Ronald “Ronnie” Gene Walker, 69, of Forest City died at his home on Saturday, May 6, 2023. He was the son of the late E.S. Walker, Jr and Dorothy Hutchins Walker. Ronnie was the owner of Walker Backhoe Services and a North Carolina certified septic tank installer. He was a master at detecting and correcting water problems of all descriptions and complexities.
He is survived by his sweetheart of 30 years, Darlene of the home, his son, Dustin Lee Walker and wife Lauren of Forest City, stepsons, Michael Harmon (Bobbie) of Trinity, NC, Brian Harmon (Eva and her children) of Spartanburg, SC, sister, Barbara Freeman (Joe), brothers, Dr Lanny D. Walker (Annette), Sheldon Walker (Sandra). There are four grandchildren, Peyton Walker, James Walker, Reid Harmon, and Ella Harmon; two aunts, both of Forest City, Doris Smith, and Barbara Hutchins, five cherished nieces and nephews Ryan Freeman, Master Sergeant Natalie Walker, United States Army; Nathan Walker, Kendra Walker Harmon, Nicklaus Walker, and their families.
Ronnie’s gifts to these special nieces and nephews often involved the gift of his time, taking them on ski trips, fishing expeditions, or other adventures.
Ronnie was a man of many talents who never met a stranger and enjoyed every aspect of his life. He loved music, practicing every Tuesday night with a group of treasured musician friends. The group consisted of many guitarists, a violinist, and vocalists. Ronnie shared his music with his church, playing the guitar and singing. He had hoped his special practice partners could present a concert for his church family.
Aside from his family, Ronnie’s passion was caring for his horses and competing in barrel racing, always winning enough points to qualify for the National Barrel Racing World Show each October in Perry, Georgia. Last October he won several events. His charismatic personality and horsemanship were honored in a feature story in the April edition of the Barrel Horse News. A cowboy, in and out of the arena, fun-loving, competitive, strong, and determined, he will be missed by literally hundreds of the barrel racing community.
His pride and joy were his grandsons Peyton and James. Ronnie supported these precious boys in all their endeavors. He instilled in them his love of horses, music, hard work, family, and most importantly his faith, creating a bond that goes beyond time and space. These boys knew they were adored and cherished. No man can leave a greater legacy.
The funeral service will be held at 3 o’clock on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, at Sandy Mush Baptist Church with the Reverend Dr. Carroll Page and Reverend Micky Harrill officiating. Interment will follow in the Walker Family Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 5 until 7 o’clock on Tuesday evening at The Padgett and King Mortuary.
Memorials may be made to Sandy Mush Baptist Church Building Fund, 676 US Highway 221-A, Forest City, North Carolina 28043.
The Padgett and King Mortuary & Crematory is in charge of the arrangements and an online guest registry is available at www.padgettking.com.
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