Barbara Walker


Teacher. Librarian. Volunteer. Family. Friends. Church.

Each of these words is a window into the life of the beautiful human being Barbara Walker was.

For 40 years she taught school or was a librarian in the Bradley and Hamilton County schools.

The contribution of her life as an educator is caught in a happening at her retirement party.

Having heard about the event from his mother, who was Barbara’s friend, a local lawyer, Jay Elliott, came to Barbara’s party to acknowledge the impact she had on him as his first-grade teacher.

As a volunteer, Barbara was Ambassador of the Year at the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce for many years and received the Athena Award from the Cleveland mayor as Woman of the Year because of her work in the community.

In Chattanooga, Barbara volunteered at Memorial Hospital as a bypass surgery survivor, speaking to patients who had just had bypass surgery, demonstrating that there was a good life after surgery.

Barbara volunteered for The American Heart Association, representing the association on local television during Women’s Heart Health Month: “Women, you must be the CEO of your own health,” she spoke into the camera, and working on committees for the annual Go Red luncheon.

The daughter of the Rev. Tommie and Mrs. Rachel Harper and the sister of Elizabeth Neeld (Jerele) and Frank Harper (Sheri), Barbara put family first in her life. She adored her nieces and their families and was enamored of Baby William, the newest member of the family.

Barbara made friends everywhere … her book club, Signal Mountain School staff, where Barbara was substituting until COVID-19, Bunco groups, Newcomer’s, her condo neighbors, Starbucks and Kenny’s staffs.

That friend-making extended to her life in Relevant Church, where pastors Chris and Sonia Stapleton, Laura and Scott Hall, Samantha and Kevin Gorham, her Small Group buddies, the children in the congregation, and so many others were central in Barbara’s world.

The date for a Celebration of Barbara’s Life will be announced later.

In lieu of flowers, please contribute to Relevant Church, 1304 McCallie Ave., Suite A, Chattanooga, TN 37404.


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