Gary Hayes Walker

Gary Hayes Walker

Gary passed away peacefully at home from late-stage cancer on Sunday, September 27th, 2020. He was born January 29, 1938 to Hap and Esther Walker in San Diego. The family moved to Whittier in 1939.  He graduated from Whittier High School in 1956 and spent the next two years serving honorably in the U.S. Army in Germany.  Gary worked as a fireman for the L.A. County fire department and was one of the first to arrive at the Haight Ashbury events of the 1960s. He was preceded in death by his mother and father and older brother Bob.  He is survived by his beloved Nova Martinez Meyer, his son Peter Walker, daughter Anna Walker and granddaughter Brooke Walker, all of Taos, his sister Karen Walker Ryan of Ronan MT and his brother Tim Walker of Manhattan Beach. He met Juliana Martin, a California beach girl in 1968. Together they decided to leave LA. He sold his 1967 Ford Mustang, retrofitted a 1947 Dodge panel truck and they joined the exodus of young people fleeing the city and police suppression to find something better.  In 1968 they arrived in Taos, got married and created a homestead next to the Rio Hondo on 38 acres, complete with goats, horses, chickens, dogs, cats, guinea hens, turkeys and two kids. This is where Taos Mountain Woodworks was born and he became the iconic sign and furniture maker whose work is still around town today.. Gary was a baseball and softball player. His screwball pitches were legendary and caused many a studly batter to pop them in the air for an easy out. Gary cared deeply about his family, his long-time partner Nova Martinez Meyer of 35 years and all his four-legged furry friends. He will be remembered for his sense of justice for the underdog, his loving big heart, his incredible craftsmanship and his dark sense of humor. Due to the complications of the current pandemic a memorial will be held when the smoke has cleared. In the meanwhile please email any stories of Gary you would like to share to his son, Peter Walker who will be compiling a retrospective on his life and the iconic counter culture era.

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