Col. Carl Thompson (Ret.), recalls Walker’s drive to get things done. During his time working at Camp Minden, Walker was instrumental in helping him get roads repaired. Thompson says when he started attending police jury meetings, he had a staff of two and next to no budget.
“He helped me with many situations out at Camp Minden,” Thompson said. “Charlie just embraced me and took me in. When the Youth Challenge Program was first established at Camp Minden, those main streets where they (cadets) march from their barracks to the dining facility had potholes, and it was dangerous. When they were marching, they were looking straight ahead and they would step in those potholes and turn their ankles. Charlie sent his road crew out there and fixed those potholes.”
Walker was instrumental in many other things as well, such as securing funding to aid in upgrading water systems, not just in his district, but in the parish as well. He was looked upon as a fair man and representing his constituents well.
His son, Roger Walker, remembers him as a great father.
“Whatever your idea of a good father is, that was my dad,” he said. “He was understanding, kind and always tried to see the good in everybody. What you saw with him is what you got. He called himself just a good ole country boy from Doyline.
“He was a problem solver and he wanted to work with everybody, not just his district, but all of Webster Parish,” he continued. “When he first went on the jury, he told me it was like North and South, and they seemed to pull one way or the other. His thing was ‘we’re Webster Parish, and we have to work with everybody.’”
One of those problems he was instrumental in handling was when Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center first opened. A huge dispute came to the jury’s table as then-Sheriff Ted Riser tried to get them to raise how much the police jury was paying for parish prisoners. After many meetings, the jury and Riser finally agreed on a price, but when Riser moved the prisoners from Penal Farm to BDCC, damage was inflicted on the facilities at the Penal Farm, rendering it unusable.
Josh Beavers, former publisher of the Minden Press-Herald, says Walker handled the situation fairly.
“One of the first people I met when I moved to Minden was Charlie Walker,” he said. “I covered the police jury for years while he was president. There were many controversial topics the jury tackled back then. Perhaps the most memorable was the penal farm lawsuit battle between the jury and Riser. Through all of the turmoil, I never felt like Mr. Walker was trying to be subversive. He was always honest, always open. He respected me and I respected him. He became my friend, and I will never forget him.”
Roger Walker says his dad served the police jury with great respect and humility.
“One person was no more important than another,” he said. “He would give you his ear just as quick as he would someone else.”
Charlie and his wife Dorothy were married for nearly 65 years, his son says. They were high school sweethearts and married in 1950. He moved back to Webster Parish following a stint in the military and worked for Pack-a-Sack (now 7-Eleven) and retired after 33 years.
He served as the juror for district 12 for 21 years and as president for 12.
He is survived by his wife, two sons, Roger and Russell Walker, five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
He was 83.