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Russell Hughes Walker, Adair Co., KY (1946-2011)

Russell Hughes Walker grew up in Columbia, KY. He was the son of the late Ralph Russell "Pete" Walker and Edith Cundiff Walker. He was a graduate of Adair County High School, Centre College of Kentucky, and Salmon Chase School of Law. Imbued with a love of scholarship from both sides of his family and with a wit and sense of humor locals ascribe to his father Pete, Hughes Walker's own unique, unforgettable personality embodied so many of the best traits of all his very distinguished family. For those of us who worked with him in the all too brief time he was a newspaper editor, his passing is an acutely painful loss. During those times, it seemed - for a moment - we still had his father with us. -EW
A Durham, NC memorial service for Russell Hughes Walker will be at11amET/10amCT, on Wednesday, February 23, 2011, in the Chapel at the Durham VA Medical Center, 508 Fulton ST, Durham, NC 27705).
A Kentucky memorial service for Russell Hughes Walker, Adair Co., KY (1946-2011) will be held at the Glen Willis Mansion, 900 Wilkinson Blvd, Frankfort, KY. at 11amET/10amCT, April 09, 2011. The service will last about 45 minutes, with a light lunch afterward for family and firends. Those who would like to share a story or memory of Hughes Walker will be invited to do so. - John Walker

Russell Hughes Walker, Sr., died February 16, 2011, in Durham, NC, after a bravely fought battle with lung cancer. He was 64.

Hughes, as everyone knew him, spent the past five years as a credentialing specialist at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He loved working at the hospital, where he was known for maintaining a never-ending supply of sweets in his office and, more importantly, for his exhaustive knowledge of how the VA works; he absolutely loved mastering the finer points of government bureaucracy.

As for Durham the city, somehow this Louisville Cardinals and Kentucky Wildcats fan managed to live within spitting distance of Blue Devil Nation without losing his sense of humor.

Hughes was the oldest child of R.R. "Pete" Walker and Edith Cundiff Walker. A 1964 graduate of Adair County High School, he attended Centre College in Danville and later obtained a law degree from the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University. He was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity at Centre.

After college he entered the U.S. Army and was selected for Officer Candidate School. He served three years, leaving the service as a 1st Lieutenant.

Politics was his first love, and he did campaign work for a number of notable Kentucky politicians, including Todd Hollenbach, Martha Layne Collins, and Ben Chandler. Under Collins, Kentucky's first and only woman governor, Hughes was appointed Commissioner of Medicaid at the Cabinet for Human Resources, the state health agency where he worked for nearly a decade.

For several years, he practiced law in Frankfort, sharing offices with former Gov. Julian Carroll, another Democratic politician he loved and had worked for.

A prolific reader his entire life, Hughes had a knack for picking the perfect books for friends and family, and his library was a favorite family source for the latest history, military, and politics bestsellers, along with a healthy serving of spy thrillers.

His favorite place in the world was Hunting Island, S.C., a beautiful barrier island near Beaufort that is maintained as a state park. For years, he enjoyed taking an annual vacation to one of the park's seafront cabins where he could watch for nesting sea turtles at night, walk the long beach in the day and cook batches of a particularly flavorful Lowcountry favorite called Frogmore Stew.

He is survived by his son, Russ, of Seattle and Washington, DC, and his longtime companion, Martha Booth of Frankfort. He is also survived by all three siblings: John of Frankfort, Victoria of Washington, DC, and Stewart of Atlanta. His two nephews and niece are Tom Smith, a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., Hallie Smith, a senior at St. Stephen's and St. Agnes School in Alexandria, Va., and Peter Walker, a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. A second son, Matthew Charles, died soon after birth in 1971. His ex-wife, Dr. Lee Adams, resides in Louisville.

A memorial service in Durham is planned for the week of February 21. A service in Kentucky will be scheduled for later this year. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in memory of Hughes Walker to the Hospice/Palliative Care General Post Fund. Checks may be written out to the Durham VA Medical Center, forwarded to Voluntary or Chaplain Service with the intent of the donation on the memo line or in a separate note. All donations are acknowledged and donors are provided a receipt for taxes.

This story was posted on 2011-02-16 17:12:33
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Grissom-Martin Funeral Home
Located one block off the Square at 200 Campbellsville Street in Columbia, KY.
To reach David and Cathy Martin, phone (270)-384-2149, or e-mail:
Large enough to serve comfortably; Small enough to serve personally.

G & G Monuments
Todd and Mandi Green and Jared Conover
1670 Liberty Road, Columbia, KY. email:, 270-634-0359
First Quality Marble and Granite

Stotts-Phelps-McQueary Funeral Home
Established 1922 | 210 Greensburg St., Columbia, KY 42728 | Jeff Jessie, Owner
270-384-2145,, email

Remembering Russell Hughes Walker, Adair Co., KY (1946-2011)

2011-02-16 - South Carolina - Photo from family.
Remembering Russell Hughes Walker, Adair Co., KY (1946-2011)

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