Stanley E. Walker
1910 - 2002
During his lifetime, Stanley E. Walker taught in four Adventist colleges and chaired the music department in two of them. He and Melvin K. West were the first two Adventist organists to be recognized as Fellows in the American Guild of Organists, both achieving that distinction in 1957.
Stanley was born in Portland, Oregon, the older of two sons of George L. and Millicent S. Walker. He started lessons at age thirteen, studying with Blythe Owen and Margaret Holden-Rippey, former music teachers at WWC, and began his career teaching keyboard at Columbia and Portland Union academies in the Portland, Oregon, area.
He accepted a position at Walla Walla College, now University, in 1935 at the age of 25 and would teach there until 1959, providing a thread of continuity in music at the college.† During his last fourteen years, he served as chair. †Two years after he arrived at WWC, he voiced his convictions about music in the 1937 yearbook:
Truth, simplicity, and sincerity are the holy trinity of musical performance.† They alone endure and win hearts.
During his time at WWC, Walker completed both undergraduate and masterís degrees in music at Northwestern University, with piano as his performance area; was recognized by a yearbook dedication in 1953 that applauded his standards, exemplary Christian life and contributions to the campus and the department; was twice awarded prizes regionally for his composing; and gained recognition as a Fellow in the American Guild of organists.
After leaving WWC, Walker was organist and department chair at Atlantic Union College for eight years. He then taught theory and organ at Andrews University and at Southern Missionary College, now Southern Adventist University, before retiring to the Loma Linda, California, area in 1978.
He continued to play organ into his eighties. A Stanley E. Walker Music Scholarship endowment was established at WWC in his ninetieth year to honor his years of service in SDA music education.
Sources: North Pacific Union Gleaner, 16 March 1959, 8; Atlantic Union Gleaner, 8 February 1960, 8; The Lake Union Herald, 8 March 1968, 16; 1920, 1930, and 1940 U.S. Federal Census Records, Ancestory.com; The 1937 and 1953 WWC yearbooks, The Mountain Ash; Dan Shultz, A Great Tradition, Music at Walla Walla College, 1892-1992, 74, 93, 119; personal knowledge. †