Re: RIP DON WALKER


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Posted by Your Pirate Radio Station on May 23, 2015 at 10:42:50:

In Reply to: RIP DON WALKER posted by sad on May 22, 2015 at 20:28:54:

By Crocker Stephenson of the Journal Sentinel
Updated May 22, 2015


Don Walker, who worked as a reporter and editor in Milwaukee for almost four decades, was all about fairness.

Among the last things he wrote for public consumption was a tweet concerning Will Smith, the Brewers pitcher tossed from a game Thursday night for smearing tack on the ball.

The Brewers' position, stated in so many words: Everybody does it.

Walker's position, stated with his hallmark clarity: "Will Smith cheated."

Fairness and clarity are the attributes of a first-rate intellect. And of a first-rate journalist.

Walker, who collapsed and died Friday at the Hales Corners home he shared with his wife, Sue, was both.

Walker, 62, did it all for The Milwaukee Journal and then the Journal Sentinel. He was an editor on the state, metro and national desks before returning to reporting for the news, sports and business departments. His recent beats included City Hall and the proposed new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks.

"Whether as an editor or a reporter, he loved big stories," former Journal Sentinel Editor Marty Kaiser said.

"Actually, I think he loved every story — he wrote so many," Kaiser said.

One measure of those stories is to ask the people Walker wrote about what they thought of him.

"He was the soul of the Journal Sentinel," Mayor Tom Barrett said. "The consummate professional. He was somebody we always knew would be fair and honest."

Gov. Scott Walker tweeted: "Don was always a tough but fair reporter who was a decent person. Our prayers go out to his family."

"I knew he would call it as he saw it," said the Rev. Robert Wild, retired president of Marquette University. "He truly was a man of great integrity."

"He was dogged and smart and inquisitive," said Joseph Kearney, dean of the Marquette University Law School, where Walker was on fellowship through the Sheldon B. Lubar Fund for Public Policy Research.

"Don was smart, intuitive, detailed, fair and had a tenacious work ethic," said Don Smiley, president and CEO of Milwaukee World Festival.

Michael Duckett, executive director of the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District, called Walker "well informed, well prepared, very thorough, trustworthy, intelligent and fair."

His co-workers loved him.

"Don was the quintessential reporter," Journal Sentinel Editor George Stanley said.

"He was old-school in the way he built tremendous source networks, and nothing mattered more to him than accuracy, fairness, honesty. At the same time his enthusiasm, energy and competitive nature made him ideally suited for the digital era.

"We're going to miss him as a person and I think all Milwaukee is going to miss his work," Stanley said.

He was also funny.

To his delight, he bore an almost spooky resemblance to Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug La Follette and kept a "separated-at-birth" photo collage of La Follette and himself above his desk.

A native of Detroit, his tastes in sports had a Motown sensibility. His nickname was "Doak," after the Detroit Lions Hall of Famer Doak Walker.

Retired metro desk editor Mike Juley said Walker was an excellent athlete.

They played together in the "Synthetic Conflict League," a pickup Wednesday softball game named after what former Mayor Henry Maier had called Milwaukee Journal stories: "synthetic conflict."

"He was fast. He could hit. He was the complete player," Juley said.

Walker, an alumnus of Marquette and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, came to work at The Journal in 1978 after working at the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram.

He retired this year but kept his byline in the public eye through his Marquette fellowship.

Besides his wife, Walker is survived by two sons, Peter, 22, and Tim, 25.

Annysa Johnson and Don Behm of the Journal Sentinel staff contributed to this report.


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