One of Tifton’s devoted servants passed away at his residence on Monday, January 21, 2013 at the age of 84. Edd Walker was known as a father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, friend or as Sheriff Walker to the citizens of Tift County during his 24 years of service as sheriff.
The family will receive friends at the Chapel of Bowen-Donaldson Home for Funerals on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 24, 2013 at Tift Avenue Church of God with Rev. Joseph L. Crumley and Rev. Dan McEachin officiating. Graveside services at Oakridge Cemetery in Tifton will immediately follow the funeral. Sheriff Walker will be placed in the church one hour prior to the service.
Billy Spicer, Jerry Crumley, Bobby Brannen, Rick Brown, Dennis Reese and Ray Merritt will serve as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers will be Sheriff Gene Scarbrough, Sheriff Gary Vowell, the Honorable Melanie Cross, the Honorable Bill Reinhardt, Representative John D. Crosby, Dan Rakestraw, the Honorable Larry Mims, Chief Buddy Dowdy, Richard Hill, Paul Bowden, John Brooks, Gwen Pate, and all present and former law enforcement officers.
Sheriff Walker was known throughout the county for his white Stetson hat, his large hands ready to extend a comforting handshake and mostly, for his compassionate heart for the citizens of Tift County.
Sheriff Walker was born on November 28, 1928 in Tift County and was the son of Tom Walker, Sr. and Lula Mae Dillard Walker, both deceased. He was also preceded in death by his daughters, Linda Faye Walker and Kathy Lynn Walker, and one brother, Tom Walker, Jr.
Beginning his career as a deputy sheriff in the Tift County Sheriff’s Department under Sheriff Tom Greer in 1960, Sheriff Walker served in that position for 11 years before being elected as Sheriff in August of 1972. He continued to serve the citizens of Tift County as Sheriff for 24 years until his retirement in 1996.
Throughout his tenure, Sheriff Walker received numerous awards and recognitions, some of which include: recognition as the 2nd sheriff in the state of Georgia to be a Certified Sheriff, the Georgia Sheriff’s Association Distinguished Humanitarian Award; the Georgia Sheriff’s Association Past Chairman’s Award, the Georgia Sheriff’s Association Outstanding Service Award, the George A. Wright Memorial Award; the Liberty Bell Award, and the Exchange Club Pioneer in Law Enforcement Award. The Georgia Sheriffs Association honored Sheriff Walker on numerous occasions for his contributions and dedication to the Georgia Sheriff’s Association Boys Ranch, of which he served as Chairman. Sheriff Walker was honored when the City of Tifton renamed the portion of Victory Drive where the Tift County Jail is located as “Edd Walker Way” in 2003.
Sheriff Walker also served as vice-chairman of the Coastal Plains Sheriffs and Police Intelligence Unit and Chairman of Georgia Sheriff’s Association. He was a member of the National Sheriff’s Association, Georgia Peace Officer’s Association, Brother Charlie’s Rescue Mission, Kiwanis Club of Tifton, Exchange Club of Tifton, Lions Club, Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship and a lifetime member of the Tiftarea Antique Automobile Club. Sheriff Walker was a member and trustee of Tift Avenue Church of God and was given the Most Inspirational Father Award by his church and the State Executive offices of the Church of God proclaimed May 23, 1983 as “Edd Walker Day”.
He was a devoted family man and leaves behind his adoring wife of 64 years, Barbara Ottis Monk Walker of Tifton; his daughter Patricia “Trish” Walker Fincher of Sylvester; his son and daughter in law, Ray and Mary Walker of Tifton; brother, Glen Walker of Tifton; three grandchildren and their spouses, Michael and Teresa Walker, Bart and Jessica Walker, Lindsey and Dr. William Kaiser; and seven great-grandchildren, Marianne Walker, Raylee Walker, Chancey Sanders, Riley Walker, Will Kaiser, Katie Kaiser and Walker Kaiser. His children, grandchildren and great-children aspire to have his compassion and devotedness to the service of others as they continue to live in his honor.
Sheriff Walker loved his family, Tift County and its people, whom he enjoyed serving and protecting. His life exemplifies Philippians' 2:3 “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility regard one another as more important than yourselves.”
Flowers will be accepted or memorials may be made to the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association Boys Ranch, 5671 Georgia Highway 122, Hahira, GA 31632.