Mary Alice (McShepard) WalkerOctober 2, 1936 ~ July 3, 2017 (age 80)
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 tribute.themmrf.org/maryalicewalker