By Don McAlvy: Columnist
Roy S. Walker, who served the city of Clovis as a commissioner from 1953 to 1959, also was among the organizers of the Committee of 50, an organization of business and civic leaders who work on issues involving Cannon Air Force Base. He was a member of the group’s Washington committee for 20 years.
Walker was born Dec. 2, 1909, in Clovis Territory, to Luther and Lela Walker. He attended Clovis public schools and graduated from Clovis High School in 1928. He played in the CHS Band and was a member of Clovis High School’s first state championship football team.
He attended Southern Methodist University and graduated from Chillicothe Business College of Chillicothe, Mo. It was there that he met Geno Oliver of Clio, Iowa. They married on May 16, 1931 in Clovis.
Walker was employed by the New Mexico Highway Department from 1931 to 1933 and also served as chief clerk of the Motor Transportation Division of the State Corporation Commission. In 1933 he returned to Clovis, established the Roy S. Walker Oil Company and became a jobber for Gulf Oil.
He served as state director for the Office of Price Stabilization (OPS) during the Korean War and later served 10 years as state director of the Federal Housing Administration.
He was appointed regional operations officer of the Federal Housing and Urban Development office in New York City, where he served for 10 years.
After retiring from federal service, he was asked to serve as the director of the Community Development Agency in Clovis. During this period, the Community Development Board, on Dec. 21, 1978, named the Roy S. Walker Community Center in his honor. Governor-elect Bruce King was at the ceremonies opening the community center at Second and Rencher. With Walker in attendance, Walker was surprised and speechless when they named the community center after him. While he was inside his name was put up on the new building. Gov. Bruce King also said Walker was instrumental in obtaining land for the Bruce King State Office complex and its construction. King said “I’ve also felt that my building there on Seventh and Thornton should have been named the “Roy Walker Building.”
Roy Walker had many honors. One was being named a Citizen of the Year by the Clovis Board of Realtors.
Walker was an active member of the Democratic Party.
Walker was a past president and charter member of the Clovis Rotary Club, which formed in 1938. He was a member of the Clovis Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite, and the Shriners.
He was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Clovis and a past president of the church’s Men’s Bible Class.
He was active in a number of civic and community organizations in Clovis and throughout New Mexico and always seemed to enjoy his many friends in these organizations.
Roy W. Walker died Sept. 6, 1997, at age 87. He was survived by his wife, Geno, and their sons, Gene Walker, a Clovis dentist, and Lyle Walker, a Dallas attorney, as well as their wives, Phyllis and Kathy. Also surviving him was six grandsons and their wives. At the funeral his six grandsons served as pallbearers. Burial was in Mission Garden of Memories.