After spending Wednesday working his Brahman cows with family, John “Morris” Walker passed away peacefully Thursday morning July 14, 2022 at the age of 80.
He was born in Poteet, Tx December 21, 1941 to parents James Raymond “Papa Jake” and Jane Warnek “Nana” Walker. Morris attended school in Charlotte until 6 years of age, before moving to Fowlerton where he completed elementary. The family then moved to Cotulla, where Morris would have the opportunity to compete in high school athletics. As important as football and track were to him, from an early age it was clear he’d follow the path that generations of Walkers paved before him, a True South Texas Cowboy. Morris started competing in high school rodeos at the age of 15 and went on to college rodeo at Southwest Texas Junior College in Uvalde, always winning his share of ropings. In 1961, he entered the calf roping at the Amphi-theater in Chicago winning both go rounds plus the average. In 1962, he joined the Rodeo Cowboys Association. At his first RCA rodeo, the Fort Worth Stock Show, he won the second go round and the Calf Roping Championship. Over the next months, he continued to win and place, earning the right to compete at the National Finals Rodeo. From the proceeds of his first win he came home to South Texas and was able to purchase his own herd of cows, beginning his ranching career.
Throughout the next 50 years, alongside starting a family with Mary Cecil Billings in 1970, Morris built a legacy in the ranching and rodeo world receiving numerous awards and titles. Some include President of the Texas Youth Rodeo Association, Webb County Conservation Rancher of the Year, Webb County Soil and Water Conservation District Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame.
Morris spent his last years of life in Freer, Tx where he ranched and enjoyed instilling his way of life into his children and grandchildren. He was regarded by most to have been the best of what defines a Cowboy, but achievements and titles were not of most importance to him. Morris walked in humility and had the gift to make everyone truly feel like family, like we all had a best friend.
Preceded in death by his parents, James Raymond Walker and Jane Warnek Walker; two brothers, Richard Wayne Walker and James Raymond “Bud” Walker Jr.
Morris is survived by his son, John Morris (Cheryl) Walker Jr.; one daughter, Janna Rae Walker Garcia; mother of his children, Mary Cecil Billings Walker; grandchildren, Sterling Taner Webb, David Canton Garcia, Mary Carol Kallina Walker, Kami Jon Walker; one sister, Roxie Ann Walker and husband Bruce; sister in laws, Barbara Walker and Linda Little; beloved friend Nita Jo Wilson and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held from 10:00 to 11:00 am on Wednesday July 20, 2022 at Faith Christian Center of Freer, Texas with a Funeral Service at 11:00 am with Brother Mike Herrington and Brother Joe Carrales officiating. Burial will follow at Hilltop Cemetery in Tilden, Texas.
Pallbearers; Canton Garcia, Sterling Webb, Adrian Perez, Eddie Davis, Jim Tobe Crawford, M.T. Despain, Bill Despain, Aaron Despain. Honorary Pallbearers; Lynn Clap, Phil Lyne, M.B. Despain, Baltazar Frias, Omar Frias, Rick Rose, Jack Stephenson and Rafael Saucedo.
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Arrangements entrusted to Garza Funeral Home, San Diego, Texas 361-279-3311.
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