HUDSON - Retired Captain Lewis W. Walker Jr., a decorated Navy veteran who fought in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam, died March 19th in his home in Hudson, Ohio. He was 98.
Lewis was born in Los Angeles on Nov. 26, 1920, graduated from the U.S. Naval academy in 1942 and served the Navy with distinction for 30 years. He spent the Pacific War aboard the USS McCall, rising from assistant communications officer to become the ship's commanding officer at the age of 24. He fought in many WWII Naval battles, including Guadalcanal, the Philippine Sea, Leyte Gulf, and Iwo Jima. While stationed in London in 1950, Lewis married a British actress, Angela Mary Holmes. The following year he served as executive officer aboard the USS Nicholas, patrolling the western Pacific during the Korean War. He returned home for duty at the Naval War College in Newport, RI, and earned a Master's Degree in government with a specialty in foreign affairs from Boston University a few years later. In 1962, he assumed command of a squadron of missile attack destroyers based in Norfolk, Va. and took his ships to the Naval Blockade during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He later served in Vietnam on the operation planning staff of General William Westmoreland. For his distinguished service, Capt. Walker was awarded two Legions of Merit, the Navy Commendation Medal, a Joint Service Commendation Medal, and numerous battle stars.
After retiring from the Navy in 1972, Lewis earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts at Old Dominion University, where he developed a passion for paintings, prints, maps, and rare books. He studied clock repair and sold prints and maps at antique shows with his wife, a porcelain dealer.
After Angela died, he met and married Eleanor Randall Hoover, an antiques dealer in Hudson, Ohio in 1989. Thereafter he made his home in Hudson for the next 30 years. They enjoyed cooking, gardening, spending time with their large family and traveling the world with many friends. Lew, as he was known in Hudson, was an active member of the Hudson Clocktower Rotary Club and served on the Board of Trustees of the Hudson Library & Historical Society. He also was an active volunteer at the library, a member of an American Legion Post and Hudson Masonic Lodge 510. He was renowned around Hudson for his infectious smile, upbeat personality and trademark British walking hat. ‘He was intensely curious about people and things,’ said his son, Lewis W. Walker III. ‘He was adept at getting them to talk about themselves and tell their life stories.’
In addition to his parents, Lewis and Virginia Walker, Lewis was preceded in death by his wives, Angela and Eleanor; his brother, Dan Walker; and Eleanor's daughter Cynthia Stalcup.
He is survived by his children, Lewis III of Tucson, AZ, Leslie Walker (Beverly Fox) of Easton MD, and Stacey Hinrichs (Lloyd) of Triangle VA; four grandchildren: Jeremiah Hinrichs of Sterling, VA, Joseph Hinrichs of Owatonna, MN; Angela Sparhawk of Virginia Beach, VA; Stephanie Walker, of Chicago, IL and three great-grandchildren. He is also survived by Eleanor's children, Thomas H. Hoover, Jr. of Columbus, OH; Susan Verna of White Plains, NY; Peter R. Hoover (Ronni) of Middleton, MA, and John E. Hoover (Deborah) of Hudson, OH, along with their seven children and seven grandchildren.
A memorial celebration will be held at the Hudson Library at 1 p.m. on May 11, 2019. A service and inurnment ceremony will take place later at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD on a date to be announced. Donations in his memory may be made to the Hudson Library & Historical Society, 96 Library Street, Hudson, OH, 44236. (HH.03/27/19)