Don Walker

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Donald Roy Walker

(Historian at Texas Tech University in Lubbock)

Born October 2, 1941
Place of birth missing
Died July 15, 2016 (aged 74)
Lubbock, Texas
Spouse Jonette McElroy Walker

Jolie Marguerite Walker
Jennifer Debs Walker

Religion Episcopalian

Donald Roy Walker, known as Don Walker (October 2, 1941 – July 15, 2016), was an historian of the political and social history of Texas who served on the faculty at Texas Tech University in Lubbock from the early 1980s until his retirement in 2008.

Walker procured a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Texas at Austin, a master's degree in history from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, and his Ph.D. in history from Texas Tech. He served in the Peace Corps from 1965 to 1968 in the West African nation of Gabon and with the U.S. State Department in the former South Vietnam from 1969 to 1972.[1] 

After formal retirement as the associate dean of the TTU College of Arts and Sciences, Walker continued to teach a few classes at Texas Tech. His graduate-level courses were always full and students were placed on wait list for the chance to study under him. His publications included Penology for Profit: A History of the Texas Prison System, 1867 to 1912, his dissertation which was published as a book in 1988[2] and Frontier Texas Mercantile: The History of the Gibbs Brothers and Company, Huntsville, 1841 to 1900. He was commissioned to research and edit the papers of Texas Governor Preston Smith, who succeeded John Connally in the position in 1969 and served until January 1973.  At the time of Walker's passing, he researching the tenure of an earlier governor in the 1950s, Allan Shivers. He had research interests in Texas ranching and the evolution of Western Swing music. He was fluent in French, Vietnamese, and sign language and was learning German.[1] His research materials are available through the Southwest Collection archives at Texas Tech.[2]

Walker was one of four children of Gaus Wilburn Walker, Jr. (1917-1961),  of Kirbyville in Jasper County in east Texas[3] and the former Juanita Sellers, who is also deceased. He was the husband of Jonette McElroy, a Lubbock attorney who specializes in personal injury and general practice. There are two Walker daughters, Jolie Marguerite Walker of Austin and Jennifer Debs Walker of Lubbock. Services were held on July 23, 2016, at St. Christopher's Episcopal Church in Lubbock.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Donald Roy Walker. Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (July 22, 2016). Retrieved on December 11, 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Donald Roy Walker. Retrieved on December 11, 2017.
  3. Gaus Wilburn Walker, Jr.. Retrieved on December 11, 2017.