Donald O. Walker, of Payson, died Nov. 6, 2004, after a short illness.
He was a longtime greeter at Wal-Mart.
He was born June 15, 1919 in New Boston, Ill., attended schools in that area, and was drafted into the Army before World War II began. He served five years, and his overseas service was in the Philippines and New Guinea. Mr. Walker was scheduled to land with the attack on Mainland Japan, but when Japan surrendered, he went into Japan as part of occupying peace forces. His main impression of the Japanese was their terrible fear of American troops, due to lies told by the ruling military. He recalled that people were starving and no living animal was to be found. After being fed and cared for humanely, the Japanese lost their fear of the troops. Walker had contracted malaria and was returned to the U.S. on a hospital ship in November of 1945 during one of the worst typhoons in history. He said he was tied down to his bunk, was out of his head, and did not feel a thing.
Mr. Walker spent most of his adult life in agriculture in Washington and California.
He is survived by his wife, Wanda; four daughters; one son; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren, with twin boys due in January.
Mr. Walker donated his body to science. After his remains are cremated, they will be interred in Arizona Veterans Memorial Cemetery.