Walker, John F. 2/10/1940 - 12/27/2016 Kalamazoo, MI John Frederick Walker, beloved husband, father, grandfather, lover of animals, Oreos, and ALL things Spartan, passed away peacefully on December 27, 2016 at Rose Arbor Hospice, Kalamazoo, MI following a short and intense battle with cancer. John was born February 10, 1940 in Robinson, IL. The only child of Wanda and Leon Walker. He led an active, full life of art, travel, design, sports, photography, and adventure. He attended Michigan State University where he met the love of his life, Gay. Married September 10, 1966, they just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a trip to New Orleans where they honeymooned. They also renewed their vows at the WMU "Married Again" event in October that set a Guinness Book of World Records. John and Gay lived and worked overseas in Japan, and Denmark for 4 years. Their adventurous spirit then led them to follow their instincts and hitchhike, stay in hostels, and visit art galleries and museums all over Europe for six months before coming back to the US to start their family. John held BA and MFA degrees from MSU and was an ardent Spartan fan. He competed in diving and judo and was the Michigan State Judo Champion one year. His love for sports and all things green and white remained constant. His career as an accomplished industrial designer included work for Honeywell in Pennsylvania, International Industrial Design in Japan, and Acton Byron in Denmark. Additionally, he and Gay began their own design company, Walker Design and John taught industrial design at Western Michigan University. As an animal lover, he could "speak" dog and cat, helped raise six litters of puppies, and was involved in the Animal Rehabilitation Program at the Kalamazoo Nature Center. Sports were an important part of John's life. He studied different forms of martial arts: judo, karate, and tai chi and he embodied their philosophy. He was on the ski patrol for years and also taught skiing. After "retirement", John became an avid sports and nature photographer, frequently seen on the sidelines of WMU, Kalamazoo College, USTA Boys Tennis Championships and other local sports events. He was an enthusiastic member of several camera clubs, where he often took top awards for his work. He has had a number of exhibits of his photographs in Kalamazoo at Art Hops and other venues. John also enjoyed coming out of retirement to coach diving at Loy Norrix High School, which went to the state meet in his final year of coaching. He is fondly remembered as a mentor by his team. Family was important to him and he enjoyed spending quality time with his loved ones. He went to many of their of plays, concerts, sports games and award ceremonies. He is survived by his wife Gay, children: Kristian Walker, (Christine), Heather Widner, (John), grandchildren: Jordan, Gabriel, Jacob, Spencer, and Benjamin, as well as numerous grand dogs and cats. The family, including his puppy Nola and cat Ditto, were able to spend time with him during his final days. According to his wishes he has been cremated. You may leave messages on www.MichiganCremation.com. Donations in his name may be made to Kalamazoo Numazu Sister City Committee (KNSCC), PO Box 2225, Portage, MI 49081-2225. A service in celebration of his life will be held on January 15, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at People's Church, 1758 N. 10th Street, Kalamazoo.