The Walker Home, 1947-1997 - Shown in the picture above is the front porch of the home where my brothers and I grew up in Bixby, Oklahoma. The new owners replaced Mother's azaleas along the front of the porch with a hedge. Some of the shrubs are a little taller than Mother would have allowed, but it still brings back warm memories. The house was demolished in 2007 to make room for a four-lane highway where once a back alley separated our yard from our neighbors.
Haskell Walker was the son of Uriah Jackson "Jack" Walker and Eugenia "Genie" (Fuller) Walker. He was a first generation Oklahoman, born March 29, 1908 in LeFlore Co. Oklahoma. As a youth, he was known for his great athletic skill in baseball. During the Great Depression, Haskell traveled with the CCC planting trees. He married Bonnie Edith Shores on January 8, 1935 and settled in Bixby, Oklahoma where he was a produce buyer, insurance agent and served as Bixby city mayor in 1955. There, he and Bonnie raised their four children. He loved to read biographies, play with his children, fly fish and talk politics. Haskell died December 3, 1991 in a Tulsa hospital. He is buried at Bixby City Cemetery in Bixby, Oklahoma.
Bonnie Edith Shores, also a first generation Oklahoman, was born in Sequoyah Co., Oklahoma on March 26, 1911. She was the daughter of John Wesley Shores and Permilia 'Maud' (Fisher) Shores who both grew up in Franklin Co. Arkansas. Bonnie was a homemaker and assistant to Haskell in his business ventures. She was a talented seamstress and loved to cook & bake. Desserts were her favorites. She loved to read biographies about women who had left their mark on the world. She was active in her children's school life, making costumes, baking goodies for parties and helping wherever needed. She was also active in her church where she taught Sunday school, played the piano and was church clerk. Bonnie died November 30, 1997 in Forest Hills Assisted Living Center, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. She is buried at Bixby City Cemetery in Bixby, Oklahoma.
Woodrow "Woody" Wilson Smith, son of Albert Lee Smith and Martha 'Emily' (Simon) Smith, was born in Montgomery Co., Arkansas on November 23, 1912. He grew up as a country boy who enjoyed playing in the woods, fishing and exploring the wonders of nature. He came to Oklahoma in 1935 to marry the love of his life, Wanda Juanita Biswell. They married on May 23, 1935 in Sand Springs, Oklahoma and settled in Tulsa where they raised their only child, Jim. Woody was a foreman at McDonnell Douglas Aircraft, known locally as the Bomber Plant. He liked to travel, but most of all his passion was reading western novels. Woody died of heart disease on December 21, 1980. He is buried in Memorial Park Cemetery, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Wanda Juanita Biswell was the daughter of Walter 'Ray' Biswell and Mary Elizabeth (Oliver) Biswell. She was born in Livonia, Missouri on March 18, 1912. Wanda's mother died before she was two years old. She and her brother, Wayne, went to live with her Oliver grandparents until her father remarried. She moved with her family to Monte Ne, Arkansas during the mid-1920s. There she attended a private school where she learned to play the violin. During the Oklahoma oil boom, Wanda went to Tulsa, Oklahoma where she took a job as a nanny for an oil family. She often said this is where she learned to love gardening. She worked there until she and Woody married. During the early years of their marriage, Wanda was a homemaker. She later went to work as a bookkeeper for a wholesale tobacco company. She spent her spare time gardening during spring & summer and redecorating their home when it was too cold to be outside. Wanda died in Tulsa at the age of 90 on December 1, 2002. She is buried in Memorial Park Cemetery, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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