Mary Alice (McShepard) Walker

Born: Fri., Oct. 2, 1936
Died: Mon., Jul. 3, 2017


10:30 AM to 11:30 AM, Sat., Jul. 22, 2017
Location: Progressive Baptist Church

Funeral Service

11:30 AM Sat., Jul. 22, 2017
Location: Progressive Baptist Church

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Mary Alice Walker, 80, of Frisco, Texas lost her long battle with cancer on Monday, July 3, 2017 surrounded by family and friends.  Mary was born October 2, 1936 in DeKalb, Mississippi as the first-born child of Byrell J.C. and Lennie (Alexander) McShepard.  After finishing college and beginning her teaching career in Kemper County, she married Clifton Odell Walker and to this union, two children were born.

Mary and her new husband settled in Davenport, Iowa, where she continued her teaching career.  Hired as the first African-American female in 1962, Mary is considered a pioneer in the Davenport Community School District. She educated and shaped young minds for over three decades as a third-grade teacher at Monroe Elementary School.     

From childhood beginnings at Saint Mark UMC in her home town, Mary was a deeply devoted Christian. After moving to Iowa Mary joined Progressive Baptist Church and continued her spiritual journey as a faithful, committed and active member.  She held many rolls from adult Sunday School teacher to Director of Christian Education during her years there.

After retiring in 1998, Mary dedicated her time to her passion, writing short stories and poetry as well as continuing her role as an active participant in her church and with her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc. for which years later she was honored to be decorated as Silver Soror and Life Time Member.  In 2004, Mary joined her children in Shreveport, LA until 2013.  During the years that she lived in Shreveport, she united with Morning Star Baptist Church, where she continued to build a reputation as a dedicated and willing soldier of God.  With her church mission group, she fed the homeless, visited the sick and homebound while continuing to look for ways to serve God through her service to others.

Mary moved again in 2013 to Frisco, Texas, and moved her membership to Friendship Missionary Baptist Church.  Mary served her new church family with her usual giving spirit until her health failed.  All who knew her will miss the presence of one of God’s most faithful servants. She leaves to morn her passing two sons: James Jackson (Ida) of Davenport, IA, Christopher Walker, of Frisco TX; one daughter, Kialyn Thrower (James) of Frisco, TX; three sisters, Loistine Grady (John) of DeKalb; Shirley DeVille (David) of Jackson, MS; Carolyn Scott of Los Angeles, CA; eight grandchildren:  Erica Jones (Michael) of Jackson, MS; Alisha Coleman (Chris) of Chicago. IL; Kevin Thrower of Virginia Beach, VA; Jaylen Thrower of Norfolk, VA; Chelsie Thrower of Fort Worth, TX; Joshua and Jamison Thrower of Frisco, TX; and Taylor Freeman Walker of Houston, TX; four great grandchildren: Britany Jones, Christopher, Christian and Ava Coleman all of Chicago, IL.

 In line with Mary’s final wishes, she will be returned to Davenport, Iowa to be laid to rest beside her beloved husband of 28 years, Clifton Odell Walker.  Mary’s Homegoing Ceremony is scheduled for July 22, 2017 at 11:30 a.m. with a viewing at 10:30 a.m.  The services will be held at Progressive Baptist Church, 1302 E. 12th Street with interment at Davenport Memorial Park Cemetery.

A Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Tribute has been established in Mary’s name.  The family respectfully request that in lieu of flowers, a small donation be made in Mary’s memory at

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Carol Moscinski-Pottinger
   Posted Sun July 16, 2017
This remarkable woman was my student teacher supervisor back in 1993. She was an outstanding mentor and role model. She definitely helped mold the minds of many young children. I would like to pass along my respect and condolences to the family. May she rest in peace.

Yolanda Grandberry Pugh
   Posted Mon July 17, 2017
My prayers go out to the family, may God comfort you at this time.

Ted andLouise Burson.....Manistique, MI
   Posted Tue July 18, 2017
We were sorry to learn of Mary Alice's death. She was a wonderful teacher at Monroe School ( I was right across the hall ). Her love for the students and her unwavering goals that all could achieve was shown every day. For Kialyn....your mom cheered you on in all your activities and because you and our daughter, Jill, were in sports at Central HS, we knew you better than your brothers. May all your precious memories sustain you all in the days ahead. God Bless you in the days ahead.