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John “Sheldon” Walker
Alder Point, Nova Scotia
We do not know who will take the crown for the fastest swimmer of the “Alder Point Gut” into the future, but whoever you are, you will certainly have big shoes to fill. John (Sheldon) Walker, who passed away on Thursday, September 21, 2023, surrounded by family and friends, is a hard act to follow. Many of us tried over the years, but no matter how many years rolled past, the middle child of 21 children (he was the actual 11th child) in the bright red speedo always lapped the group of us.
Sheldon was loved beyond words by family and friends, and really, we cannot imagine anyone not smiling when they think of him. He was kind to his family and especially his mother while alive, who often complemented his expert writing abilities - We only hope they would both approve of this tribute.
He grew up surrounded by love, under the guidance of his loving parents, the late George and the late Genevieve Walker, and encircled by numerous siblings overlooking the beauty of the Alder Point Gut. Like so many before him, as a young man of 20, he moved to Toronto. But when one is from a family of 21 children, you will have family in almost every city in the country. Sheldon naturally embraced his family in Toronto while developing a huge cohort of friends who cared deeply for him as he did for them. Sheldon loved to travel, getting to see much of his family that lived abroad.
Unapologetically opinionated but fiercely kind, you didn’t have to be “family”; you were family in his eyes. He made everyone feel special and worth the time he spent with them. He could be described as the glue that kept many of his nieces and nephews connected. If he was in “town,” we were arranging a gathering, and if anyone visited him, a gathering was arranged. He always took the time for all of us, and we are better because of it, making the loss of him so much more profound.
While living in Toronto, he visited Cape Breton religiously, and it was always a special treat to spend time with him. He kept in touch with many close friends in Cape Breton over the years. His dear childhood friend Cameron Clarke will always and forever be part of our family, along with his godson, Luke Martilli, from Toronto – we are happy you are now a Nova Scotian. He was also a godfather to his loving nephew Elliott Walker whom he shared a close connection.
Once he retired from a long career in legal research in Toronto, he packed his bags and moved “back home” to Alder Point in 2021 to be closer to his siblings and create a deeper bond with them. Even in his seventies, he could still swim the “gut” and continued to look at least 20 years younger than he was. He wasn’t just the fastest swimmer and likely one of the few who could pull off a speedo with charm; he was hard, if not impossible, to beat at Trivial Pursuit. And if you landed on Arts and Entertainment, it was game over. Sheldon dominated that category. Always a Toronto Blue Jay’s fan, he watched their games up until his very last breath … making sure they make the playoffs before he passed. And don’t get us started on Elizabeth and Babs (aka Elizabeth Taylor and Barbra Streisand) – they were his number one true loves from a very early age … and we have the scrapbooks to prove it.
He enjoyed sipping a few glasses of wine or beer with friends and family alike. Many of us are lucky to have wonderful memories of watching movies, ball games, and, of course, theatre. He never did get a driver’s license; he longed to win the lottery so he could buy a Royals Royce and hire a chauffeur to drive him everywhere. Instead of waiting for the day that never came, Sheldon was an avid cycler, cycling the streets of Toronto. And when he came to Cape Breton, there was always a bike waiting for him to ride.
Sheldon is survived by his siblings Sister Joan Walker – Antigonish, NS; Betty (Brad) Graham – Orillia, ON; Norma (Lou) Marsh – Little Pond, NS; Kenny (Heidi) Walker – Oromocto, NB; Carol (Johnny MacNeil) Vickers – Sydney Mines, NS; Gordie (Barbara) Walker – Westmount, NS; Donnie (Sandy) Walker -Alder Point, NS; Gerard Susan) Walker – Thunder Bay, ON; Pius (Debbie) Walker – Elmsdale, NS; Vicky (Jimmy) Taylor – Florence, NS; Greg (Joanne) Walker and his two sisters-in-law Kate Walker – North Sydney, NS and Jean Walker (Alder Point – NS) as well as numerous nieces and nephews who all love him dearly. Also survived by his godchildren, Luke M (Halifax, NS) and godson and nephew Elliott Walker (Alberta) and his childhood friend Cameron Clarke (Alder Point, NS). He is predeceased by his parents, George and Genevieve Walker; his brother-in-law Dale Vickers, His sister Helene and brother-in-law Johnny Mac Lellan; his brother Gilbert and sister-in-law Gloria Walker; his sister Ann and brother-in-law Bob Larade, his brother Vince Walker, his brother Leonard Walker, his brother James Adrian, and his brother Richard and two baby sisters who passed in infancy, and his nephews Bruce and Steven Walker.
Thank you to all for the love and kindness shown to Sheldon and the Walker family during this difficult time. A special thank you to VON and the home caregivers who cared for Sheldon, thank you to Dr. Eugene Ignacio for your kind care, and many thanks to all of the palliative care nurses and staff of 4 West, Northside General Hospital. You are truly special!
A special thank you to our nephew Darryl Walker, who shared a loving and special bond with Sheldon and never left his side in his final days.
Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together
Please join us for a mass at the Alder Point St. Ann’s Church on Monday, September 25th, 2023, at 3 pm – followed by a celebration of life and reception at the Alder Point Hall at 4 pm
Words of condolence for the family can be expressed at www.jmjobesfuneralhome.com