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Melvin Douglas Walker

12-09-1942 to 01-04-2024

On January 4, 2023, after spending the length of his illness at home, Melvin Douglas Walker entered eternal rest at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. He was born in Nashville, North Carolina on December 9, 1942, to Mary Leona Battle Walker and Kinston Arthur Walker.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Mary Leona and Kinston Walker; brothers Kenneth Leon “Kenny” Walker and Eugene Walker, and sisters Teresa Hunter Savage and Velma Marie Bailey and his beloved son Vincent LaVaughn Walker.

Melvin graduated from Carver High School in Newport News, Virginia. Upon graduation, he entered the United States Army in September of 1965 serving until September 1968. He was very proud to be a part of the 101st Airborne Division. He earned his parachutist badge, expert badge (rifle), and served as a single rotor helicopter mechanic.

Always looking to improve his life, Melvin worked at Newport News Shipyard and Drydock Co from 1971 to 1976. During this period, he worked at Riverside Hospital and earned a B.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Hampton Institute. He also graduated from Thomas Nelson Community College with an associate degree in Drafting and Design Technology.

In 1969 He was united in holy matrimony to Shirley Temple Jones. To this union were born four children: a daughter April Arnell and three sons; Marcus Antonius, Douglas JaVaughn, and Vincent LaVaughn (deceased). In 1976 Melvin accepted a job at TVA in Design and Mechanical Engineering and moved his family to Knoxville Tennessee.

He was a man of many talents and skills. In his youth he played basketball, baseball, football, ran track and learned to play golf from caddying. After moving to Knoxville, he proceeded to be a viable part of his community. He was one of the directors of the TVA Black Employees Association as well as a director of Blacks in Government. As project manager for East Tennessee Mechanical Contractors (ETMC) he managed the Hope 6 Project. He was a member of 100 Black Men. Never losing the drive for more knowledge, he completed the requirements for Knoxville Community Investment Corporation Entrepreneur School. As an avid golfer, he participated in and won many tournaments. He was on the board of The Wee Course at Williams Creek and taught many students in the area including Austin East Magnet School, Vine Middle Magnet School, and Crutcher Memorial Youth Enrichment Center the skills of golf as well life. Melvin took special pride in his ladies’ softball team “Dynasty” formerly “Lady New Birth” and continued to be friends and pass out fatherly advice when needed.

He leaves to cherish his memories his devoted and loving wife Shirley; his daughter April, two sons, Douglas and Marcus (Karen), and four grandchildren; Eryn, Edyn, Adriyn and Gabriel of Knoxville, Tennessee; a brother William “Kermit” (Dr. Loni) Walker of Santa Barbara, California, a sister Laverne (Harry) Knight of Colorado Springs, Colorado, a host of nieces, nephews and other relatives, and many dedicated and loyal friends.


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