Connie (Con) Mack Walkup died May 21 after a battle with cancer. He was 87.
Walkup was born May 5, 1930, in Elma, Washington, to Ronald and Cleo Walkup. He was the youngest of five children. He graduated from Elma High School. After his parents passed away, he lived with his sister, Velma, and then enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving in the Korean War as a corporal from October 1951 to July 1953. After serving his country, Walkup moved to San Francisco, California, where he met his future wife, Teresa Oliver.
On Sept. 28, 1957, Walkup married Teresa at St. Brendan's Catholic Church in San Francisco. He enrolled in college courses and became a chemist, first working at Shell Development Company in Emeryville, California, while raising a family in Novato California. In 1973, he began working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and moved the family to Livermore. He retired in the early 1990s. He was well recognized in for his attention to detail and his natural curiosity that fed an insatiable desire to solve complex problems in the field of chemistry.
Walkup also was talented musically, playing the guitar and singing at a young age. His music and musical interests were a cornerstone of the family. In addition, he was an avid gardener and fisherman, applying his innate attention to detail to both passions. He was a devoted husband to his wife, particularly in later years through his focused dedication to caring for her during her very lengthy illness.
Walkup grew up in very rural area often telling many stories about the challenging conditions of his youth. Having older siblings who were away from home, he spent a lot of time on his own, often without shoes hiking and fishing in the forests, hills and streams near his home on Stamper Hill with his dog, Beans. He was most comfortable in the outdoors and instilled in his children appreciation, respect and innate caring for the outdoors and its creatures. While he was never a fan of big crowds of people, he did enjoy socializing, story telling and regularly bestowing flowers and boxes of candy to his favorite grocery and drug store clerks, and many staff at hospitals and care giving institutions.
His family and friends will greatly miss his humor, intensity, talents and passion for life. He fought very hard to hold onto life through his difficult battle with cancer.
Walkup is survived by children, Paula Golightly, Diane Stephenson, Stephanie Walkup, Connie Post; Cliff Walkup; six grandchildren, one great grandchild, and several nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his wife, Teresa Barbara Walkup, his brother, Delson and sisters, Vivian, Velma and Virginia.
A memorial service was recently held at Callaghan Mortuary in Livermore. For those who wish, the family requests contributions be made in the honor of Connie Walkup to the East Bay Regional Park District, California.