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A Lifetime of Love: Jerry, you will always be part of my heart

Ridgeland’s Jerry Walker died Dec. 17, 2016. In 1986, for Valentine’s Day, his wife LaTrelle Walker submitted a story of their love to Savan­nah Morning News. Her story below includes a tribute to her late husband.

How can you not fall in love with a guy who takes you to help choose the engagement ring for his miles-away fiancee?

Friends had been urging me to meet this great guy from Parris Island. I knew it wouldn’t do any good to meet him as I was not allowed to date servicemen.

But love and persistent friends will prevail. The scheme they devised involved their bringing this great guy to the store where I worked part-time at Christmas and introducing us. This great guy, after being introduced, visited under the pretext of being a customer until he found out I was due for my lunch hour.

He asked if I’d give my opinion of the ring he’d picked out for his girl. I was sure my parents would not call that a date, and so I went. Later he said the look in my eyes as I looked at “her” ring made him know I was the girl for him. I later told him the look in my eyes was disdain over his poor taste in rings.

Well, that same day when I got off work, he was outside waiting for me, but my parents pulled up to drive me home about the same time. To say I was wordless is an understatement.

It so happened that this great Marine was not lost for words and never has been, even to this day. He asked my parents if he could go home with us. After they revived from their state of shock, they said, “yes.”

We did all the “family” things that night, trimmed the tree, made and ate ambrosia, etc. This great guy made himself at home and grew on everybody except my dad.

We put off telling my parents that he was a Marine and did a lot of changing the subject about what he did. By the time the truth came out, he was firmly established in my mother’s heart as well as mine, and so Dad didn’t stand a chance with any objections.

Of course, Dad didn’t give up. I’m not sure if it was 15 or 20 years later that Dad really knew he was not objecting anymore.

In all the time I’ve known this great guy – and he really is – I’ve never even heard of another like him. He has an overwhelming number of truly great qualities, and, to put it in a very few words, I’d have to say that God really knew what he was doing when he created my husband, Jerry Walker, who is still the great love of my life. This February 14th marks our 26th anniversary. I really received “some valentine”!

Still love of my life

Yes, that was true in 1986 when I entered the Savannah Morning News contest. I didn’t win, but I really won a memory I share this year again on Valentine’s Day.

The really great guy I married on Sunday, Feb. 14, 1960, went to be with the Lord on Dec. 17, 2016.

Jerry Walker and I were given 56 years to share life and Valentine treasures.

He is still the great love of my life. All the memories I have will remain, it is alive and well in my heart.

This Valentine’s Day is a great day to tell someone you love them. Not every couple is given 56 years.

I thank God for the really great guy who is and will always remain treasured by me and our four children, six grandchildren, plus all the people who became his friend.

LaTrelle C. Walker

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