“I highly recommend this funeral home and crematorium; when I had to make and pay for my brother’s arrangements across state lines, Evelyn Montonya, in particular, demonstrated both compassion and professionalism and made a very sad and difficult situation much easier. Many thanks.”
After a blessed 96 years, our dear mother Emily Jo Walker passed away March 24, 2023. She was beloved by all who knew her for her sunny outlook, gracious manner, and warm hospitality. Our family will deeply miss the steady star that guided us. Emily was born October 16, 1926 to Ben and Josephine Gillett Berger and raised with her siblings Gillett and Betty in the house their parents built on Stonebridge Drive in Dallas. Her strong faith was nurtured in her family’s spiritual home, Highland Park Presbyterian Church. After graduation from Highland Park High School, she attended the University of Texas and SMU before marrying Robert V. Walker, a handsome young dental student.
After a few years in Waco, San Antonio, and Philadelphia early in Bob’s professional life, they were back in Dallas for the remainder of their 64 years together. She provided the home and support that made his soaring career in oral surgery possible. In support of Bob she attended many oral surgery meetings, in the U.S. and around the world. A frequent destination was South America where Bob was helping the profession to grow. They collected a long list of friends from these gatherings. While making a loving home for her children, she still found time to help and serve others in a number of volunteer opportunities, including Meals on Wheels, candy stripers, Campfire Girls, tutoring young readers, and reading to blind students. Working at a friend’s yarn store, she became fascinated by the textile arts that she pursued the rest of her life – weaving, spinning, and dyeing yarn with natural ingredients. With the eye of an artist, she had tried her hand at several crafts before her heart was taken by textiles, becoming an ardent weaver and spinner.
Emily participated in weaving and spinning demonstrations at schools and museums set up by the Dallas Handweavers and Spinners Guild and in sheep-to-shawl competitions, where her team won so often they stopped competing. She also had a love for gardening and her beautiful gardens always had room for pansies and for milkweed for the monarch butterflies she loved. A knee injury eventually sidelined her from playing tennis, but she loved watching that game as well as the Texas Rangers and Dallas Mavericks. A lifelong reader, she was a regular customer at the library known to the staff as the brownie lady for the treats she frequently brought them.
Emily was preceded in death by her parents, siblings, and husband, and survived by her children Trey (Mary) of Bainbridge Island, WA; Jo Ann (Mark Cosgrove) of Upland, IN; and Judd (Tara) of San Antonio, TX. Other survivors include grandchildren Walker (Kirsten), Robert (Julia), and Preston Cosgrove (Jennifer); Ashley, Zach (Kate), R.D. (Tropics), Josie, Braeden, and Sammy Walker; eleven great-grandchildren; and seven nieces and nephews.
The family gives thanks to Youlanda Terry and Sharyn Yetman for their companionship and caregiving.
There will be a memorial service and celebration of Emily’s life at Wynne Chapel, Highland Park Presbyterian Church on April 12 (the 76 th anniversary of her wedding) at 11 a.m. with a reception following. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Lift Eastbrook (lifteastbrook.com) or the Dallas Arboretum.
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