A Tribute to DPS Chad Walker
Pastor Jimmy Cotton was good friends with Chad Walker growing up. He was a part of Walker’s wedding three years ago. Thursday he was a part of his funeral.
DPS Trooper Walker, of Groesbeck, was laid to rest Thursday, April 7. He was shot in the line of duty Friday, March 26, and died the following Sunday.
The Groesbeck High School football stadium was filled with about 5,000 mourners, including a couple thousand from law enforcement communities from across the state and beyond.
Cotton, pastor of Cowboy Heritage Church in Freestone County, told some humorous and touching stories from his and Walker’s early days. He included a story about him giving Walker an out before his wedding to his widow, Tobie Walker.
“He said, ‘Brother Man’ … he always called me Brother Man,” Cotton said, choking up a bit. … “‘I prayed and I asked God to send me an angel … Brother Man, I’m going to spend the rest of my life with her. Til death do us part.’”
In addition to his wife, Walker is survived by son, Ethan Walker; twin daughters, Rylee and Charlee; 2-month-old daughter, Tulsa June Walker, all of Groesbeck; his parents, Mike and Brenda Walker of Groesbeck; paternal grandparents, Dennis and Barbara Walker of Groesbeck; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
Cotton quoted Ephesians 6, “ Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
The Walker family’s pastor, John Carabin, of Living Proof Church in Groesbeck, took to the podium next and addressed the law enforcement community.
“To every law enforcement officer here I want to say, ‘I’m sorry,’” he said, speaking in his role as both pastor and member of the Groesbeck Fire Department. “I’m sorry people out there don’t respect you. I’m sorry there are people out there that blame you and call you evil. When truly you are the only thing standing between them and the evil that will so quickly destroy our nation …
“We are proud to call you brother. We are proud to call you friend,” Carabin continued, choking up, “just as I was proud to call Chad Walker my friend and I was proud to call him my brother in Jesus Christ.”
Carabin said Chad Walker was many things to many people.
“To his wife he was a loving husband. To his children he was a dedicated father. To his parents he was a devoted son. To those who worked with him he was a long, a longtime brother,” Carabin said. “To the community as a whole, he was a part of that thin blue line that holds evil at bay.”
Carabin related a story about a time he told his congregation that their church had been asked to supply Bibles to every member of that year’s senior class, knowing their small church would struggle to provide them. Walker slipped him a note to not worry, “I got this.”
One of those Bibles went to a girl who found herself in some trouble while in college. The girl couldn’t see a way out and was contemplating suicide. As she lay there, about to take a handful of pills, she glanced at her shelf and saw the Bible there. The Bible she had never opened. In an email she said she didn’t understand exactly what she read that day, but she found out she had a God who loved her, no matter what.
“At that moment, because of Tobie and Chad’s faith, without ever knowing, they saved that girl’s life that day,” Carabin said.
At the end of the stadium service, pallbearers, led by a color guard, carried the trooper’s casket to the hearse for the trip to LaSalle Cemetery, where he was laid to rest. About a hundred law enforcement motorcycles led the way. Following the family were several hundred law enforcement vehicles. The procession traveled south on Ellis Street, then east on Yeagua to the cemetery. Well-wishers line the streets.
During the graveside service, the ceremonial bagpipes played followed by a horse with Trooper Walker’s boots, backward in the stirrups, symbolizing his last ride. As the honor guard brought the casket to sit before the family a 21-gun salute gave honor to his passing. A sea of hats were seen around the cemetery barrier, brothers-in-arms paying their respects.
A rain shower soaked the ground and cooled the air but the arrival of the Walker casket brought the sun as everyone was able to give a final goodbye to a local hero and fallen friend.
Honorary pallbearers were Pedro Barco, Jarrod Hardin, Murray Agnew, Brad Freeman, Ronny Snow, Marco Everett, Clayton Elmore, Bradley Turrubiarte, Ty DeCordova, Adam Fitte, Jordan Wietzikoski, Jonathon Boggs and Doug Taylor (Grandpa).
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations in honor of Chad to any of the following: Trinity Oaks Fallen Officers Foundation (9835 Miller Lane, San Antonio, TX 78226); the Kailee Mills Foundation (); or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital (800-478-5833, or 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105); or any organization of your choice or the Living Proof Church, Groesbeck.
Shelly Pope contributed to this story.