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George R. Walker III, lovingly called "Papa" by his daughter and granddaughters and “Li’l George” by his parents, was born in Cushing, Oklahoma to George R. Walker Jr. and Muriel (Brown) Walker, and was the eldest of their 2 children. After George’s birth Muriel, George Jr., and Li’l George returned to their home in Raleigh, N.C., on the campus of St. Augustine's College, a historically Black college/university. The family lived in Raleigh for 11 years, and then moved to Winston-Salem, N.C.
While living in Winston-Salem, George played trombone and sang in a 1960’s Era R&B Band, "The Versatiles”, traveling throughout North Carolina , while in the 7th - 10th grades. He also played trombone in the Carver H.S. Marching Band. George, an excellent swimmer, was a lifeguard at the local pool. In the late 1960’s, L’il George’s father, George Jr. moved the family to his hometown of Robbins, IL., a suburb of Chicago where he was born.
George attended Dwight D. Eisenhower H.S, where he played in the band, was a member of the track team, along with a kicker and punter on the Football team. He graduated from high school in 1969. From there, George worked for Caterpillar Trucks, and then for the Railroad in the Chicago area.
George left for the Navy, enlisting in San Diego and serving 4 years with occasional stops in the Philippines. George served during the Vietnam Era conflict, on the USS John S. McCain, as a Sonar Technician. When he returned to the continental United States, he decided to live in Portland (after the USS McCain was docked at Swan Island for repairs), "because the weather beats Chicago's". He lived in the Portland area for the last 40+ years.
After all those years, George never got used to the rain, but he loved riding his Honda on the roads of Portland and up and down I-5 with the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club to neighboring California and Washington State. He loved his Honda V65 Magna which he purchased soon after returning from the Navy, not long after he arrived in Portland. Then he purchased a Harley-Davidson Heritage Soft-Tail Classic in 2002. On the day he brought that bike home, he told his daughter that he wanted to be buried with the Harley.
When he first arrived in Portland, George started working at Radio and TV stations, Portland Public Broadcasting as a DJ on the radio, and operating the teleprompter for the local KGW TV news. While at KGW he became a good friend of Anchorwoman Ann Curry, and encouraged her to name her son 'Walker', which she did; daughter Michelle was involved in Doernbecher commercials at the time with Tracy Berry. Sportscaster Joe Becker (now with KATU) and George always caught up with each others lives, when he and Christine attended Trailblazer games. On a scholarship from KING. George attended Broadcasting school in Tacoma, WA to become a cameraman. He left KGW when KING sold their Portland affiliate.
George then worked in Armed Security at the Memorial Coliseum and the Rose Garden Arena, where he made many friends of the athletes, who always recognized him when their teams returned to play the Trailblazers. George then worked for over 20 years as a Security Agent for METRO's MERC, at the Oregon Convention Center (OCC) and at other properties.
During the years at OCC, George served 8 years with the Gresham Police Department's Reserve Police Force. OCC Security coworker, (a retired Multnomah County Sheriff Deputy) Bob Zimmer, encouraged George to attend Multnomah County Reserve Officer Academy, which qualified him to serve in a Reserve Officer position.
George’s high school friends will miss their track star, football player, and musician. His Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club will miss their brother “G Man”. His granddaughters and daughter will miss their Papa, and his wife will miss years of singing with her Motown Music Man.
His daughter remembers George spent a lot of time on the water fishing. His granddaughters remember his cunning ability to maneuver his Power Wheelchair at 25 MPH.
George is preceded in death by his father, George Walker Jr.; his son George “Georgie” Walker IV; and his 15 year old, longhair Calico Cat “Baby”, who slept her whole life on George's chest. He was also preceded in death by his Harley Davidson motorcycle and his Jheri Curl.
Left to cherish their memories of George are: His wife of 14 years and companion of 21 years total, Christine McLaughlin. His mother Muriel Walker and nephew Marcus Payne in Robbins, IL, his sister Dr. Lynn R. Walker and her husband Edward Payne in Michigan, and numerous cousins in and around the Chicago area. His daughter Michelle Lopez, her husband Arnie Lopez, and granddaughters Brianna, Natalie and Rocio Lopez in Gresham, OR. He is also survived by Christine's daughters, Angela, her children Maranne and Derek Simpson, Lamar and Perla Anderson, and Christine’s great-granddaughter Kharma Anderson and daughter Barbara and her children and grandchildren in Florida and Minnesota.