David E. Walker, who served as Track and Field and Cross Country coach at East Tennessee State University for 50 years, died Saturday, January 11, 2014 at Johnson City Medical Center after a courageous battle with cancer.
Born in Massena, New York, he was the son of the late Oswald W. and Rose Egly Walker. His sister, Joan Walker LeClair, also predeceased him.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Cecilia (Susie) Walker, of the home, daughter Cindy Rose of Fairfield, CA, son David E. Walker, Jr. of Winter Springs, FL and several nieces and nephews.
Coach Walker was a graduate of East Tennessee State University, earning his Bachelor’s degree in 1958 and his Master’s degree in 1963. He served in the United States Army during the Korean War era and played in the National Football League for the Baltimore Colts and Cleveland Browns.
Some of the significant achievements of his career include his induction into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame, Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, ETSU Hall of Fame, US Track and Field Coaches’ Association Hall of Fame. He was also a member of the NCAA Track and Field Rules Committee for ten years, serving as its Chair for five of them.
Coach was the founder and director of the East Tennessee Indoor Invitational Track and Field meet, now known as the Niswonger Indoor Invitational Track and Field meet. Coach Walker was a mentor and friend to his former athletes, fellow coaches and track and field officials. He played a significant role in the lives of so many people.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the ETSU Track and Field program, P.O. Box 70707, Johnson City, TN 37614 or the American Cancer Society, 508 Princeton Road, Johnson City, TN 37601. Honorary pallbearers will be Coach Walker’s former ETSU athletes.
The family requests the honor of your presence at a Celebration of Life Service for Coach Walker on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 7:30 PM at Tetrick Funeral & Cremation Services, Johnson City. The family will greet friends to share memories from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM and again at 6:00 PM until the service hour at the funeral home.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family and viewed at www.tetrickfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements for the Walker family are in the care of Tetrick Funeral & Cremation Services, 3001 Peoples St., Johnson City, TN 37604. (423) 610-7171.