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Kristin and I are honored to have laughed and shared a number of happy times for over 15 years with David (and Takako). We/I always enjoyed the non-judgmental "moments" with David, including a photo David "prized" that I took of he and Takako expressing -- with no words -- their soul-full love for each other. I had taken this photo during one of his "first"arrivals at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base -- AFMC Commander General Speedy Martin's first "Tatoo" Event in the fields next to the USAF Museum. Anyone who would like a copy of the photo, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or for a "hard copy" (complimentary -- as a tribute to David and his family's loving happy memories), please feel free to send me a request note at my office address of Novak & Associates, Inc., TEC Center, 714 E. Monument Avenue, Dayton, Ohio 45402. (I'm sorry that I could not find a way to print it here.) Rick and Kristin.
~ Rick Novak - January 21, 2020
With my deepest sympathy to the Walker family.... I worked for Dr. Walker from 2012 to 2016 in the Pentagon SAF/AQR. He was extremely intelligent and fun to be around. I valued his opinion both as my boss and as my friend. We always talked about hypersonics. An we shared a common interest in building and flying radio-controlled airplanes. He was my Wing-man. I miss him so much!
~ Dr. Ray Moszée - January 16, 2020
From my family to yours, our sympathies for your loss. I had no idea you moved in just a block away from us so if we can do anything to support you please let me know. As a DAU Professor and Course Manager for Science Technology Management, I had reached out to Dr. Walker in his capacity as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Science, Technology and Engineering, for his input on what critical topics I should include during a recent rewrite of the STM 204 course. He provided me with insight/ideas and we brought that into the course. I regret not knowing that you all moved in down the street where I obviously would have come and bothered him for more of his wisdom. Prayers & Thoughts! Jerry
~ Jerry Vandewiele - January 16, 2020
David and I were at The University of Texas at Austin together. He was extremely inquisitive. Every problem was a fun puzzle to crack. He stood out among all the smart people in that academic environment. So did his dad who had come back to school at the same time. Education and learning were important and to be pursued continuously. My wife Lisa and I got to know the whole family.
David always had a smile. I remember late night visits to I-HOP to recharge. One night we showed up at Dr. Fowler's house with the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies, and he let us in. David finished his Masters at the same time I started mine. I picked up the research project from where he left off.
We touched base with David a few times though the years. David happened to be in Austin on our first anniversary. He was only in town for a short time so Lisa and I spent that night with David and his parents. We visited David and family at Edwards when we went to see a Shuttle landing. We touched base when he came to the Johnson Space Center as part of the astronaut selection process. You don't visit JSC unless you get very far along in the process. He didn't get selected, maybe because the astronaut corps already had someone named David Walker and would not have been able to keep them straight.
I was looking forward to touching base again, later, after retirement, when things slowed down. It's not to be.
Lisa and I send our condolences.
~ David Dannemiller - January 15, 2020
I first met Dave as a cadet at the University of Texas as he was a couple of years behind me. We knew he was special then. A couple of years later he was assigned brand new WSO to Zweibrucken Germany and I was his sponsor then. He was newly married and surprised us with Takako as we were prepared for hosting a bachelor. While there he was an exceptional back seater and great to fly with. Very thorough and detailed. During our annual squadron Pig Roast Dave had a bit too much adult beverage. He earned his Call Sign "Pig Dog" as a result. Over the years I have been aware of David's advancement in the Air Force and later as a civilian. Quite impressive indeed. A few years ago in 2015 I last saw David in Paris. I was there for a meeting and our group went to the Member's club in the Marriott hotel. I saw him sitting across the room and in his beard and older self he appeared familiar. When I walked by and heard his voice I knew immediately who it was. I asked him if he was "walker, Dave Walker"? Yes he replied and I said "Pig Dog" it was funny watching him have a flash back to 35 years earlier. He was a true comrade in arms and a great guy.
Deepest sympathies to the family.
~ R.E. "Ripper" Torn - January 15, 2020
I have known Dave for over 20 years working with him while he was stationed at Edwards, Wright Paterson, the Pentagon as well as his time when he was with the Navy in Balston. We worked so many projects together over those years as well as international partnerships. Anytime he was planning to visit and meet with Foreign governments, he would reach out and ask to go along. He was such a mentor to me on pushing to always make things better, do everything with the utmost integrity and always value everyone's opinions no matter what level they were in the organization. Over those years of working together, I really could see his love for his family and country. He always talked proudly of his children and his marriage. Everyone knew he was a proud Texas Longhorn. I owe so much of my career opportunities to Dave and will remember him always for his generosity as well as an occasional deserved kick in the rear. God Bless and God Speed.
~ Michael Huggins - January 15, 2020
I first met "Super Dave" in Test Pilot School in the Summer of 85. His callsign pretty much summed up his incredible capabilities! Dave was a very serious person about all he did, yet all of my memories of Dave include a huge smile and laughter.
We spent four years together at Edwards - the year at TPS, another year at Test Ops and two more in the F-15 Combined Test Force. During those four years, we flew together on a regular basis in T-38s, F-4s, F-15s and F-15Es. The flight that comes to mind first had nothing to do with flight test. Dave had a local checkout when he came to the F-15 CTF and I may have been the first one he flew with. We were flying low-level in either a B or D model when I uttered the infamous words "Hey, watch this!" I proceeded into a split-S at a relatively low altitude - a maneuver that would have ended up as a smoking hole in any aircraft he had ever flown, up to that point. As a seasoned RF-4C WSO, he started the maneuver in a petrified state but we both were roaring in laughter as we pulled out. Yes, the F-15 was an incredible improvement over the F-4!
Over the next few decades, we bumped into each other on a variety of occassions and places. For example, we sat in the front row together as our TPS classmate, Ray Johns, pinned on his fourth star. By the way, those were reserved seats for people like Dave but he guided me along and helped me crash the event. Our last time together was in DC a little over a year ago. We were catching up on a variety of stories, most of which, like always, ended up in laughter. He had recently moved over to the Navy so we shared stories about how different the two services were. Then he told me about listening to the trip report of a person who worked for him who had traveled to Holloman to discuss the impending departure of the F-22s. She reported that it had all gone well except for one "#$@-%" civilian. Dave asked her, "Was that Lance Grace?" She was shocked that he knew me and that he had figured out who that guy was. I denied being rude but just explained to Dave that I was merely asking the "real" questions. Dave agreed, laughed, and explained "That's why you were an "#$@-%"."
As I've gone through life, I have built a list in my head of the people that I would have liked to bring together some day to engage in some kind of magnificent project. It isn't a very long list but Super Dave was high on it. It is sad to realize that he is no longer there.
I will miss him.
~ Lance Grace - January 15, 2020
I was so shocked to hear from Siva Banda last week of Dave's unexpected passing. It truly hit me like a hammer. My heart goes out to his entire family. Dave was my very first doctoral student at AFIT, and I think I learned more from him than he did from me. We kept in touch as best we could over the following years, including the trips he made to Tucson to help review our R&D efforts and go out to dinner with my wife and me. They are cherished memories for both of us. He was a truly unique individual, one the smartest and most dedicated people I have had the pleasure of knowing. He had a passion for the safety and security of this country, made a huge impact on the Air Force in his last position there (he was referred to as the Chief Engineer of the Air Force), and had a sparkle in his eye when he was here and reviewing our work. It was also evident he was a devoted family man, and talked proudly about his entire family. Whenever I was talking to people and his name came up, I was truly honored to tell people he was my friend and my first doctoral student. I cannot imagine the grief you are feeling at his tragic loss at such an early age. My heart goes out to all of you -- know that he will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him.
~ Brett Ridgely - January 15, 2020
I first met Dave as a fellow WSO at Zweibrücken AB. Besides being an Instructor he was also the squadron radar officer as night time navigation in the RF-4 was done almost exclusively by radar from the back seat. I was in awe of him and his ability to resolve the radar images of even the smallest of things such as power lines which most of us would never attempt with the crude radar we had. Although I was never a close friend I liked him and stayed in contact with him after he left for Test Pilot school as we had similar interests. I made a special trip out to Edwards AFB to visit him after I left Zweibrücken . I was interested in being a Test NAV like him, but my lower GPA in college as an Astronomy-Physics and Engineering major wasn’t high enough. Never the less he was very cordial. More recently in 2018 I exchanged emails with him to see if he was interested in coming to one of our TAC RECCE Reunions in 2018 at Dayton, Ohio, but unfortunately he had a prior commitment. We we’re lucky to have him in the RECCE community. I was truly shocked that he passed away so suddenly. My condolences to his family and friends.
~ Jim Placke - January 15, 2020
I was in Dave’s Test Pilot School class. This was in the days when PCs were getting popular and Dave used his computer to produce the best looking reports in the class! While the rest of us were literally cutting and pasting with scissors and glue, he was churning out gorgeous documents with his printer. I never did manage to get into a data group with him. We didn’t work closely together after TPS but followed each other around to various assignments and it was always great to get together and catch up. He was always excited to tell me about what Takako and their daughters were up to. I’m so glad he was able to make our last class reunion in DC in 2018. He will be missed by us all and the S&T and T&E communities have lost a true giant. Many condolences to Takako, their daughters, and the rest of the family.
~ Eileen Bjorkman - January 15, 2020
Before AFRL, Dave and I were in the same squadron (38th TRS) in Zweibrucken, Germany when he was a back seater in the RF-4C. So when he came to lead the Air Vehicles Directorate in AFRL, we had an instant connection. He was very supportive of innovative ideas, always willing to listen, and would gently guide those of us who needed it. It was no surprise to see him land at Wright Bros Institute after a stellar Air Force career! Dave...the world is a little worse off without you in it. Your legacy lives on through your family and all those you touched through the years. Rest in peace my friend.
~ Denny Mrozinski - January 14, 2020
I first met Dave when I was a program manager in the Air Vehicles Directorate. Under his mentoring, I grew to become the Branch Chief and the Propulsion and Weapons Integration and Demonstration Branch and later Chief of the Consolidated Aero Sciences Laboratory. He always had time to council and advise his younger CGOs. I have three favorite memories of Dave. First, he introduced me to high performance cycling and clip on pedals. On our first trip out together, he promptly fell over on his bike because he did not unclip fast enough. I think of him and Bill Borger every time I get on my bike. Second, Dave and I traveled together to Berlin in 2000. The east side of the city was still recovering from the communist rule, but Brandenburg Gate had reopened to the public of automobile traffic. We were some of the first to drive through the new reopened gate. Third was is scolding me for a contracting error on one of my programs. I felt so bad for letting him down that I never made that error again. Rest In Peace my friend.
~ Lance Chenault - January 14, 2020
My deepest and most sincere sympathy to the Walker family. Dr. Walker was the epitome of our Air Force core values of integrity, service and excellence. He lived his life in service, dedication and gifted so many others by sharing his knowledge, experiences and ideas. I will forever be grateful for his leadership, mentorship and above all, his kindness and respect that he demonstrated on a daily basis. He will be greatly missed.
~ Jackie Janning-Lask - January 14, 2020
I had the opportunity to work with Dave multiple times over the past 20 years- as Col Walker in Air Vehicles, Dr. Walker in Materials and Manufacturing as both my director and then as the Integrating Director during the FLTC years while I was FLTC 1 in Human Effectiveness, and finally during his years as AQR while I was in AQX at the Pentagon. Dave was an innovator, a man of many skills and accomplishments, always good for a thoughtful discussion, a joke, and support when needed.
Sincere condolences to his family; he loved and spoke of you so often.
~ Deborah Peeler - January 14, 2020
I worked with Dave during his time at the Office of Naval Research, which just ended in 2019. I so very sorry to hear of his unexpected passing. He was truly a lovely person to work with. He always had a positive outlook and possessed a great sense of humor. He loved his family deeply and was a great patriot. He will be missed by all. I lost my husband of 31 years (age 58) very suddenly in March 2019, so I have a sense of the shock and grief you are feeling. Please try to take some small comfort in knowing that he loved you all and exemplified a "life well-lived". My prayers are with you and your family during this terrible time.
~ Cathy Mule - January 14, 2020
I used to work with Dr. Walker at ONR and he was my director. I enjoyed working with him and you have my sincerest condolences to the family.
~ Dominique Clayton - January 14, 2020
I worked as a retired Navy contractor for Dave in 2018/2019. Dave always had time to talk flying and we shared many tall tales that really brightened up some otherwise dull work. My condolences to Dave's family and friends.
~ Brian Carpenter - January 14, 2020
I cherish fond memories of working with Dave. We worked together to establish cooperative efforts with the French. He encouraged me to find ways to develop technology quicker and affordably. I will miss working with him. He was truly dedicated to improving our country and mentoring others like me.
My sincere condolences for the family and many friends Dave left behind.
~ Robert Mercier - January 14, 2020
To Dr. Walker's family, please accept my deepest condolences. Dr. Walker was a kind-hearted soul who I will remember fondly for having a huge part in my promotion to SMSgt. He saw in me the potential to lead and I will ever be grateful for his leadership and wonderful disposition. He made a huge impact on the Air Force and NATO and will be sorely missed. May his soul Rest In Peace.
- Alicia Maharaj
~ Alicia Maharaj - January 14, 2020
Dave and I worked together in difficult times for the Air Force, as he helped lead the A8 programming team through dramatic budget cuts. Dave's grace under pressure and his encyclopedic knowledge of just about every program in the Air Force made a positive difference beyond my ability to put into words. Loyal, candid, compassionate, inexhaustible--every good word in the dictionary applied to Dave, all he did, and the leader he was. I feel that way now, in sadness that he's gone, and I felt that way when we worked together. He was simply a brilliant, wonderful teammate and friend. While I'm thankful he's been "cleared for an unrestricted climb," I join all who miss and mourn Dave, and pray that his family will be blessed by the light he shared and sustained by the love of friends.
~ Chris Miller - January 14, 2020
First of all, please accept my deepest condolences on the recent passing of Dr. David Walker. I am very saddened by this unexpected and devastating news.
I had the privilege of working with Dr. Walker during his tenure in NATO's Science and Technology Board. He was both a colleague and a friend. He actively supported our Board in its reform efforts, where his focus towards innovation and his dissatisfaction for the status quo served us well.
It was fun and rewarding working with him.
David, rest in peace. Thank you very much for making this world a better place.
retired Major-General (Belgian Air Force) Albert Husniaux, dr. h. c., M (Sc) Eng
Former NATO Chief Scientist and Chairman of NATO's Science and Technology Board.
~ Albert HUSNIAUX - January 14, 2020
Dr. Walker was my boss in SAF/AQR when I arrived in 2016. He was a giant in the science and technology community and an innovator when the Air Force was just beginning to talk about getting back to its innovative spirit. A true patriot with boundless energy. May he rest in peace.
~ Laird Abbott - January 13, 2020
I was so saddened to get the news of Dave’s passing, it’s been years since I have seen him or his family. He was in the same Test Pilot School class with my husband. I remember him as being so intelligent and such a nice caring guy. I can’t believe that we have lived this long that we are losing so many people. Carter, my husband would have wanted me to remember Dave here I know. Maybe they will find each other one day and can have some great conversations.
To Takako and family I’ll keep you in my thoughts . You all have wonderful memories and best of all you have each other! God Bless you All.
~ Connie Wilkinson - January 13, 2020
I first met Dave when we were classmates in Test Pilot School, where he was often referred to as “Super Dave” by the rest of us for the way he seemed to breeze through TPS without breaking a sweat. Dave always generously gave of his time when classmates needed any tutoring on subjects they were struggling with. It was no surprise that as Dave’s career advanced, larger and larger organizations came to depend on his incredible intellect, extensive knowledge, and willingness to help others succeed. Rest in peace.
~ Steve Cameron - January 13, 2020
David Walker was an inspiration to many of us in the naval S&T community, and in the short 2+ years he was at Office of Naval Research, he had a significant impact on many of us at ONR and at the Naval Research Laboratory. Dave had a keen understanding of the importance of basic and applied research, and he was always quick to defend this early research. In the short time I knew Dave, I grew to value the opportunities we had to share ideas and talk about S&T. David's office was always a first stop on my visits to ONR. He had the wisdom that comes only from having had a wide set of experiences during his lifetime. I offer my deepest condolences to Dave's family for his loss.
~ Bruce Danly - January 13, 2020
Dr. Walker was a mentor and true leader. We were blessed to work with him at AFRL and the Pentagon and we were looking forward to continuing to work with Dave at WBI. This is a great loss to our nation and the entire S&T community. Our hearts are sad and our prayers got out to the Walker family.
~ Chet and Elaine Bryant - January 13, 2020
I first met Dave in 1987 when we were both assigned to test the F-15E. We made fast friends and colleagues. Those are some of my best memories. We worked, socialized, and I learned a great deal from him. RIP friend.
Takako and girls - Susan and I offer our deepest condolences for your loss. Dave loved you guys with all of his heart. He was a great friend and his accomplishments contributed massively to the security of our country. All of our prayers are with you.
Susan and Brian Jones
~ Brian Jones - January 13, 2020
Dave was a outstanding friend and mentor. He was consistently looking for ways to help people with their career. I was fortunate enough to work for Dave for little over a year and I took away so many things he taught me and others. His imprint on the AF will be long lasting. Whether it was in the early days as a planning and programming guru or directing the future of the AF in Science and Technology the AF and the country are in better shape due to Dave. He will be missed.
Heart felt condolences to the family.
~ Jeffrey Stanley - January 13, 2020
I had the wonderful experience of working with Dave when I was CZ and Dave was the AFRL Vice-commander under three generals. Together, we crafted the operating concept of integrated technologies we called the FLTCs (for those who went through this). I was in a position defined as 2-4 years in that temporary assignment with absolutely no experience working inside an Air Force organization. Dave was a colleague and friend in the deepest sense during those nearly-four years. His time for counseling, assistance, and leadership were what made my time in the AFRL Front Office meaningful for me in so very many ways. Having dinner with Dave and his wife Tako after his move back to Dayton and position at the WBI was really fun for me as I got filled in a bit on parts of his career at the Pentagon and before I met him. He is missed in so many ways but especially in his wisdom, devotion to duty, and the skills of working with such diverse people in a selfless way. It is the essence of leadership and I am proud to say I was gifted to work with Dave. May he rest in peace.
~ Tom Cruse - January 13, 2020
The Carroll Family in Berkeley CA send our thoughts and prayers to the entire Walker family.
~ Chris Carroll - January 13, 2020
I was blessed to work with Dave when I served as Chief Scientist of the Air Force from 2010-2013. Dave was then serving as
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Science, Technology and Engineering. While I was impressed by his technical excellence and his thoughtful understanding of the impact of technology on operations, I was moved both by his unassuming and gentle but empathetic approach to bringing teams together to achieve extraordinary results. He is a great loss to our community and an uncomprehensible loss to his family. Rest is peace airman. Grateful for your contribution to our nation. You are gone but never forgotten.
Dr. Mark Maybury
~ MARK MAYBURY - January 13, 2020
I first met Dr Walker at a DPAAS meeting when he was championing LCAAT - his unabated passion for moving the needle was infectious and stimulating. As a fellow GEO bachelor, we spoke briefly about his love for Dayton and returning home from the Beltway. It was on my list to visit WBI and talk about digital data in the maintenance areas. Dave would want his work to continue and I will try and keep the flame burning. RIP Dr Walker.
~ Robert Appenzeller - January 13, 2020
Dave, I miss you already. You were always there as a pillar to lean on, get advice, just chat.
The S&T community has lost a great scientist and person.
~ Monica Poelking - January 13, 2020
I'm saddened at this loss. Dave was a strong advocate for the work of Tec^Edge from its beginnings and him being the director added so much to the prestige of the institution. Dave never failed to stop by my little place in the corner of nowhere to say hi and ask about what crazy project we were involved with.
My sincere condolences to a great innovator, leader and advocate for our area.
~ Ben Bosma - January 13, 2020
Dr. Dave Walker was a leader and mentor to me. I first worked for him in 2002 at Edwards AFB when I was a brand new major and then again when he gave me the opportunity to finish my USAF career working for him at the NATO Collaboration Support Office in Paris France. Dave was a frequent visitor to our offices, and although we were a continent away, he made it a point to keep up with our needs and be physically present... something he claimed not to enjoy, but in reality who doesn't like visiting Paris. Dave was a great contributor and leader in his role as a NATO Science and Technology Board member and he will be greatly missed by a large corps of loyal friends and colleagues from around the world. All of us who had the privilege of his friendship and of working with or for him over his exceptional career of service to our great nation will be a part of his legacy.
To Dave's family, I send my gratitude to you for sharing him with us, it meant a lot to so many people whose lives he touched and enhanced.
~ Monty Greer - January 13, 2020
Thinking of the family of Dr. Walker with heartfelt sympathy. Wishing you feelings of comfort, moments of peace, and memories of joy during this difficult time. I had the privilege of working with Dr. Walker when he was vice commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory and more recently our paths crossed with events at WBI. He will be greatly missed!
~ Donna McBroom - January 13, 2020
I served as a division chief under Col Walker when he was the Air Vehicles Director. He was a man of great integrity, great intelligence, was extremely approachable, a great mentor to us all. When I was Director of Propulsion, he supported financially the 4th flight of the X-51... the critical flight laying the foundation for the hypersonic weapons push now of extreme national importance. His enormous impact will resonate through science and technology and our operational capability for decades. My favorite memory... we travelled to Sweden together on a cooperative technology effort with the Swedes... to pass the time he worked Suduko puzzles... with his extreme intelligence he worked the very hardest ones in minutes.. amazing... will be so missed.
~ Doug Bowers - January 13, 2020
I am one of Dave's Test Pilot School classmates. I remember Dave and simply one of the nicest, friendliest, and most giving students there. If anyone had a question he was there. During our group study sessions he was the first to help those of us more academically-challenged types with a smile. He taught me more than one concept that I supposedly learned in college, but didn't really until he showed me. He was always more concerned about the group than himself. We went on different paths after graduation, but happily I was able to connect with him again last year at our class reunion. God bless.
~ John Armor - January 13, 2020
Dave Walker was an extraordinary officer and leader. I am honored to have known him and enjoy his friendship. He enriched the lives of so many and served our country with distinction and honor. Rest In Peace, Dave, you will be missed.
~ Michael Heil - January 12, 2020
I had the pleasure of knowing him for a number of years in his different roles. He was always very helpful, giving of both his time and advice and humorous. Even when the topics of our discussions was quite serious, I found it a welcomed bit to have a little humor in the mix.
I was thrilled to hear he was taking over at WBI! Les Mc Fawns shoes were pretty big, but Dr W was the perfect guy
to step in. I made a point of getting over to the TechEdge to say hi and to pick up our collaborations with him!
About a month or so back we discussed some things to get together on after the turn of the year.
I know you all feel a great loss to be sure. But just know there are many of us individually along with both the Dayton and Air Force families that will miss him too.
My deepest condolences for your loss and my and my family’s thoughts and prayers are with you all. Wink Bennett
~ Wink Bennett - January 12, 2020
We are thinking of you all. Please let us know if there is anything at all we can do to help you through this sad time.
Barry and Sherry Farmer
~ Barry Farmer - January 12, 2020
Dave Walker was a giant of a man in every way. He was a great leader, visionary thinker and compassionate mentor and friend. We were all so excited to get him back to the Dayton Region and so devastated by his tragic loss. We will miss you greatly, Dave.
~ Bart Barthelemy - January 12, 2020
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