2012-12-27 / Obituaries

Zola Walker

Zola Irene Davis was born in Spur, Texas on Oct. 10, 1918. She passed away Dec. 20.

In 1921, the family moved to Little Rock, Ark. During the Great Depression her family found themselves out of work. Relatives in California told of places having work, so sometime during 1930, the entire family and all their belongings were loaded into a Model-T truck and the long journey to California was undertaken. The journey ended with them living out of a tent on Orchard Road in Hollister. She contributed to the family by picking prunes and apricots.

She attended grammar school in Hollister, where she played the violin in the orchestra. Upon graduating to Hollister High School she continued to play the violin and also picked up the French horn so that she could participate in the marching band. She remembers the highlight of her band years was playing at the World’s Fair at Treasure Island.

She had several interesting lines of work in her youth. On April 6, 1941, she married Willie Walker in the Methodist Church in Hollister.

The couple moved to San Francisco where jobs that supported the war effort were easy to find. Willie went to work for Bethlehem Steel in the shipyards. Zola found a job working for Hobbs Battery, where she picked up bookkeeping skills that she would find valuable throughout her life. When Willie went overseas in the Army Air Force, Zola found her way back to Hollister where she opened up Walker’s Dress Shop from 1943-1953.

In 1948, after learning pasteurization techniques at Cal Poly, Willie went into the milk business working for Zgragens Farms in Hollister. On Nov. 2, 1949 their son Gary was born, followed on Jan. 29, 1952 by Joyce. Shortly after this the Walker’s Dress Shop was closed to focus on raising the kids. During this same time Willie began home delivery of milk and was offered the Foremost Distributorship from Coyote to Gilroy. In 1954, they moved to Gilroy, and Zola pitched-in by delivering the milk and never stopped until retirement almost 30 years latter.

In 1999, Zola moved to Idle Wheels in Mariposa to be closer to her daughter, Joyce, who had moved there two years before. In Mariposa, she loved tending her garden, which bloomed under her care.

Retirement has meant some wonderful trips to places like all the western national parks, trips across the US, Canada, Baja California, Hawaii, the Bahamas, Alaska, France and other places. But retirement never meant slowing down for Zola. It meant she finally had time to learn how to ride horses at the young age of 69. She had more time to volunteer her time to organizations such as Cow Bells, American Legion Women Auxiliary, the Rebekahs, and the Eastern Star of the Masonic Lodge.

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