Obituary for Claudette Joy Shackelford Walker
Claudette Joy Shackelford Walker was born on November 22, 1939 in El Campo, Texas to Claude James and Lorine Goodwin Shackelford. She was forever to be Claudette to her family, Joy to her friends from college and beyond, and “Mama” to her four children. She passed away in Belton, Texas on January 31, 2022.
Joy’s coming into the world was something of a traffic stopper as both of her parents were in their forties at the time of her birth and her brother, Kenneth Shackelford, and sister, Estella Shackelford Broughton, were respectively sixteen and twenty one years of age. Her father died suddenly when she was four and half years old, changing the course of her heart forever. After graduating from El Campo High School in 1958, she chose to attend college at the University of Mary Hardin Baylor, graduating in 1962. She forged a path in a generational time when most women were not encouraged to seek higher education or careers. She graduated with a degree in sociology and home economics and later went back to school to get her teaching certificate. She was a lifelong learner and even went to Wharton Junior College in the early 1980s take classes in the then very new field of computers. She taught elementary school and special education for many years in various Texas towns, including Blessing, Bay City, Damon, Dilley, Carrizo Springs, and Pearsall.
Joy met the love her life, Roy Lee Walker, at what was then called the University of Corpus Christi while taking summer classes. They were married in El Campo, Texas on May 28, 1968 at El Campo First Baptist Church. Four children were born of this marriage: Rebecca R. Walker Briggs, Dana Rae Walker Luce, Randal Lee Walker, and Daniel James Walker. They were married for almost thirty five years until his passing in April 2003.
Joy loved her children dearly. She commented, “You children were my world.” One of her best roles with her children was that of a teacher. She gave her children many gifts and the best of herself. She gave them gifts of education, the love of the written word, gifts of her intelligence and curiosity about the world around her, her various hobbies, and the gift of faith. To her first born child Rebecca (Becky) she bequeathed especially the gift of faith and a love for global missions. To her daughter Dana, she gifted education and her love of teaching. To her son Randy, she taught him to read widely and be curious about many things. To her son Danny, she gave the gift of finance and her keen sense of business. These gifts have led into lifelong careers for her children, including roles of social worker, missionary, teacher, and financial planner.
Joy had many hobbies and, especially in her later years, occupied her time with these pursuits. She loved to garden and a visit to her home in Dilley, Texas always included a tour of her yard, fruit trees, and whatever she happened to be growing at the moment. Joy was a farmer’s daughter at heart and would often talk of her family and the chicken farm they ran when she was a child growing up in El Campo, Texas. She loved to study language and spend many hours learning Spanish, Latin, and French. She also loved to cook and collected recipes. She passed down her skills at the kitchen stove to her daughters, Rebecca and Dana. She was primarily a Southern cook and loved to make comfort food. She would often write out recipes by hand and occasionally send them out with her letters to her children and friends. She was a regular church attender and enjoyed Bible studies and reading her Bible daily. She was a prayer warrior all her life and prayed daily for her family, friends, church and government leaders. During the last five years of her life, Joy was actively involved in translating the Bible into Spanish and French. Joy also loved animals and passed this love on to all of her children. While raising her children, there was a parade of dogs and cats in and out the door. As adults, all of her children have had and loved dogs and cats of various sizes and shapes. Joy enjoyed being a ‘dog (or cat) grandma’ to all of them as well as a grandmother to her five grandchildren.
Joy is survived by her children, Rebecca Walker Briggs of Houston, Texas, Dana (Patrick) Walker Luce of Belton, Texas, Randal Walker of Snook, Texas, and Daniel (Audrey) Walker of San Antonio, Texas. She also leaves behind five beloved grandchildren: Tanner Doyle Luce, Caleb Holt Luce, Tennyson Rae Luce, Mikelle Cheree Walker, and Harrison James Walker. She is predeceased by her parents, Claude and Lorine Shackelford, her brother Kenneth Shackelford, her sister Estella Broughton, her husband, Roy Lee Walker, three nieces, a nephew, and cousins. Many thanks to Stoney Brook of Belton for the care they provided to Joy in the final five years of her life.
A visitation will be held at Dossman Funeral Home, 2525 North Main, Belton, Texas on February 7, 2022 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. The funeral service will take place on February 12, 2022 at 11:00 at the Garden of Memories Cemetery Pavilion, El Campo, Texas. In case of inclement weather, the funeral service will be moved to Wheeler Funeral Home at 612 W. Jackson, El Campo, Texas. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Frio River Baptist Association, P.O. Box P, Pearsall, Texas 78061.