WALKER, ERNEST W. (1917 ~ 2010). The following is an obituary for Ernest W. Walker, longtime finance professor at the University of Texas. The obituary was provided by Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home.
A truly great man of the "greatest generation" exchanged this life for one even better on April 2, 2010. Dr. Walker was a chaired Professor of Finance at the University of Texas at Austin. He was the father of two and husband of Margaret Walker for more than 60 years.
He was born in McComb, Mississippi September 14, 1917, the 5th child of Jefferson W. Walker and Ida Brumfield Walker and grew up on a small farm near Hattiesburg. Graduating high school at 16, he "set off" to a neighboring county Junior College and told the President he was there to go to school but needed a job. He milked 18 cows twice a day and graduated from Jones County Jr. College, then worked in Jackson, Mississippi until WWII began. He enlisted, went to OCS, and sailed to England on the Queen Elizabeth. In June, shortly after D-Day, he landed on Normandy and led his company across Europe, ending in Pilzen, Czechoslovakia. He was sent to Nuremberg and finally home. On the ship home, he heard about the G.I. Bill and immediately went to Ole Miss for his B.B.A. and M.B.A., then Duke University, and received his D.B.A. from Indiana University. At Ole Miss, he met another graduate student, Margaret Marshall, a Yankee; they married in June 1949 and spent 60 devoted years together.
Their son, Marshall, was born during their 3 year stay at Drake University, and in 1954 they came to the University of Texas, where Dr. Walker taught for the next 50 years, retiring at age 86. Their daughter, Eledith, was born in Austin. At UT, Ernest's career skyrocketed, both here and abroad, including writing 6 books, numerous articles, visiting professorships and many honors. Dr. Walker held the Gale Chair in Small Business and Entrepreneurship, founded the Community MBA program, was inducted into the College of Business Hall of Fame and received the "Outstanding Education Award" from the Austin Area Texas Exes. He was a founding member of the Financial Management Association and later served as President. He developed the formulae by which all higher education institutions in Texas are financed. He lectured in numerous countries over the years, developing life long friendships all over the world. Dr. Walker received an honorary doctorate from Potchefstroom University in South Africa which was awarded by President F.W. de Klerk in 1996.
He was active in numerous local organizations, serving in leadership roles in many. He was proud to be chosen King Brio XXII of the Symphony and President of the Austin Country Club. He delighted in having had 6 holes-in-one. He was a life-long Baptist and above all an honorable and humble Christian.
He is survived by his wife, Margaret, son Marshall and daughter-in-law, Debra of Key Largo, Florida, daughter Eledith Falk and son-in-law Michael Falk of Austin, grandchildren Mary Margaret Walker, Daniel Walker, Katherine Falk and Cooper Falk.
A Special thank you to caregivers Alicia and Estella.
The family will receive friends at Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home on Tuesday, April 6, 2010 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Funeral services will be held at Weed-Corley-Fish North Lamar Chapel on Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. Burial will follow at Texas State Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to The Settlement Club or Austin Baptist Church.
Further information is available through the Texas State Cemetery research department.