February 24, 1939 – May, 8, 2019
Jay Walker (Jack Tannehill Walker) died May 8, at age 80, after a valiant battle with a number of strokes and heart problems.
The son of Jack T. Walker and Adra Walker, Jay was born Feb. 24, 1939 in Medford, Ore. Graduating from Medford High School, Jay went on to attend several years of college prior to taking over his father’s business, “Walker The Weeper,” which sold recreational vehicles and mobile homes. Jay also owned and developed mobile home parks. He was, at the time, one of the youngest members inducted into the Masonic order, and was a member of the Shriners, the Scottish Rite and the Hillah Shrine.
From the time he could walk, Jay was fascinated by all wildlife. He knew Audubon’s Book of Birds by memory by the time he was 8. Throughout high school, Jay made extra money by operating trap lines, catching beaver, fox and muskrat.
Jay married in 1959 and was the proud father of three children, Tammy (Lancaster), J.T. (son), and Jennifer (Nakamoto). After a divorce Jay became very involved in competing in AKC Retriever Field Trials. Jay married Valerie (Fisher), who was also an ardent field trial competitor, in 1971. Together they developed Trieven and Sungold Retrievers breeding the top competitive retrievers in the nation.
Trieven-Sungold Kennels was known worldwide, and President Gerald Ford sent his female golden retriever to Walker’s top male to produce the first litter of pups born in the White House. Most of today’s top Retriever Field Trial Champions trace back to Jay and Val’s retriever bloodlines. With his wife, Jay also bred and owned top Missouri Foxtrotter horses, even riding and winning back in Missouri at the world championships.
Jay was an ardent hunter and fisherman and with his wife pursued big game all over the western states. The Walkers also enjoyed upland bird hunting and in 1993 moved to Lovell to their ranch outside of Lovell, where Jay started a Game Bird Hunt Club, which he enjoyed up until the time of his most recent hospitalization. Jay spent most summers in the mountains with his wife riding horses and packing into the back country, fishing, scouting and hunting trophy mule deer and elk in the fall. His four grandsons all came out from California as soon as they were old enough to fly alone and spent many wonderful weeks with Grandpa and Val in the summertime in the mountains.
Though handicapped by stroke the past decade Jay still enjoyed going out, scouting and hunting with family and friends, while riding “shotgun” in a vehicle. He will be greatly missed by his wife of 48 years, and his family and friends.
Jay is survived by his wife Valerie Walker, his daughters Tammy (Chuck) Lancaster and Jennifer Nakamoto and seven grandchildren: Patrick Lancaster, Jack Lancaster, Connor Lancaster, Keegan Lancaster, Sarah Nakamoto, Rachel Nakamoto and Garrison Nakamoto. He is pre-deceased by his son J.T., his parents Adra and Jack, and his brother Robert.
To send one of our special floral arrangements, please call Valley Flowers & Gifts in Lovell, 307-548-7101