Cover photo for Bennie Jean Metcalf Walker's Obituary
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1929 Bennie jean 2021

Bennie Jean Metcalf Walker

April 10, 1929 — January 15, 2021

Bennie Jean Bennie passed away at 91 years of age January 15, 2021 in the comfort of her home and in the care of her family. Funeral services celebrating Mrs. Walker’s life and memory will be held at Wallace Baptist Church Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 10 AM. Interment will follow at Ajax Cemetery where she will be laid to rest beside Mr. Wayne Walker, her loving husband of 66 years. Remembering Mrs. Wayne Walker, Bennie Jean loved a good story and had many to tell. Her story began when she was born in Patmos, Arkansas April 10, 1929 to Irving Burns and Alma Hillin Burns Metcalf Akin. One of her favorites, and more sensational, was of being born to one of the most successful bootleggers in Arkansas which (much to her satisfaction) any audience found surprising given Mrs. Walker’s faith and constitution. She was quick to back up such stories with another of her Cherokee heritage and her own Grandmother Caldonia’s stern constitution and intimidating ability to spit snuff out of the back door and miss the steps, something Bennie’s grandchildren could never say about her. Most notable, Bennie’s favorite story to tell was of meeting the love of her life, Wayne Walker. She recalled catching the bus for her job at Western Union, and he was driving. “I knew it when I saw him. That was the one for me.” Though he might have had a girlfriend at the time “was only a small matter to be resolved” she teased. In fact, Bennie Jean was “the only woman Wayne Walker ever brought home to the farm” to meet his parents. They married in 1947 and lived in a chicken house beside her mother in Shreveport, LA. As she recalled, they “didn’t have much, but there was always plenty of love.” Bennie Jean loved people. She loved her husband. She loved being a mother. She said what she “knew and knew best was to be a mother”. Not only did Bennie and Wayne raise eight children, they also opened their home and hearts to foster six children: Mary Alice, Eddie, Danita Kay, Diana, Lulu, and Cindy. They raised their beautiful family in Pasadena, TX where Wayne found work, and they made many memories with family and friends fishing and camping on the beach with little more than a loaf of bread and a quilt. Most notable of their time in Pasadena was Bennie’s dedication in their community and at First Baptist Church of Pasadena where for 31 years she faithfully served in various ministries to include GA director and WMU director. Bennie Walker had a heart for missions and heart for people. As Mario and Noelia Morales remember Bennie and Wayne, “They didn’t know us at all, but they opened their home and heart to us when we moved to the Houston area. They fed us, gave us a place to live, and took us to church. They showed us God’s love without ever preaching to us. We came to know a God we wanted in our lives thanks to them.” After Wayne retired, they moved to Ajax, LA, to “the farm” where she was a member of Wallace Baptist Church for 35 years. She enjoyed fellowship with church family, teaching Sunday school and VBS, and other ministries at Wallace and appreciated the fellowship and outreach of Bethel Methodist Church. Bennie Jean was never idle. In addition to preparing three square meals and walking four miles a day (at least two miles a day even at 70 years old), she took on the many challenges of farm life, being a farmer’s wife, and expanded perhaps her finest and most coveted role as Grandma with unwavering love, direction (and sometimes re-direction), warm biscuits, and apple butter. She was proud of sharing her grandson Raleigh’s true words, “Grandma, you set aside your whole life for us.” When asked what her life might have been otherwise, she was stumped. “Well, I don’t know.” Loving God, loving her family, and loving others was her life for 91 years and her greatest joy. AS SHE LIVED, Matthew 22:36-39 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Bennie Jean Walker “knew her Bible”, but more importantly, she lived by God’s word and raised her family in His love. She loved the Lord with all of her heart and loved people completely, unconditionally as Christ does. “She had Christianity in her heart.” “She just loved you. She never had to think about it.” Bennie was preceded in death by her faithful husband, Wayne Walker; her beloved son, David Walker; her parents, Irving Burns, Alma Hillin Burns Metcalf Akin, and Ruben Metcalf; her sisters: Frances Maxine O’Quinn Williamson, Mary Helen Simpson, and Joyce Burns Camp Murphy; and her brothers: Artie Wesley Metcalf and Loyce Burns. Gifted with a legacy of love, most honored, and left to cherish her memory are her daughters: Nedra Hennelly of Plano, TX, Rebecca Rangel and husband Peter of Austin, TX, Deborah Vermilya and husband Jim of Carrollton, TX, and Amy Haire and husband Bruce of Wallace, LA; her daughter-in-love Graciela Ortiz Walker of Lansing, MI; her sons: Rodney Walker and wife Carol Sue of Ajax, LA, Keith Walker of Ajax, LA, and James Walker and wife Frances of Robeline, LA; her 21 grand children, their partners, and her 16 great grandchildren: Alyshia Hennelly of Frisco, TX and children Hannah and Micah, Robert Hennelly and Jessica Dalton of Plano, TX, Robert Walker of Robeline, LA, Ashley Haire and Gregory Snell of Wallace, LA and their children Lillian and Levi, Tate Hennelly of Plano, TX, Sarah Sigler and Brad of Carrollton, TX and their son Luke, Shaye Walker Campbell of Marthaville, LA and her children Brayden, McKynlie, Trenton, Bryson, Preston, Abbye Jean, and Lyndie, Teresa Lohmeier and Dan of Prescott, AZ, Rita Alter and Ryan of Austin, TX and their daughter Aurora, Juanita Diesel and Sean of Birmingham, MI and their daughter Grace, John Walker of East Lansing, MI, Raleigh Walker and Brittany of Ajax, LA and their sons Cayden and Ashton, Ana Hornburg and Chaz of East Lansing, MI, Peter Rangel and Madison Tomasek of Addison, TX, Matthew Walker and Samantha of West Monroe, LA, Emily Sugura and Rodolfo of Leesville, LA, Braxton Haire of Wallace, LA, Caleb Haire of Natchitoches, LA, James Walker of Ruston, LA, Rachel Vermilya and John Kohut of The Colony, TX, and Adrianna Walker of Robeline, LA; her sister, Bobbie Scoville of Bristol, Connecticut; her sister-in-law Faye Walker Binning and husband Billy of Lake End, LA; her faithful caregiver and beloved friend Susan Haire of Wallace, LA; a host of cousins, nieces, and nephews; and many special friends who were loved as family. Serving as pallbearers are her grandsons: Robert Walker, Robert Hennelly, Tate Hennelly, John Walker, Raleigh Walker, Peter Rangel, Matthew Walker, Braxton Haire, Caleb Haire, and James Walker. Honorary pallbearers are her great grandsons: Brayden Campbell, Micah Wilson, Levi Church, and Cayden Walker. The family would like to express their appreciation to Sheila Veuleman, Leslie Sigler, and Tracey Matthews with Kinder Home Health, Bennie’s OTC Brandon and PT Scott Vanderlick, as well as Elizabeth and Kelly at the CHF Clinic and Dr. Felicia for their trusted and compassionate care of their mother and grandmother. In lieu of flowers, Mrs. Walker’s family would be honored by any service or donations made in her honor in support of mission work and ongoing ministries such as those at Clara Springs Baptist Encampment or Wallace Baptist Church, Bethel Methodist Church in Ajax, LA, the WMU foundation, or Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home.
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