Graham Walker Obituary – The Arizona Republic

Graham Walker

Tempe – Graham Albert Walker was an only child born in Phoenix, Arizona to Reverend George and Ruth Walker on May 22, 1932. During Graham’s first five years, he and his parents lived on the Salt River Reservation where his father worked as a missionary to Native Americans. Graham then lived on the Pima-Maricopa Reservation, attending elementary school in Sacaton and Skull Valley, Arizona. He then attended Wasatch Academy in Utah. When his father became president of Cook College and Theological School, the family moved to Phoenix, and Graham graduated from North High School. Graham earned his AA degree from Phoenix College and went to ASU where he graduated in 1954 with a BS in Marketing Management and was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa. Since then, Graham has loved all things Cook School as well as ASU. Graham’s character development was influenced by his childhood on the reservations and by his parents’ examples of service through the Cook School. When the U.S. Army called him into service, Graham responded and served in Japan from 1955 to 1957 in the Counter Intelligence Corps. Graham had an excellent sense of humor and was a wonderful storyteller. A decade-long marriage to Margaret Hunter included the birth of Graham’s two children, Janet Nissly (Randall) and Paul Walker (Cindi). Graham has five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. In 1967 Graham met Barbara Glass of St. Louis; their 54th wedding anniversary was May 4, 2022. Graham’s career included 33 years of work for First Interstate Bank of Arizona, now Wells Fargo, as a vice president and branch manager. He furthered his education by earning a Certificate in Commercial Banking from the American Institute of Banking and also earning a degree from the National Commercial Lending School at the University of Oklahoma. Upon retirement, Graham became both a trustee and a part-time director of development at Cook College and the Theological School in Tempe. Graham has been very involved in various community organizations including the Rotary, Tempe, Mesa and Scottsdale and Tempe and Mesa United Way Chambers of Commerce. Graham has served on the boards of the Cook School, the Mesa Southwest Museum Foundation, and Pinal County Development, as well as the advisory boards of Hearthstone and Good Shepherd Villa. Within the Presbyterian Church, Graham served as a deacon and was ordained an elder in 1970. He was a captain usher for at least 25 years and served on various presbytery administrative boards. Many have been entertained by his escapades as a talent show host and his forays into dramatic church presentations. Graham was a shrewd businessman who had an interest in all things finance throughout his life. Other interests included reading, billiards in his basement, philanthropy, helping East Valley development, and travel. He and Barbara have traveled to Europe, Israel, Jamaica, Bermuda, Canada, Mexico as well as many parts of the United States. Those who knew him found Graham to be a kind, gentle and generous man who chose to take the high road when it came to conflict. Graham’s life has been dedicated to serving God, his church, his community and his family. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 21, 2022 at First Presbyterian Church, 161 N. Mesa Dr., Mesa, Arizona. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Presbyterian Church, Cook Native American Ministries Foundation (CNAMF), or Friendship Village Foundation. Please visit for more information.

Posted on May 10, 2022

Posted in The Arizona Republic