Determined as well as hard-working, Walker Sisson was a genuine person through and through. A devoted father and grandfather he savored the time he spent with his growing family over the years. Walker lived his life to the fullest and enjoyed tinkering with anything electronic spending countless hours creating obscure objects from scratch. His genius mind led him to many successes in life, yet it was clear that his family was his everything. Inquisitive and thoughtful, Walker had a special knack for problem solving. A master in the field of radio, a reliable friend, as well as a loving dad, Walker will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.
Walker Sr. and Lois (Hooper) Sisson welcomed home their newborn son, Walker, on February 16, 1948, in Kalamazoo. Walker was the second of what would be three siblings.
Walker’s early interests followed closely with his father, who was a civil engineer at the Upjohn Company. At a very young age, Walker enjoyed taking things apart and putting them back together; especially electronics. He spent considerable time one day, as a preschooler on his hands and knees, examining the family upstairs toilet. He was convinced that anything that made that much noise must run on electricity! By six years old, he had managed to build his first transistor radio with his dad and it sparked a lifetime of love for the engineering world. By the age of eight, he had designed his own way of electrocuting flies with a metal window screen, wires and a battery! His parents became accustomed to the array of materials that surrounded them as Walker was known to always be working on a project. Many of his young adolescent years, Walker spent in his basement working on his HAM radio and his vast collection of electronics. He often stayed up all night as there was better radio reception at night. He graduated with the Class of 1966 from Loy Norrix High School. He attended Michigan Technological University and Western Michigan University. During his early years, he worked at Radio Shack, WTPS in Portage, Kal Equip in Otsego and Al-tronics near Battle Creek in addition to side jobs installing radio antennas.
He was married to Nikki Macioroski for 13 years. Together they welcomed home two wonderful daughters. They shared the roles of parenting yet Walker took the lead on teaching them both to drive a stick shift and change a flat tire before allowing them to ever drive their own car. He enjoyed dressing sharply and always had to have his shirts freshly pressed, so it was no surprise that Walker enjoyed taking his daughters on back to school shopping trips to Toronto. He was especially known for picking out the perfect pieces of jewelry. He taught his children the value of a hard day’s work as well as the importance of managing the everyday mundane practices in life, such as paying bills. Walker had a unique system for maintaining the due dates. His engineering mind led him to use the staircase by placing the bills in descending order with the most important ones at the top!
As much as he enjoyed his role as a dad, his heart melted when his grandchildren arrived! He was Elijah’s personal mentor and taught him everything he knew about radios. Walker built a train set for the grandkids, helped them make unique Halloween costumes even fashioning one with lights and built a tandem bike from the pieces of two other functioning bicycles. Each and every moment they spent with him was magical. Walker shared his love of learning and made each and every holiday special. He always had the best of intentions as he wanted nothing more than the very best for each and every one of them.
Walker never let a moment pass him by. He was always busy with pen and paper in his pocket and Post-it notes stuck to everything in sight. He loved to forage through Forbes magazines as well as technical magazines to learn about the latest technology trends. He was once the proud owner of a large enough antenna that even the migrating Canadian Geese needed to navigate around! Over the last 19 years, he developed a special close friendship with his pal Karen and her chihuahua Stella! How he loved that mostly toothless and nearly blind dog! He was fascinated watching her behavior. He even designed and built a special ramp so Stella could walk off the deck with ease! He could often be found eating at Ted and Marie’s restaurant in town. Described as honest and hardworking, Walker leaves behind a legacy of having a heart made of gold. May his loved ones never doubt the love he held for each of them and may his memories endure forever.
Walker H. Sisson Jr., age 71, of Kalamazoo, died on Monday, September 2, 2019, at his home. He was a broadcast engineer for a number of stations, including WLKM and WRCI in Three Rivers, a position he held for the past 35 years. He owned Communication Source and Communication Resource for many years. Members of his family include his two daughters: Jenny Sisson and Andrea Sisson; three cherished grandchildren: Emma, Andrew, and Elijah; two sisters; Joan (Rick) Cooper and Emily (Rich) Earle; nieces and nephews; Matt Cooper, Karen (Mike) Echery, Laura (K.C.) Cronin and Tom Earle; special pal, Karen Doubleday, and his former-wife, Nikki Sisson. Cremation will take place. Services will be held Saturday, September 7, 2019, at 3 PM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home (6080 Stadium Dr., Kalamazoo, MI 49009) followed by a reception in the Life Story Center. Please visit Walker’s personal memory page at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial Contributions may be made to First Pentecostal Family Worship Center in Battle Creek.