John C. Walker, 77

John C. Walker of Grafton passed away on Feb. 21, 2014, at the age of 77.

Mr. Walker was born in Waveland, Ind., on Nov. 16, 1936. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Accounting from Indiana State University in 1958.  He attended Northwestern University’s Graduate School of Business, and graduated from the Executive Education Program at Harvard Business School in 1978. He has been married to Diana (nee Henriksen), since 1962.

Mr. Walker had a long and distinguished career in the packaging business. He began his 47-year career with Wabash Fiber Box Co. right after graduating from college. He retired in 2004, as a senior vice president for the Central and Eastern Container Divisions of the Longview Fibre Co. He served in multiple capacities of the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI), eventually becoming the chairman of the Corrugated-Containers Division. He was designated a TAPPI Fellow in recognition of his meritorious service to the paper industry and the association.

Mr. Walker was also an active member of his community. He served on the board of directors of RBP Chemical Technology; was trustee and treasurer for the Milwaukee Repertory Theater Inc.; and a past President of the Harvard Business School Alumni Club of Wisconsin.

Mr. Walker was also active in Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin from October 2004 through his death, serving as chairman of the board of directors from 2007 to 2009.  According to Bonnie Bellehumeur, president of Feeding America, “He was highly respected by all board members for the contributions he made. His passion and vision for FAEW was continually evident in all that he did.”

A committed Rotarian for over 32 years, Mr. Walker worked tirelessly on the Johnsons Park Initiative, a community greening initiative in Milwaukee’s central city. Ms. Marcia Caton Campbell PhD, executive director of the Center for Resilient Cities, said, “Without his indefatigable leadership during the fundraising process, neither Alice’s Garden nor Brown Street Academy would have been transformed into the high-quality public spaces that support the community’s desire to live healthier, more active lives.”

In addition to his wife, Diana, Mr. Walker is survived by his sons, John N. Walker (Tip) of Wilmette, Ill., and Eric J. Walker (Julie) of Madison; a sister, Martha Jo Cabbage, of Crawfordsville, Ind., and eight grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 22, 2014, at Crossroads Presbyterian Church, 6031 W. Chapel Hill Road, corner of N. Green Bay Road and W. Highland Road in Mequon. The family will receive friends following the service. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Johnsons Park Initiative, c/o RCM Community Trust 750 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr. 320  Milwaukee, WI 53202, or to Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, 1700 W. Fond du Lac Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53205.

Schmidt & Bartelt Funeral and Cremation Service in Mequon is serving the family. For online condolences, please visit