on the ABC Board of Directors and was a huge supporter of the Merit Shop. He was also a member of the Bohemia Bay Yacht Club and served as a member on the Board of Directors for the Bohemia Bay Condominium Association; JW was also a master mason of Christiana Lodge #35.
Jack left a wonderful legacy of tenacity, hard work, and love with his family. Many of the projects he, Mary, and their boys built are still actively serving the community today.
In addition to his parents, Jack was preceded in death by his son, James Patrick Walker, grandson, James Warren Walker, and brothers, Charles Walker and Bill Walker. He is survived by his devoted wife of 61 years, Mary Rebecca (Montgomery) Walker; sons, Jack Walker, Jr. (Dawn), Dave Walker (Debbie), Mike Walker (Connie), and Jeff Walker (DeAnn); grandchildren, Dana (Emilio), John (Jessa), Joe, Dave, Jr. (Katie), and Nikki (Mitch); great grandchildren, Leona, Margaux, Nate and Logan; and sisters, Mary Jane DeMatteis, Betty Caldwell, and Judy Grello.
All services will be held privately.
Jack’s family would like to thank Dr. Mike Lankiewicz, the staff members of the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center and the Christiana Care Infusion Center for their amazing and compassionate care.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jack’s memory to the Blood Bank of Delmarva, 100 Hygeia Drive, Newark, DE 19713 or the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center, c/o Christiana Care, P.O. Box 1668, Wilmington, DE 19899.