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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
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JERRY DEAN WALKER
Jerry, son of Elizabeth "Betty" and Samuel Walker, grew up in Marion, Iowa, and attended Marion High School. While in high school, he was a star track and cross country athlete, leading Marion to the CC State Championships in '51, '52 and '53. Jerry was also the individual Class A State CC Champion in '52 and '53. In track, Jerry won the Class A Iowa State Mile Run in '53 and '54, as well as the 880 yard run in '54 and was the '53 Mile Run Champion at the Drake Relays. Jerry was later inducted into the Marion High School Hall of Fame.
After high school, Jerry attended Southern Methodist University, where he met his wife of over 40 years, Judith "Judy" (Rayburn) Walker. While in college, Jerry was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. The couple returned to Iowa where Jerry went to dental school and became a pediatric dentist. Jerry spent a few years as an active duty Army officer and was stationed in Berlin, Germany, in the early '60s. He continued his military service in the Reserves and National Guard for many years and retired with the rank of colonel.
Jerry and Judy settled in Iowa City and Jerry pursued a career as a professor of pediatric dentistry at the University of Iowa for nearly 50 years. Jerry loved to travel. The family did a sabbatical in Germany ('77) and Jerry and Judy traveled extensively throughout the world. After retirement, Jerry did an immersion session to learn Spanish in Ecuador.
Jerry was a very active volunteer with the University of Iowa athletics, serving as a volunteer assistant coach for cross country and track. Jerry also volunteered as an official for U of I track and cross country meets as well as at the Drake Relays. Jerry and Judy hosted the U of I cross country team annually for dinner for 30 years. Jerry was also the team dentist for the U of I wrestling team, and created mouth guards for youth athletes for years. The Iowa Varsity Club selected Jerry as an honorary letter winner.
Jerry was active in his church, serving on many committees and as a ruling elder. He was also active in many other volunteer and philanthropic endeavors, including a dental clinic for underserved children, pro-bono dental work in remote countries and on Native American reservations, meals for homeless persons, a scholarship to help new dental students, years of tutoring at Southeast Middle School, and financial support of many charitable organizations.
Jerry spent the last 28 years of his life enjoying time with his five grandchildren and attending their sporting and life events.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Betty and Sam Walker; and his wife, Judy (Rayburn) Walker.
Jerry is survived by his children, Jim Walker and Betsy Walker Guyer (Shayne); and five grandchildren, Nathan (Lindsey), Samuel, Blythe (Ethan), Charlotte and Maxwell.