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Meeting ID: 932 8580 1928 Passcode: Jay
Jay Allen Walker, age 56, (formerly of Gooding, Idaho), was born November 7, 1964, in Greenville, Illinois, to Jefferson “Jay” Walker and Dorcas Tannhauser. He grew up in Peoria, Illinois and Daytona Beach, Florida where he learned to surf, also spending much of his youth camping, fishing, and trapping in the woods, becoming a lifelong outdoorsman. Jay had one sister, two half-sisters, and four half-brothers.
In the 1980s, Jay built houses with his brother, and brother-in-law in Dallas, Texas, where he met Sally Walbrecht who was attending the Bradford School of Business and whom he married in July 1985 in Gooding, Idaho. They started married life in Boise with Jay entering the U.S. Army the following year. His first duty station was Ft. Bragg, North Carolina where, in July 1986, they welcomed daughter, Sara Elizabeth. Two years later, Jay served on the north/south border in Korea. Because families could not follow, Sally and Sara flew to England to remain with her parents. Jay’s next station was near Nuremberg, Germany, where son John Augustus was born in October 1989. Soon after, Jay left Germany with his unit to join 700,000 U.S. and other NATO-nations’ troops, launching the January 16, 1991 “Operation Desert Storm” offensive against Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. After the cease-fire, Jay returned to his family, but the war troubled him deeply as terrible memories haunted his nights for the remaining years of his life.
In 1991, Jay and his family returned to the U.S. at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, where he continued as a Heavy-Howitzer Cannoneer and Company Armorer. With the Army’s drawdown and injuries suffered while on duty, Jay was honorably discharged in 1993 with disability. His family moved west to Utah where he drove trucks and coached his children’s sports. He and Sally fostered troubled teenagers in their home. His combat PTSD gradually got worse, which led the family to move to Gooding, Idaho, where, watching the kids at play, he tinkered in the old workshop, planted a garden and went fishing, easing his mind. There, in 2006, his first grandson, Caleb Allen was born, who he taught to fish and shoot a BB gun.
After Granddaughter Ciara was born in 2010, Jay and Sally moved to American Fork and later to Spanish Fork, Utah, to be closer to their daughter’s family. Curtis (born in 2013) later called Grandpa Jay “Mister Fix-It” because he was always fixing broken things.
In 2018, Jay and Sally divorced, after which Jay married Penny Hullinger. He was often hospitalized with ill health until he died on September 30, 2021.
He was preceded in death by his father and mother (Jefferson Walker and Dorcas Crigler); half-brothers, Herbie Soncek and David Soncek. He is survived by children: John Walker and Sara Payne (Benjamin), grandchildren: Caleb, Curtis and Ciara, former wife, Sally Walker; father-in-law, Donald Walbrecht; sister Patricia Walker Harsh. Siblings: Lila (Richard) Chaplin, Terry Soncek, Gary Soncek, Carol (Butch) Harkins, Charlie (Carol) Tannhauser; and 2nd wife (Penny), many nieces and nephews who knew and loved him and countless friends and others whose lives were touched by him.
Jay’s friendly nature and child-like curiosity endured him to anyone who ever met him. He was always striking up conversations with strangers to brighten up their day and could make anyone laugh. He loved to ride motorcycles, fish, go camping with his family, watch Gunsmoke, and listen to Classic Rock. He loved music. He’d been a faithful soldier and only regretted not having the opportunity to serve the full twenty or more years in the U.S. Army. He was so loved and never alone.
A funeral service will be held on Friday, October 8, 2021 at 3:00 pm at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Gooding.
A visitation for family and friends will be held on Friday from 2:30 to 3:00 pm.
Burial will follow the funeral service at the Elmwood Cemetery in Gooding.
Funeral arrangements are under the care and direction of Demaray Funeral Service - Gooding Chapel.
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