Don Walker, a Detroit native, was an alumnus of Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
He began working at The Milwaukee Journal in 1978 after working at the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram.
Walker married Susan (Sue) Gantz in 1980, and the couple raised two sons, Peter and Tim.
Walker was an editor for The Journal and the Journal Sentinel before he returned to reporting for the news, sports and business departments. He also was a founding member of the Milwaukee Newspaper Guild.
Walker — whose nickname was “Doak,” after the Detroit Lions Hall of Famer Doak Walker — ended his career by covering city government and the proposed new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks.
Walker died May 22, 2015, at the Hales Corners home he shared with his wife, Sue. He was 62.
Read a more detailed biography here. Read Don’s work for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel here.
What friends and colleagues had to say about Don Walker:
- “Those who knew Don know there wasn’t anyone on the face of the planet who worked harder or understood the workings of city, county and state government, the business side of professional sports and the inner workings of a newsroom better than him. He was the consummate professional, someone many of us modeled ourselves after when it came to fairness, work ethic and perseverance. More than that, Don was just a terrific person,” wrote Tom Silverstein, president of the Milwaukee Newspaper Guild
- “Don was the quintessential reporter,” Journal Sentinel Editor George Stanley said. “… We’re going to miss him as a person and I think all Milwaukee is going to miss his work.” (Read Stanley’s piece about Don here.)
- “Whether as an editor or a reporter, he loved big stories,” former Journal Sentinel Editor Marty Kaiser said. “Actually, I think he loved every story — he wrote so many.”
- “He was the soul of the Journal Sentinel,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said. “The consummate professional. He was somebody we always knew would be fair and honest.”
- “He was a great guy – warm, caring, level-headed, a team player both in the newsroom and everywhere else. Not flashy, not egotistical. Someone who clearly treasured his wife and two sons,” wrote Alan J. Borsuk, former education Journal Sentinel reporter and senior fellow in law and public policy at Marquette University Law School. (Read Borsuk’s post about Don here.)