Rodney Allen Walker
Holland Michigan: 9-28-51 - ~ Lakeland Florida: 3-21-24

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Rodney was an avid outdoorsman. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and cruising with Anita in their restored ‘57 Chevy. Most importantly, he loved the Lord. Rodney delighted in serving others, always available to help anyone in anyway he could, if he visited during any chore or task, he pitched in to help.

Rodney had an unquestioned passion for his children, Todd, Coree, Stacy, the grand and great grand children. He was instantly ready to spend time with every one of them. If he was doing something that was not crucially important, that stopped when they visited. As a "Snowbird," he was asked one time if he would ever move to Florida and he instantly replied, "No, the grand kids aren't there."

He was a member of and served the South Haven Church of Christ and served as a shepherd, teacher, and lay preacher. He was employed at Bohn Aluminum for seventeen years until its closing. He then followed in his Dad’s footsteps, opening Walker Vinyl Works as a master upholsterer. Rodney tried to retire several times, but his clients-turned-friends refused to allow it. He was still in business at the time of his death.

Surviving family members include wife Anita Walker, as well as children Stacy (Phil) Arens, Todd (Stephanie) Walker, and Coree Walker; grandchildren Dakota (Andrea) Sanchez, Kylie Sanchez, Kait Walker, Isaac & Elijah Null, and Kayden Pennell; great-grandchildren Jackson, Stella, and Roman Sanchez; and many nieces and nephews.

Also surviving are siblings Marv Walker, Jeanette (Jerry) Bruursema, Wayne (Donna) Walker, and Dale (Cindy) Walker.

Memorial services were held in Lakeland, Florida on March 25, 2024 at the request of his winter residency friends. A Celebration of Life memorial service will be held for his summer residency South Haven, Michigan friends at the Van Buren Senior Center, 8337 M-140 South Haven, Michigan 49090, on Saturday May 4, 2024 at 1:00 pm.

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Rodney's Lakeland Florida Service Audio...

Tap here for Track 1 of Rodney's Lakeland Florida Service
Tap here for Track 2 of Rodney's Lakeland Florida Service
Tap here for Track 3 of Rodney's Lakeland Florida Service
Tap here for Track 4 of Rodney's Lakeland Florida Service

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Family & Friends Remembering Rodney

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Anyone who wishes to remember him here can email me Marv@MarvWalker.com, or text me at 706 816-7190 and I'll get your expression added here.

Remember away as often as you wish! There is more space available here than can ever be filled.

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Sunday Fish Fry @ Rodney & Anita's

Kylie Sanchez' Sunday Fish Fry

~ Kylie Sanchez

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Rodney Walker Pic

We lived up on 32nd street in Holland, Michigan in the middle 60's pretty much car less with a bicycle and the kindness of others being our main transportation from one end of Holland to the other.

Every Friday afternoon the ice cream place way down on Holland, Michigan's Lincoln Avenue closed down for the weekend and threw out their "sell-by" date product in the trash. Rodney and I would hop on the bike and head on down there with me pedaling and him sitting on the handlebars. Back we would come with as many cartons of still somewhat frozen catch of the day ice cream as he could balance.

Mom had a commercial mixer that was her pride and joy. It had a huge bowl and whatever got anywhere near that thing got beat to a pulp as the mixer leaped around doing its thing. Rodney and I would empty all the ice cream without regard to flavor into the bowl and turn it on and in about 15 seconds we'd have about 5 gallons of - you name the flavor - soft-serve ice cream. We'd fill the largest bowls we could find and glutton out on tremendous amounts of ice cream until we were in a satisfied stupor.

A half century later we both love ice cream.

A few years back he and I were sitting in the local DQ during one of his visits and he was licking a huge ice cream cone. I asked him what that was doing to his diabetes, he shrugged and replied, "Don't know, don't care..." He sent me a pic of him eating a bowl of ice cream a year or so later. He loved his ice cream.

~ Marv Walker

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If there was ever a Celebration I wanted to attend it was Rodney’s…I am SO sorry I wasn’t there…I was so stinking sick!! I can’t imagine how different your life has become…but please know i truly love you both!

- Cheryl Curran -

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I always said I would say the deer story at his funeral, me and him joked about it a lot. life is crazy he was such a role model to me a father/ best friend. I tell u I’ve lost a lot of ppl in my life but this has been the roughest on me no lie I’m not sure how well I’m going to be tomorrow to be real he had such a impact on the man I’m today, to my family and kid. he was such a leader in Christ and being a amazing man just don’t understand life. the day I called looking for him and found out, then seen it on line ugh. I’m so sorry but believe me his legacy won’t die as long as I live.

- Roger Cummins -

For the few who don't know the famous Cummings / Walker deer story, Rodney called Roger to help him with a deer he'd harvested and Roger drove up and drove a few feet past Rodney's frantic stop motions to end up stopping on top of Rodney's deer.

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I am stunned. I so sorry. I don’t know what else to say. I feel like I lost a true friend. We had some great personal conversations over many years. What a huge loss for you Anita and all of us

- - - Dave Hunt, Big Boy owner/friend -

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I'm so saddened Anita Thompson Walker, and Coree Walker. This is heartbreaking and please know you are all in my prayers Stacy.

~Jo Ann ?

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God's comfort be on all of you. We are numb with the loss of this awesome man. What a blessing he was and continues to be.

~ George Schrader

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I am so saddened by this news. I knew Rodney from my Joy Bus days and time at M-43 Church of Christ in South Haven. Glad I got to have a short visit with him and Anita when we visited there in 2014 ish. Rodney was a fine Christian man and always had kind words and encouragement to share. He was also an excellent Bible class teacher. He will be sorely missed. Praying for peace and comfort for Anita Thompson Walker and all of their family ?

~Nancy May Boon

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I am so so sorry to hear this. May the Lord lift you up and be with y'all through this very painful time. My prayers go out to y'all Coree Walker , Anita, Stacy and Todd, prayers be with you all. Loss of a great man...RIP Rodney Walker...you will surely be missed.

~ Anthony Higgs

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I was eating a burger from one of the deer Rodney and I harvested at the farm during he & Anita's his last snowbird trip and sadly thinking, "I will miss our fall hunting sessions where we would sit in the Jeep at the far end of the horse pasture and jabber about everything under the sun while waiting for one to wander through the woods in the distance..." He would keep me informed of the deer's progress and position as I slipped out of the Jeep to retrieve the rifle leaning against the fence post.

I'm working on not missing all of the great things we shared...

"Hunting with him during their fall stopovers on their way through Georgia to Florida was always a great time..."

There is a difference.

~ Marv Walker

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So much sympathy, love and prayers,

~Jim and Rose Lindemulder

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Stacy, Anita: I'm am sorry for you and your whole family's loss. I glad some of you are together. Blessings and prayers to you all. Best of all just know Jesus is there and understands.

~ Pat Stinnett

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So sorry for your loss! He was such an amazing man! Sending prayers to you and your family.

~Melissa Vogue

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My thoughts and prayers are with you all. I am so saddened by Rodney’s passing, but all in heaven are rejoicing his arrival.

~Jan Fahs

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I am so sorry to hear this. He was such an amazing guy. So many fun memories of Pine River trips to the cabin back in the day and volleyball, cookouts and stuff. Sending so much love and prayers and hugs to you all

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~ Shanna

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I loved him. This makes me sad. Praying for Anita and all the family. Our condolences.

~Carl Smith

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I’m so sorry Praying for you all during this difficult time. I know he is in the arms of Jesus. My mom also died suddenly of a massive heart attack two years ago. She loved Rodney and I’m sure was part of his welcome committee in heaven. May God comfort your broken hearts

~Janet Picc

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I’m so sorry for your loss. Rodney made such an impact on me. You all are in my thoughts. .

~Valerie May

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We're so sorry for your loss. We're from the Florida Holiness Campground. Rodney made an impact on every life he touched. He will be very much missed. You're all in our prayers . Jesus has a very special person with him. May God's comfort a d peace be with you all.

~Dave and Denise

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What a loss for the world. He was such a great man and role model. I wish my boys had more time to be with him and soak up all his great wisdom.

~Austin Null

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Anita our heart goes out to you and the family!Rodney was a wonderful friend and we loved him dearly. It was always a Blessing to be with you and him. We will keep you and the family in our prayers.

~Vicky and Wayne

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Family reunions- some you never want to have is over the death of a loved one. My brother Rodney passed away today. Not the kind of reunion I was looking for. I am sure that it's a reunion that Mom and Dad and Rodney will enjoy. The blessing of being a believer in Jesus is to believe in reunions. Knowing that there are those we leave behind and those who have left us behind will one day be reunited. As siblings and friends gather together to say goodbye, there will be those gathered together to say hello. My brother Rodney was loved, is loved and will be loved throughout eternity. I will miss him but I know that there will be another reunion. I know that my brother would want everyone to have a reunion to look forward to. If you know my brother Rodney, and are not prepared for eternity, please obey the gospel of Jesus and he along with Jesus will be waiting. See you soon brother!

Dale Walker ~ Brother

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I think I was about 8 years old when Rodney came into my life. I can say this isn’t what I wanted, I wasn’t interested in sharing our house with a new bother and sister. And for sure wasn’t interested in a “new” 2nd dad. We have had our issues and as I became a teenager we didn’t get along. I gave mom and Rodney a run for their money!! haha.

We have come a long way from then. He has become one of the most important people in my life. He has taught us all to see the good in everyone, he would give you the shirt off his back. I have seen him help everyone around him, family, church members and all friends in Michigan and in Florida. He is patient, he is kind and he was one of a kind. I have learned so much from him.

He was a fantastic papa to my kids, he would always show up for them. He has also been the best great papa to my grandkids. One thing for sure is, Rodney would always get out and play with the kids. He liked to make sure they knew he was there, and they were loved.

This takes me to what my daughter found in Rodney’s bible, Kylie picked up Rodney’s bible and this paper fell out like it was meant for us to read it.

These are Rodney’s words:

Sometimes he says papa, I love you.

How that warms my heart.

Growing up our family wasn’t one of those huggie, lovie dovie kind.

Never mistreated. Just unemotional type.

But when I had my family, I wanted to make sure they knew that I loved them. Every time I dropped them off and at the end of every phone call, every time we say goodbye we say LOVE YOU!!

Because I want them to know one thing above anything else is that I love them.

This is one of the many things that I have learned from Rodney, I always tell the people I love how much I love them. Thank you for that Rodney, now please help me work on my patience.

We will for sure have a void on family days and always in our hearts, but I feel good knowing he will always be looking down and watching us.

I appreciate all the love he has shown me and my children. You would never know I wasn’t his blood.

I love you so much and I will take care of ma, until we meet again Rodney.

~ Love Stacy

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I have had a number of traumatic life-altering things happen to me in my 80 years on this earth. Nothing comes anywhere close to the evening of March 21, 2024 when I got the numbing news that my beloved younger brother Rodney had passed away. I was instantly physically sick.

He was an absolute blessing to me his entire life. He was constantly involved in my life one way or another, everything I look at reminds me of him and my vision blurs. I was told that it gets better and my answer was, "No, it won't!"

I am not the only person who loved him by any means. The expressions of his passing overflow with adoration from those who came into contact with him in any way.

This page is but another expression of who he was.

Marv Walker ~ Brother

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There are a huge number of cherished Rodney memories in this pic of his Michigan memorial service.

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I remember laying in the yard with Uncle Rodney and the girls talking and calling out shapes of the clouds!! He’s such an amazing man… and is extremely missed?. I love you

-Renee Pavelka, Niece-

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Commercial seating repair has been the family business since 1972 mostly as a keep in family touch thing between three of the brothers, it was the one thing we all had in solid common.

This pic was taken some years ago when he was in the midst of some restaurant remodelings and I had gone up to Michigan to give him a hand.

I was in Michigan for his Remembrance Service and went down into his shop again. Our shops are near carbon copies of each other.

Our lives were so intertwined that I literally cannot look at anything without being reminded of him.

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The earliest memory I have of Rodney is when we lived on 15th street in Holland he was about 3 years old. That apartment house had a wide half porch and about 5 steps down to the sidewalk. Well, Rodney loved anything with wheels and he was riding a tricycle around the porch until he hit the steps. They must have looked like it would be a good thing to use to get to the sidewalk because he rode that tricycle down to the sidewalk. Of course, he and the trike parted company on the way down and he ended up with 2 black eyes and a bloody nose. The neighbor kids started calling him raccoon eyes and pointing at him and laughing. My temper got the better of me and I chased them away because they made him cry. I think this probably is where he got his love of anything with wheels on it. Trikes, bikes, golf carts, and cars. Especially his 57 Chevy.

I hope that God not only gives him wings and a star studded crown, I hope he also gets a pair of gold roller skates to ride upon those streets of gold..

His birthday was only 3 weeks after mine and I always called him to say Happy Birthday, He was 4 years younger than me so I have the great good fortune to have known him all of his life. Rodney was a ray of sunshine in many lives and my heart will have a shade in his place now. Please, do not tell me that his passing into the hands of the Lord will ease with time because it never will.

More memories coming soon.

His sister, Jeanette

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Rodney & Kylie

most girls are either a mommy’s girl or a daddy’s girl but i’ve always been a papa’s girl. He was the greatest man i’ve ever known and the purest form of love i’ve ever felt. It’s been an honor to know you, to love you, and be loved by you. my life has been forever changed, I can’t imagine a world without you in it. until we meet again, my sweet angel.

~ Kylie Sanchez

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Sorry for your loss your whole family will be in our prayers. Hot rod will definitely be missed by all he has been a positive role model in my life for 50ish years. From church to cabin or just at each other's house a very big part of my life.

~ Tom Plochocki, Jr.

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57 Chevrolet

He was always interested in vintage cars, however, Rodney was a Chevrolet person at heart. The 5-4," 5-5," 5-6", 5-7" 2-door Chevys were the must have cars during our early car doors. We had many sometimes high speed adventures in those automobiles.

I don't remember him ever starting something that he did not finish and completely restoring his '57 Chevy was a classic example of that determination. When I first saw it it was just a little above "Chunk-A-Junk" grade.

He was always willing to go for a nostalgic cruise with Anita and whoever else wanted to go along, providing it was "5-7" weather, no rain, no storms. When it wasn't on the road it was in stall 3 of the garage covered up under its blanket.

~ Marv Walker, brother.

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the greatest man i’ve ever known. I can understand why God wanted to be close to him, he was an angel on earth.

-Granddaughter Kylie-

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Couple

What amazing couple I knw that for a fact they open there home and hearts to me for over 24 years taught me so much what love was how to treat ppl like god wants I’m the man I I’m today because of this amazing couple had a lot of great times at there home them coming to mine for cookouts thanksgiving going fishing working at places with Rodney doing vinyl work cutting trees I love u both.

-Roger-

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I was laughing this morning remembering Rodney teaching my son, Jack, who was probably 2 or 3 at the time, to say "Chevrolet ". That went over great with my 100% Ford husband. Hahaha.

-Renate Selvidge-

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I remember when Rodney shot his 1st deer. We lived in the tarpaper shack in Gulliver and he took the one and only gun we had and headed for the cedar swamp near us. He came in the back door and he was as white as a sheet, sweating, and trembling. He whispered "Mom, come here" , then a little louder he repeated "Mom, come here". My mother went to him and he said "I shot a deer"!

Of course it was out of season, she was astonished and on the other hand it was meat for us and no need to let it rot on the ground, right? So, Marvin and his friend waited until dark and went and retrieved the deer and hung it up in the little back porch on the back of the shack. It was a very good thing that our mom had spent some years on a farm, wasn't afraid of a dead animal and she butchered it out into edible portions.

He once got caught by the DNR and his gun got confisticated, was sentenced to a week in jail, of which he only served 2-3 days because he got very sick and they brought him home. He was pretty young to be in jail and most were aware of our situation at home. He might have turned into a deer hunter on that occasion. He certainly loved to hunt for the rest of his life, he always loved to go a little "up north" for deer camp or hunt with Marvin when passing through his home in Georgia.

Marvin may be able to tell you more about this incident because I have had 5 brain tumors on the right side of my head and my memories get a little fuzzy at times. My husband can barely talk about how much he will be missed this year.

One thing I am very sure of is that I will never forget my adored brother, Rodney.

His sister, Jeanette

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Rodney Todd

Love you Pop's! Thank you for a wonderful life!

Todd Walker ~ Son

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Rodney visiting Joy

I will cherish the memories I had with you! I am glad you were able to come visit a few years ago! My heart is so broken

~ Joy Walker

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I found a couple more pics, that I just love. The first one is "Da Papa" , and his granddaughter's, Kaitlin, and Kylie.

Man & granddaughters

The second is him, with grandson's Isaac, granddaughter Kaitlin, Gramma Nita, and grandson Elijah. He loved every minute with family.

Family Grad Pic

He was the proudest Papa alive. He cherished every moment with his family. We will miss him so very much.

~ Stephanie Walker, Daughter in law.

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One time Rodney, Anita, Brenda and myself went to the wat not inn We went in the 57. Then after all you could eat fish, Rodney drove us into saugatuck and we had ice cream!! Lol. I was stuffed Sure missing him!

~ Ron Seabury

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Kylie's Sundays

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In June the wild strawberries ripen in fields and pastures all across the UP and very few people even notice. The strawberries you buy in the store do not have near the color or the flavor of a wild strawberry. Absolutely delicious!!

Near our shack, there was a field of long grass by the time the end of June was close. Wild strawberries were fairly prolific but grow low under the tall grass and you have to be careful where you walked when berry hunting.

Of course, our mother told us the same thing she did every time we went berry picking, "Don't eat them all. Save some so I can make some jam." We just looked at each other and laughed. You have no idea of how good those berries were and we were going to eat as many as we could possibly find..{Dale was very young when we were moved to Gulliver, so he missed out on a lot of things.} Mom, forever hopeful, would bring us out a cup each and would tell us to put the berries in them for jam. Did that work? Nah! We just ate them. .lol

I always called Rodney the "brat" because he never wanted to share anything really good and that included anything he really liked.. When we found a patch of berries, we would lay down in the grass next to them and start eating them as fast as we could because Rodney would come over by you and start eating the treasure you had found! He would just laugh if you told him to go find his own berries. "Brat"

I can't even begin to tell you how much I'm going to miss that laugh.

In later years, he would stop by the house for a loaf of homemade bread and I would give him a jar of homemade strawberry jam to go with it. In the picture of him eating ice cream, the ice cream is floating on top of strawberries. I think he loved them all his life because I still do.

Sometimes, when I think about those summer times of laying out in the sweet smelling grass with the cool earth beneath us and the sun shining on our backs so warm, along with the taste of those berries so sweet, the brat helping himself to your berries, I wish we could still be in the pasture looking for berries.

His sister--Jeanette

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My mom Genny , met Rodney when she was a teenager, and they would attend each other's churches. Later Rodney would become very good friends with my dad Doug. I can remember Rodney and Anita coming to visit my parents when we lived in northern Michigan, and where we live now in Kentucky. And we have visited them a lot in the last several years. If we were in Michigan, we would always stop to see them and spend as much time as we could at their beautiful home in South haven. He was always ready to take my husband or our kids, as they got older, out on the boat fishing. It seemed like it was his privilege!

A few years ago, they invited us to stay at their home. That week holds some beautiful and special memories! Including Rodney continuously saying "you got to be kidding me "anytime we started cooking food. Him and Anita were endlessly amazed at how much food, we would cook. We came home from that trip with my then 4 year old daughter constantly saying "you got to be kidding me! "

When my dad passed away in 2017, Rodney shared some beautiful stories at his funeral here in Kentucky. They came to us and stayed with us for a few days and I'll never forget, the strength that they seemed to carry with them to help us through such a hard time.

We will miss this dear friend of ours so much! I can't hardly make a cup of coffee right now without thinking of this past summer when we were in Michigan visiting. And Rodney came to find us at the house we had rented. we offered a cup of coffee and he accepted of course. The next day when we saw him, he wanted to know what I had done to the coffee because he hadn't slept all night after drinking it. I asked him if maybe it had something to do with his age.

we can all be so thankful for that beautiful hope of heaven GOD BLESS and continuous prayers

"If you have the ability, and the opportunity, it is YOUR responsibility!" I feel like Rodney exemplified this. He had the ability and often made the opportunity.

~ Joscie Kilburn

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When Rodney and Anita would stop by Georgia on their way to Florida in the fall he and I would spend afternoons deer hunting in the back pasture. We would sit in the blind, a Jeep Grande Laredo, and spend hours talking about odds and ends and often reliving our shared life events, as we scanned the bordering woods waiting for deer to show. If memory serves me correctly we would harvest a couple of deer a visit.

Everything I look at reminds me of him, everything...

~ Marv Walker

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I was very blessed with 22 years of wonderful memories with my papa, but even if I got 100 years of memories with him it still wouldn’t be enough! I’ve enjoyed reading everybody’s favorite moments with my papa and have spent the past few weeks thinking of all the countless memories I have with him. One of them has been stuck in my head on repeat. I was about 12 years old it was a summer day and we hopped on the bike trail right by his house. We rode our bikes all the way to lake michigan, hung out at the beach for a while, went and got lunch and rode to my dad’s job to have lunch with him on his break, and then rode our bicycles all the way back home! We were always doing something fun like this, never a dull moment with my papa. He will forever be my guardian angel. Love you to the moon and back papa

-kaitlin --

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One of the great privileges in life as a teenager is to be mostly unsupervised. Our Mom tried but it's kind of hard when you have 5 kids to keep an eye on most of the time. I think she was relieved that the school bus picked us up every day and took us away. lol. At least it did for 9 months of the year.

Living in the UP we NEVER got a snow day. The snow could be up to the electric wires and we had to dig a tunnel to get to the road, for that bus was sure to come, regardless of the weather, blizzard or not. I remember that the bus only got stuck one time in the years we lived up there, our rescue was the other school bus! We went to school! lol.

I wonder when an inch of snow falls here in Holland and a snow day is called?

This is Michigan. Isn't winter expected in this state? I always thought it followed the fall season. Maybe my memory is faulty again?

As kids, we always had fun in the snow and sometimes on the ice, too. Snowball fights, fort building, chasing each other around a circle in duck, duck, goose,{Rodney always hogged the safety circle in the middle.} and building snowmen.

Our grandma Walker would knit us mittens.I can't remember any of them being the same size or color. We didn't care. At least we had some mittens. We learned to ice skate in -10% weather on used hockey skates someone had given us. They flooded the school yard for an ice rink when it was cold enough to make ice and added a barrel fire to help us warm up. We would walk home in the late evening on a snowy road through the cedars and swamp, silence all around us as we watched the Northern Lights in all their beautiful glory. We had cold feet and hands, red cheeks and runny red noses from having an evening of fun outside and splendor in the sky. What a beautiful young life we had! {It was too bad that Dale was too little to be along with us}

Rodney loved the winters when we were young. He had a beautiful laugh when we played outside in the snow, especially when we threw ourselves down in the snow to make snow angels waving our arms around, creating a mini snowstorm with our efforts and getting all covered in the snow again. The trick was to make an angel without leaving foot tracks up to the angel, getting up and away without leaving a track was the hard part. Now he can see the real thing, angels, and no worry about leaving tracks. He left his tracks behind for us to follow.

His sister- Jeanette

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Oh how I long for one more hug, one more word of encouragement, one more day of talking while picking blueberries!! I keep wanting to just hear that beautiful voice one more time!! I’ve cried so many tears for you Rodney!! I know where you are and that brings me joy! I’m truly going to miss you my dear dear friend!!!

-Ron Seabury-

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Thank you for sharing this obituary of Rodney’s life. We had the pleasure of meeting him and Anita Thompson Walker at FHCG as well as Anita’s family (mother and brother) when they resided in the Morrison Building next to our mobile. Cliff and Rodney had just been talking about their ‘57 Chevy and the one we owned days before his untimely passing. May God’s peace and comfort be with you Anita and family.

~ Cliff & Bev Dixon

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We never had a garden of our own but our neighbors and grandma Lewke had them!

Rodney would love to tell me about his garden raiding days {or nights as the case may have been}. He loved ripe watermelon and our neighbor Hasel raised them every summer. She made the mistake of having her garden on the side that faced our shack. Rodney and any brother he could get to go with him, would sneak through the field and snatch one of her ripe watermelons. She never complained to mom about it but I really think she knew who was the culprit.

The neighbor across the road had an apple tree in his cow pasture. It wasn't too excessively large for us to climb, so we did. The hazard came in the nature of cow flops making the barefoot progress just a little ---"oh no! Guess what I just stepped in?" I'm not sure what kind of apples they were but they sure tasted terrific! A nice round sweet yellow apple with a slight banana taste. Rodney loved apples and I think the rest of us still do, too. I don't remember any of us falling out of that tree.

We went to visit my grandma Lewke during the summer. They grew a huge garden. As soon as we arrived at the farm, we would head for the garden immediately. Fresh early peas, little carrots we would clean off on our clothes, leaf lettuce, and tiny tomatoes. The first words from grandma would be "You kids get out of my garden!!" Later in the season, the sweet corn would be picked and boiled in a huge pot grandma had on the stove. With a little salt and butter, we ate like little pigs and with our cheeks smeared from the butter and a full belly, we thought there was no better place on earth to be.

Grandpa Lewke had an apple orchard on the other side of the Chocoley River. He would hitch up his work horses to a wagon and away we'd go to pick apples. He wouldn't let us climb any of his trees. He had an apple picker on a long handle so we had no need to climb to pick the apples. All we had to do was put them in the basket and eat one or two. Sometimes, he would let us ride back to the house on the horses after we fed them an apple. What fun we had on the farm!!

His sister--Jeanette

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This old world keeps on turning. It never gives us time to shore up those emotions and prepare for the next hit. My family and i thought so much of Rodney. My boys spent quality time with Rodney, every time they saw him. Thank you Rodney.

Have faith in a higher power. There is so much more. Have faith that Rodney had enough for all of us. A true believer who walked the walk. A great warrior has gone home. He left us with a legacy of love, kindness, compassion, acceptance, and forgiveness. He left us footprints to follow, an example of who we should be. This is for my Sis and Todd, Coree, and Stacy. We loved him.

~ Anita's Sister

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He was a beautiful man and soul. We are blessed you guys shared him with our family. Thank you both for always treating me with welcoming arms and respect you both are truly amazing people and both have the most respect from myself and Kyle. We are both praying for you.

-Allyssa-

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Pcture of a horse

I was born with a "cowboy" noun in my DNA that rather quickly turned into a verb. Horses have been a major part of my life for nearly 80 years. I have always gravitated toward them like a bat to a bug. People from around the world have sought me out for my horse knowledge. No brag, just fact.

I was waiting for a restaurant guest to get out of a booth I needed to work on and as I often did during those times I called Rodney because I could.

During the course of our conversation I remarked that I had found the horse that I had looked for my entire life. "Now all I have to do is find someone to lend me the money," I joked.

"How much?" he asked casually and when I told him he asked, "Is that going to be enough, do you need more than that?" "Ahh, yeah, that's the total," I replied.

"I'm going to WalMart now to wire the money, it should be there in a half hour," he said matter of factually.

I'll never look at her without thinking of him.

~ Marv Walker, Brother

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Rodney is a rare exception to what is called a man! He was caring to all, loved his families ( blood and church and friends) all so very deeply! He truly was very special to me!! I’m going to miss him terribly! I had just talked to him about a week or so ago and he said he was going to be here around the 1st of April. I said looking forward to seeing him and getting a big hug! GOD HAS YOU NOW!!!! ?

-Ron Seabury-

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Oh Rodney, you have known me since I was a little girl. You were always a happy, fun, family man to be around. The love you showed for Anita Thompson Walker truly showed everyday. I am grateful I saw you one last time about a month or so ago. Per usual, you put a smile on my face and made me laugh like always. Love you, Rodney! RIP.

-Drose Lindemulder-

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Typical Rodney! Always thinking of others and there for them. He called so, so many times to check on Les. "When we all get to heaven. What a day of rejoicing that will be!"

-Becky Burford-

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Summer in the UP was equal to the bug season. It's when the mosquitos talking to each other say "Shall we bite them here or take them home for later?" The deer flies butt in with "No, lets bite them when they are swimming in Gulliver Lake. More skin to bite on and leave nice big red welts." This statement is a true saying!! Ask any deer fly! lol

My mother used to drag us out to pick wild raspberries when the season was right to pick them. She led us into the cedar swamps on a trail the men used when cutting christmas trees. Believe me when I say that our mom had a trail of kids behind her like ducks in a row and behind us was a fog of biting bugs. She would tell us NOT to eat all the berries because she wanted to make jam for our home made bread. Of course, we didn't listen to a word about some time in the future, we were hungry by the time we got to the berry bushes and those berries were so sweet and delicious, we devoured most of what we picked. We all got bramble scratches from the berry bushes and covered in red spots from the bugs, tired and sweaty from the walk into the cedars and cranky from the itches of the bug bites, Rodney ended the swamp berry picking when he stepped on a ground nest of small wasps and started hollering and jumping around while trying to get away from them. {I don't think he ever learned to dance like that again.}

After we got home, my mom put cooled cooked oatmeal all over him.He kinda looked like one of those yeti everyone keeps looking for, being all covered by brown gooey cooked oatmeal.. I think this incident was when he became allergic to wasp and bee stings for the rest of his life. It's probably why he always preferred peanut butter on his home made bread. He didn't have to pick the peanuts or make the peanut butter.

I'll write about the strawberry and blueberry picking another time.

His sister- Jeanette

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Rodney was a good man and a great friend and neighbor? Our hearts are broken He will be truly missed.

-Connie Newberry-

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I miss you. You taught me so much when you were here it is hard to realize that you are gone. amen amen.

-Kendal-

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I remember Rodney doing my dad's funeral he will be missed.

~ Darcy Heavin

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In our wilder days when salmon season first started in Michigan in the late 60's, it was very tightly regulated and people were 20 deep on the river bank flinging huge weighted treble hooks in and out of the water as fast as they could in hopes of snagging one without being snagged in the flying volley. Rodney and I resorted back to our Cedar Savage roots and slipped into feeder creeks and hand-grabbed our illegal legal possession limit of 5 each in about 15 minutes.

We'd show up at the fishing hole basking in hero glory with our stash of fish and lie where we had caught them then watch the rush to get to the "honey hole."

We had a refrigerator filled and a built-up reputation in no time.

Folks we knew would see us coming and throw their hands up, "Don't need any more fish!!! We're good!!!"

~Marv Walker

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We lived in Escanaba Michigan within walking distance of Bay De Noc, Ore Docks, and Yacht Harbor practically backyard fishing. I needed a fishing partner and Rodney was a willing applicant. I taught him how to fish when he was about 9 and he immediately began teaching his little friends what he learned.

There were about 5 of them in the class as I critiqued him dispensing his knowledge with a casting demonstration using a spinning rod tricked out with a large Red & White DareDevil on the end of the line. DareDevils are fishing lures made of stiff metal and shaped somewhat like a spoon with a treble hook dangling off the bottom.

Rodney whipped the rod around and the DareDevil whistled through the air bound for Wisconsin followed by a sharp "SPLAT" and Dale Boudreau (actual victim) screaming and jumping around with air grasping hands held out and a big DareDevil flopping down his face. He was hollering so loud his parents got mixed up in the catch and it got really exciting about then.

I managed to get a fleeting glimpse of the hook point during all the dancing and commotion and saw the DareDevil was snagged in his eyebrow and blocking his vision. I offered to get it unhooked by pushing the hook completely through to expose the barb so I could snip it off and back it out. That quickly got outvoted with his parents voting for the hospital where they did what I was going to do for free.

"Wasn't that about the time I hit that kid in the eye with the fishing lure?" he asked pensively many years when we were remembering old days.

I made him feel better, "It wasn't his eye, it was his eyebrow!" I reminded. "It was funny watching him jumping around with that DareDevil flapping in and out of his vision path!"

~ Marv Walker

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Marv,

We've loved reading your stories.

We've known Rodney and Anita for 3.5 years through the Florida Holiness Campground. We're from Grayling, MI. Since I took over organizing the parking detail during the churches camp meeting, Rodney volunteered to help.

My most recent funny memory happened about mid February. My husband and I were passing Doughnuts out to different camp residents when all of a sudden my phone rings. It was Rodney asking me if they were going to get Doughnuts too. Needless to say, he and Anita were our next stop. Another time that we passed out Doughnuts, I gave Rodney 2 Doughnuts. One for him and one for Anita. A couple days later when I talked to Anita, imagine my surprise to find out she never got the doughnut. I snapped a picture of Anita and I and told Rodney he got caught.

You're in our prayers . Rodney was a very special man.

~ Dave & Denise Jacklyn

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