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Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON), Robert James Walker, retired, passed away at the youthful age of 87, on February 15, 2016 peacefully with his family by his side. Robert J. Walker was the third Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON). He was born in Baldwin, New York, attending grammar and high school in Oxford, New York, and enlisted in the Navy in 1948. After just eight years of active service, he was promoted to Chief Petty Officer, later promoted to Master Chief in 1963. Walker was sworn in as the third MCPON on September 26, 1975. Walker was a staunch defender of enlisted personnel and also a strong advocate of re-establishing the esprit de corp of the Navy.
His awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal (2 awards), United Nations Korea Medal, Presidential Unit Citation (Korea), and seven gold service (hash) marks representing Twenty-Eight plus years of good conduct. MCPON Walker retired September 28, 1979. Robert J. Walker Hall, the home of Operations Specialist “A” School at Fleet Command Training Center Atlantic, in Dam Neck, Virginia was named for MCPON Walker. Walker served on the Board of Directors Navy League, President of the Non Commission Officers Association and co-founder and chairman of the Chief Petty Officer Scholarship Fund (CPOSF).
MCPON Walker is survived by his loving bride, Fran of 64 years; children, Kathy Jones and husband Larry, Linda Campbell and husband Greg, Robert Jr., Teri Rice and husband Ron, Michael; 12 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchilden; and a host of other family and friends. He was predeceased by his daughter, Michelle.
A funeral service to celebrate his life will be held on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at 10 a.m. in building C-9 at NOB with a reception to immediately follow in building Q-88, Vista Point Center. Burial, with full military honors, will be at 2 p.m. at Princess Anne Memorial Park. The family will receive friends at Graham Funeral Home, 1112 Kempsville Road, Chesapeake on Monday, February 22, 2016 from 5:30 - 8 p.m. Family and friends can honor his legacy with a donation in his name to the Navy Chief Petty Officer Scholarship fund at www.cposf.org. Please visit his book of memories at www.grahamfuneralhome.com to send words of encouragement to the family.