Richard W. Walker, age 70, died unexpectedly on March 12, 2023, after a decades-long struggle with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Richard was born on November 3, 1952, in Kalamazoo, the son of Richard A. Walker and Zita (Kovach) Walker, the fourth of nine children. A 1971 graduate of Portage Central High School, Richard was best known for his solid work ethic, extreme resilience, and love for his family.
For over 20 years, Richard worked for Rieth-Riley Construction as a proud member of the Operating Engineers Local 324 Union. Richard also ran his own snow-plowing business and kept busy with construction and home remodeling. He spent countless hours sharing his talent for woodworking and anything DIY. Richard seemed up for any challenge, including his MS diagnosis at the age of 42 that abruptly interrupted his active, hard-working lifestyle.
Even facing this cruel, incurable disease, Richard showed his characteristic determination and stubbornness. For almost three decades he fought the relentless progression of MS symptoms that steadily robbed him of much of his mobility, hearing, and vision. Throughout the years, Richard’s personality and sense of humor endured. Even as his body was diminished, Richard remained the central figure in his family with his children gathering their growing families around him as often as possible, ensuring that Richard could never doubt their never-ending love and respect for him.
Richard is survived by his children, Rich (Traci) Walker, Paul (Stephanie) Walker, Sara Gooley, and Laura Walker; his grandchildren: Alexander (Corrie), Nathan (Erinn), Timothy (Madison), Nicholas, Joshua, and Leah Walker; and Madeline Gooley; great-grandchildren: Easton and Eleanor Walker; his brother Daniel (Tina) Walker; former wife Tyna (Porter) Smith, dear family friend Shawna Steele, and many nieces and nephews.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents; his son-in-law Jason Gooley; and siblings: Carolyn Mannes, Julie Stamm, Patricia Harmon, Linda Layton, and John, Victor, and Michael Walker.
The family will greet friends on Thursday, March 16, 2023, from 5:00-7:00 PM at Langeland Family Funeral Homes, 411 E. Centre Avenue, Portage. A memorial mass will be held on Friday, March 17th, at 11:00 AM, at St. Catherine of Siena, 1150 W. Centre Avenue, Portage, MI 49024, with Father Ben Huynh presiding. Memorials may be directed to The National MS Society.
Please share memories of Richard with his family at https://www.langelands.com