MYRTLE AGNEW WALKER
March 18, 2016
"...Myrtle Walker passed away at age 95. Mrs. Walker graduated from KHS in 1938. Although she received an art scholarship to attend Northwestern University, she was unable to afford the room and board and did not attend. She subsequently went to work for her father drawing plans for houses to be built by her father, Lewis Agnew. She married Earl Ernest Walker and they turned out to be quite a team. They founded Carr Lane Manufacturing Co. in 1952. She is credited with using her artistic talent to draw items for the first catalog produced by the Company.
Later in life she created the bronze turtles which became known as "Myrtle's turtles". You can go to Kirkwood Park at Walker Lake and see one of these 600-pound bronze turtles. The legacy left by the Walkers is the support they gave to Kirkwood and to Children. This was shown in gifts to The Magic House, Great Race in Kirkwood, scholarship for summer study by Kirkwood High School juniors and the Walker Natatorium on the campus of KHS and of course Kirkwood's Walker Lake. The Walkers were long time supporters of the Kirkwood Historical Society."
Earl E. Walker
Died: Friday, August 26, 2011
A 2007 Webster-Kirkwood Times article described Earl E. Walker as “An American Success Story.” A wealthy, self-made entrepreneur, Mr. Walker will be remembered by many for his generosity and community service.
Mr. Walker, a lifelong Kirkwood resident and CEO of Carr Lane Manufacturing Co. in Shrewsbury, died Friday, Aug. 26. He was 91.
During his early years Mr. Walker helped his parents with additional income by working part-time jobs. He managed the Kirkwood Roller Rink, drove a delivery truck, and did other odd jobs. He attended Kirkwood public schools, graduating from Kirkwood High in 1939. It was at Kirkwood High that Mr. Walker met Myrtle Agnew. They were married in 1942, and would go on to have four children.
Mr. Walker attended Ranken Technical School in St. Louis, where he learned welding. After a stint in World War II with the Navy Seabees, Mr. Walker worked as a welder for Curtis-Wright Aircraft Co. and its successor, McDonnell Aircraft Co.
Mr. Walker formed his own company in 1952. That company, located at 4200 Carr Lane Court in Shrewsbury, would become Carr Lane Manufacturing.
“We started out in the garage of our house in Kirkwood,” Mr. Walker told the Times in 2007.
Along with its subsidiaries, the company provided component parts for the metalworking field, as well as producing six vital parts for Apollo II. Through product expansion and several company acquisitions, Mr. Walker built a multi-million dollar international corporation. He would open manufacturing branches in Los Angeles, Boston, Austin and Brazil.
Mr. Walker’s business successes translated into a lifelong commitment on behalf of Earl and Myrtle to help others. Grateful for the education they had received attending Kirkwood public schools, the Walkers donated $800,000 toward what would be named the Earl and Myrtle Walker Science Center. The Kirkwood High campus building was dedicated in 2009. Earl and Myrtle Walker also donated to the high school for creation of Walker Commons, and gave the “Myrtle’s Turtles” sculptures to the school.
There’s the Earl E. and Myrtle E. Walker Hall, an art studio, at Washington University; a residence hall in their name at Ranken; a lobby bears the couple’s name at St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley; renovations at the old St. Joseph Hospital in Kirkwood were funded by the Walkers; a new School of Health Professions building was dedicated in their names in 2010 at Maryville University; and land owned by the couple was donated for the creation of Walker Park at Taylor and Washington avenues in Kirkwood.
The short listing represents just a sample of the Walkers’ philanthropic contributions over the years. Mr. Walker contributed toward many scholarships, and has been the recipient of countless awards both for his professional and philanthropic endeavors.
Mr. Walker was a member of the Kirkwood Masonic Lodge #484 and was awarded the Grand Cross of the Scottish Rite, the highest distinction of Scottish Rite Freemasonry. He was co-founder in 1988 of the Walker Scottish Rite Clinic for Childhood Language Disorders, which has served over 15,000 St. Louis area children to date with various speech and language disorders.
Mr. Walker was the father of Mary Walker, Tom (Martha) Walker [KHS65], Nance (Alan) Frost and Peggy (Randy) Swisher; grandfather of Keri, Daniel, Colin, Heather, Andrew, Alex and Katie; great-grandfather of Zackary, Sarah, Victoria, Adam, Rowan, Ryan and Asa; beloved by Dana, his daughter’s rescued boxer; friend, mentor, eternal gentleman, business associate and community supporter.
A Celebration of Life for Mr. Walker will be held Sunday, Sept. 18, 2 p.m., in the Keating Performing Arts Center at Kirkwood High School, 801 W. Essex. Bring a story and wear green. Arrangements by Bopp Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are requested to: Earl E. Walker Scholarship, Ranken Technical College, 4431 Finney Ave., St. Louis, Mo. 63113-2811 and the Walker Scottish Rite Clinic of Childhood Language Disorders, 3632 Olive St., St. Louis, Mo. 63108.