Mr. Randolph Hastings Walker Jr., 89, of Crozet, Va., died Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020.
He grew up on his family’s farm and oyster business on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, where he attended Northampton High School. After a post-graduate year at Randolph Macon Academy, he served in the U.S. Army medical corps from 1953 to 1956. He went on to the University of Richmond where he received a B.A. degree in English.
His first job after college was with Atlantic Life Insurance Company in public relations. He left to become production manager at Cabell Eanes advertising agency and then returned to the University of Richmond as assistant public relations director and later as public information officer.
After 15 years at UR, he left to buy a marina with a university associate in Lancaster County in Virginia’s Northern Neck. They renamed the marina Yankee Point Sailboat Marina. They expanded it from 10 to 100 slips, leased boat slips, operated a sailing school, a yacht repair yard, sold new and used sailboats, and helped facilitate the Yankee Point Yacht Club.
In 1992 he retired to the Eastern Shore with his wife, Mary. He was known to many for the next few years as the author of “On the Salty Side,” a column he wrote for the Eastern Shore News. He and Mary moved to Crozet in 2002 to be closer to their children.
Walker is predeceased by his parents, Randolph Hastings Walker Sr. and Mary Hamilton Williams Walker. He is survived by his wife, Mary; his sons, Randolph Hastings Walker III, of Roanoke, Va., and the Rev. Paul Nelson Walker (Christie), of Charlottesville, Va.; a sister, Mary Hamilton Stuart, and a brother, Herman Belote Walker (Mary), both of Northampton County; Mary’s children, John Hurt Whitehead IV (Cristi), of North Carolina, Robert Grubb Whitehead, of Richmond, Va., Mary Scott Neisser (Mark), of Free Union, Va., and William Coles Whitehead (Laura), of Milford, Pa.; three grandchildren, Hilary, Glen, and Rob Walker; 12 step-grandchildren; one step-great-grandchild; and former wife, Lovey Jane Long.
Among professional and other organizations Walker belonged to were the Richmond Public Relations Association and the Public Relations Society of America. He loved baseball, sailing, fishing, and quail hunting.
The family would like to thank the staff of English Meadows for their warm and compassionate care for Randolph this past year.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank at 1207 Harris St., Charlottesville, VA 22903.