Alice Osment Bates Walker passed away February 17, 2013, at Croasdaile Village Retirement Community in Durham. She was the only daughter of Thomas Isaac and Margaret Bates of Charleston, Tennessee. She was born on her paternal grandmother's dairy farm in Bradley County, Tennessee, and later moved with her family to Charleston. Alice received her B.S. degree in home economics from the University of Tennessee in 1940 and married the late Thomas B. Walker in 1942. The Walker family moved in 1948 to Durham, where Tom earned a Masters degree in chemistry while working at Liggett and Myers. The family lived near Oval Drive Park on West Club Boulevard, and were members of Duke Memorial Methodist Church.
Alice was gifted at cooking, sewing, upholstering, knitting, quilting, flower arranging, canning, jewelry and leather work, furniture making and ceramics. She volunteered extensively in the community, leading a girl-scout troop, working with a literacy project, volunteering in school libraries, and helping at the polls on election day. In the 1960s, she taught home economics to pregnant high-school-aged girls at Durham's Cooperative School.
Alice moved to the Methodist Retirement Community in 1994, four years after her husband Tom's death. She later moved to their new facility, Croasdaile Village. She loved the weekly birdwatchers meetings hosted by Judy Webber. The group put up many bluebird houses around the Croasdaile campus.
Alice and Tom had five children: Margaret Walker of San Leandro, CA., Susan Walker Gardner (and husband Ned) of Apex, Thomas Stuart Walker (and wife Jackie Davis) of Augusta, GA., and twins Ann and Nina. Ann Walker, her husband Michael Berman and children Adam and Alice live in Glendale, CA. Nina Walker Deckert died suddenly of cancer in March, 2012, and her whole family grieves her loss. Nina is survived by her son, Tom Stoddard Deckert, her husband Sam Lewit of Berkeley, CA, and her ex-husband George Deckert.
Alice was the sister of the late Thomas Isaac Bates, Jr. and the late William Fulton Bates. A third brother, Creed Fulton Bates, died in childhood. There are many surviving children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the two brothers, and descendents of Alice's aunts and uncles. Thanks are due to Tripp Bates whose interest in Bates genealogy thrilled Alice, and whose writings have been a factual and spiritual help after her death.
The Watts Hospital-Hillandale July 4th Parade has been a big part of the Walkers' lives for over 60 years. The family will have a memorial service for Alice in the Croasdaile Village chapel at 2 PM on Friday, July 5th, 2013. The family will attend the parade the day before in her honor. Alice was grateful, as is her family, to everyone at Croasdaile who helped her and offered friendship, from the doctors, nurses and staff to the multi-talented residents. We are particularly indebted to Mary Buchanan, whose joyful spirit is a treasure. In lieu of flowers, memorials could be made to the Food Bank, the NC Wildlife Fund, or WUNC-TV. Mom would be pleased if you listen to the birds, or maybe read a book to a child.