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Walker, long-time publisher, dies at 77 PDF Print E-mail

MINOCQUA — Donald Peter Walker, a North Woods newspaper publisher for nearly 50 years, died at his home Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012. He was 77.

Walker was publisher of The Lakeland Times for 48 years and was president of  Lakeland Printing Corp., the parent company for The Times, for 54 years.

He was born in Crosby, Minn., to Robert and Stella Walker Jan. 21, 1935. He was the oldest of three children, having two younger sisters. Following graduation from Crosby-Ironton High School, he  enlisted in the Navy at age 17. 

Walker went on to purchase the Minocqua newspaper July 14, 1958, and built the publication from a weekly with a few hundred subscribers into one of the largest non-daily circulations in Wisconsin. He was inducted into the Wisconsin Newspaper Association’s Hall of Fame in 2007.

He also was involved in  starting the first central printing plant in the North Woods, Wisconsin-Michigan Publishers, located in Eagle River.

Walker won the Distinguished Service Award from the Minocqua Jaycees and served as president of the Minocqua Businessmen’s Association. He served as a member of the executive board of Howard Young Medical Center. He was a member of the Minocqua Lions Club, Minocqua Fire Department, Jaycees and Ducks Unlimited, and a veteran of the Korean War.

He donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to community charities and civic organizations throughout his career. He enjoyed golfing, fishing, hunting and being with family and friends and going out for coffee every morning.

Walker is survived by one daughter, Mardee Loomis (Pat) of Rochester, Minn.; one son, Gregg Walker (Kim) of Minocqua; one sister, Beverly Watkins (Howard) of Littleton, Colo.; nine grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Stella Walker; one sister, Karen Maier; one son, Bradley Walker; and three nephews.

Visitation will be Thursday, Dec. 13, from 10 to 11 a.m., with the funeral service at 11 a.m. at Ascension Lutheran Church in Minocqua.

A reception will follow the service at Nimsgern Funeral Home Chapel in Woodruff.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Minocqua Lions Club.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 3:52 PM

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