Effie Ann Thomas Walker, 78, peacefully entered into Heaven’s gate August 16, 2019 after her courageous battle with metastatic breast cancer for the past six years. She exemplified to others what it means to fight a terrible disease with grace, strength, and faith in her Lord and Savior. II Timothy 4:7 says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Ann lived vigorously by this scripture.
Mrs. Walker was born in Gibson County, Tenn. on July 16, 1941 to the late Shannon Thomas and Irene James Thomas. She graduated from Gibson High School where she met the love of her life, Max Walker, and then went on to attend college at Union University in Jackson, Tenn. Ann was a member of the Chi Omega Upsilon chapter and was committed to their mission of friendship, personal integrity, service to others, and academic excellence. Ann stayed involved in supporting her Chi Omega chapter by joining her local alumni after graduation.
An unknown author stated, “Teachers plant the seeds of knowledge that last a lifetime, sprinkles them with love, and patiently nurtures the growth to produce tomorrow’s dreams,” and Ann was committed to that philosophy for many years. She was a dedicated teacher and touched the lives of so many throughout her teaching career. After her retirement, she continued to invest time in helping shape the lives of others. Mrs. Walker will always be remembered for helping launch the “EDGE Program” at Union University for young adults that have an intellectual or developmental disability. This inclusive program has given these students the opportunity to experience college life in a loving, Christian environment while learning life-long skills.
Mrs. Walker was also a dedicated pastor’s wife who served selflessly to support her husband’s calling in the ministry. Additionally, she was a loving and proud mom of her twin girls and grandmother to four grandsons. Ann cherished spending time with her family and friends. She also enjoyed watching St. Louis Cardinals baseball, going to Union University basketball games, church activities, book club and garden club.
She is preceded in death by her mother, Irene James Thomas, father Shannon Thomas; nephew, Tom Morse; and her beloved husband of 57 years, Rev. Max Walker.
Mrs. Walker leaves behind her twin daughters, Cherlyn Field and husband Brian of Germantown, Tenn. and Carolyn Ratliff and husband Eric of Coppell, Tex.; four grandsons, Seth and Garrett Ratliff, and Brett and Cole Field; a sister, Sally Morse Smith and husband Mark of Memphis, Tenn.; nephew, Jim Morse and wife Deborah of Savannah, Ga.; great-nieces, Emma Kate Morse Lynn and husband Eric, and Lila Morse; great-nephew, Christopher Morse; and a host of friends.
Funeral services will be held at the First Baptist Church in Selmer, Tenn. on Saturday, August 24 at 11 a.m. Visitation will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the church. A second service will be held at Mrs. Walker’s home church, Gibson Baptist Church in Gibson, Tenn. Visitation in Gibson will begin at 3:30 p.m. with service to follow. Burial will take place at White Rose Cemetery in Gibson. Services will be conducted by Shackelford Funeral Directors of Selmer.
Memorials in memory of Ann Walker may be made to The EDGE Program at Union University, the Selmer First Baptist Church Building Fund, or the Walker Ministry Building Fund at Gibson Baptist Church.