2014-08-14 / Obituaries

Frank Bancroft Walker

Frank Bancroft Walker, 90, died peacefully at home in Mariposa on Aug. 7, 2014.

Services will be held at New Life Christian Fellowship church in Bootjack on Saturday, Sept. 6 at 10 a.m. with Pastor Eric Von Raeder officiating. The service is scheduled to include military honors.

Walker was born June 22, 1924 in San Francisco. In 2013, he attended his 70th class reunion at St. Ignatius High School in San Francisco, class of 1943. All classmates were World War II veterans.

He earned degrees from Cornell University (Navy Shipman’s School), North Carolina State University (naval officer’s diesel engineering), and Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. He studied engineering at the University of San Francisco and Gonzaga University.

Walker was a commercial swordfisher and boat builder in Peru, a farm chemical market developer and chemical sales entomologist throughout Latin America, a professional tennis teacher and member of the U.S. Professional Tennis Association, wrote for national tennis magazines and was an assistant professor of advanced tennis at California State University Northridge and a licensed California building contractor and plumber. He also served as a World War II naval officer in the Philippines.

After retirement, Walker was a newspaper columnist and feature writer for the MARIPOSA GAZETTE and former Mariposa Tribune. He volunteered in Mariposa and environs as a Gideon speaker at area churches, “food for the poor work” at Manna House, and jail chaplain for 20 years. He was a professional award-winning scenic photographer, winning more than 100 ribbons and was also a semi-professional harmonica soloist (classical and modern) studying under Brazil’s leading harmonica player.

He published two books, “A Key, A Padlock and Milk of Magnesia” and “Are the Comatose Awake.” His third book will be published posthumously.

In addition to English, he was fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.

After one excursion on a swordfish boat in Peru, he met Isabel Castro and proposed three days later; they were married for 60 years until her death earlier this year.

Walker is survived by three sons: Frank Jr. of Gig Harbor, Wash., Will of Selma, and Marc of Mariposa; six grandchildren: Meagan of Gig Harbor, Wash.; Nicholas, Douglas and Rachel, all of Big Bear Lake; Kyle of Sydney, Australia, and Dylan of Picayune, Miss.

Walker was predeceased by daughter Anne, and son Peter. Walker’s parents were Frederick James Walker, managing editor of The San Francisco Call Bulletin and West Coast editor of King Features Syndicate, and Frances Stow Bancroft Walker.

His grandparents were Frank Watts Bancroft, Ph.D., professor of biology at the University of California at Berkeley, and Eleanor Stow Bancroft Walker, M.D., a surgeon.

Walker was predeceased by his five siblings, Patricia Belle Walker Driscoll, Mary Elizabeth Walker Huttlinger, Sheila Walker Prag, James Walker and Michael Walker. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.

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