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View a eulogy for Gary Jack Walk, USMA '64, who passed away on August 9, 2008.

Gary Jack Walk

West Point, 1964

Be Thou At Peace

Posted by Tom Anthony on August 19, 2008:

Gary Walk was my roommate our senior year at West Point. We wanted to graduate and to start our lives, but along the way that last year we had a lot of fun.

The last years of his life, Gary was very sick. I made a point of getting to San Antonio at least once a year to visit. Gary’s loving wife, Coella, kept Gary alive and happy during his last years.

Gary knew for some time that his remaining days were few, but he had achieved his goals: to walk onto the Plain at our class reunion and to dance with his daughter at her wedding. Gary always did it his way.

I am sure Gary will have many eloquent eulogies written for him that will highlight his service and his devotion to Duty, Honor and Country. I want to tell about his great sense of humor and to share some of the memories that Gary and I recalled during our recent visits, most recently shortly before his death.

During that last year of 1963-64 at West Point we had some adventures. Gary came with me over a long weekend and we stayed on my family’s farm in Ohio. We spent other weekends in Ossining NY at my uncle’s home, depleting his stock of vintage scotch. The night before graduation I slept on the floor so Gary could lay out his wedding gear on my bunk and prepare himself for his wedding/graduation day. As years went by I forgot about this, but Gary remembered. After graduation I cruised down to San Antonio and stayed with him. San Antonio was not so big then, and we found each other by chance; I was reading a map and stopped in traffic trying to find his place. He told me I couldn't get any dates in Texas in the summer with a car with no air conditioning, even a new Corvette. We once ran together with Dave Sims; Gary could keep up. We tried not to get into trouble and almost succeeded, but I remember someone chucking a pistol into the back of my car and saying, “Take this back to Gary,” one of those stories that best rest with him, along with that one about the girl in Germany whose number he gave me, inspiring me to learn more German.

Then, we did not see each other for 35 years. At our reunion, he was the first classmate I saw when I walked into the hotel lobby, and all the lost time dissolved; it was 1964 again. Gary was already sick, but Gary was still Gary. We reconnected and stayed in touch, more and more closely as he knew his time on earth was growing short.

Gary was always in charge of his life. Shortly before his death, we talked. He told me he did not think he would last much longer. I had a final “prosit” with Gary and Coella, and we knew we were saying good-bye. Rest in peace, roommate!

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