Florida College Remembers “Dudy” Walker

January 2, 2013

On December 25, James “Dudy” Walker, 84, passed away in his home of Temple Terrace, Fla.

Born August 13, 1928 in Memphis, Tenn., Walker graduated from Memphis Technical High School in 1946, where he served as an officer in the ROTC program, a member and eventual president of the National Forensics League and a valued member of the high school chorus.

Though he excelled as a debater and an academician in high school, Walker’s prime aptitude was in music. While still in high school, he made multiple appearances at the MOAT (Memphis Open Air Theater) in various operas and operettas.

Dudy received his associate’s degree from Freed Hardeman College in 1948, and his bachelor’s degree from Harding in 1950. He then received his Master of Fine Arts degree from George Peabody University, where he served in the Phi Mu Alpha Honorary Music Fraternity.

In the fall of 1952, Dudy arrived at Florida College as chorus director and music professor.

Dudy oversaw a fledgling program that averaged 24 new members each year, most of whom were not music majors. Through great persistence and patience, he helped produce 41 years of quality choruses, which he promoted every year through spring break tours.

During 1991-1992 school year, he received the Special Dean’s Award for his dedication and inestimable contributions to the musical direction of Florida College. In 1996 he received the Friend to Youth Award, Florida College’s highest honor.

As determined as Dudy was in producing quality musical performances and skilled music students, his ultimate goal was to mold the lives of young people into the image of Jesus.  More important to him than his music was his dedication to the Lord Jesus, whom he served all his life.

He served as an elder at the Seminole Heights church in Tampa, and is survived by his wife, Martha, his children, Grady and Melody, and his grandchildren, Ethan, Isaac and Hayley.


In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the James “Dudy” Walker Scholarship fund at Florida College.