Connie Walker, who created thousands of oil paintings displayed in the homes of family, friends and clients, passed away July 15, 2021, in Apache Junction, AZ. She was surrounded by her family as she went home on the wings of angels at the age of 83.
In Connie’s own words- “On January 4, 1938 in the sleepy little town of Wauseon, Ohio, my beautiful, sweet, loving, hard working mother, Marie Adeline Jeanette Duffrin Dunn*, PUSHED me out into a brand new world. My father, Clarence Guy Dunn*, cradled me in his arms and to his chagrin said, “Another girl, oh no”, but when I looked up at him and gave a little gurgle followed by the sweetest smile I could give, his heart immediately melted. You see, I had five sisters -Darlene Ruth*, Carolyn Joyce*, Joan Mildred*, Ellen Marie and Grace LaRee! When our father retired, we moved to a farm in Wisconsin. There we learned respect, good work ethics and appreciation for what we had. We would do our homework by lamp light (no electricity) and rise early to take care of our farm animals before the school bus came. This taught us time management.” *deceased
As a military spouse, with her husband in the Air Force for 25 years and stationed in Louisiana, California, Texas, Germany, Washington D.C. and Arizona, she was a self-taught artist. Connie’s career started almost by accident, while given a hand-me-down used box of paints and a paint brush, her love of painting blossomed. In 1959, a homemaker and mother, she knew there was something more in her life and was moved with the desire to create her dreams on canvas. Her works reflect the free spirit of expression from the soul. Living from coast to coast in the United States and five years in Europe, she was given the opportunities to experience an abundance of natural beauty that God had given her. A cherished memory was when her children painted hidden objects in her paintings and she would integrate them into her finished creation.
From Moscow to Melbourne, and Frankfurt to Phoenix, Connie’s art has found its way into collections all over the world. Her subjects are as varied as life itself, whether she captured the vibrant color of the thin petals of a spring blooming flower or the thrilling excitement of the thunderous roar of waves crashing against California’s rocky cliffs defending the shore from the Pacific’s never-ending onslaught. Her favorite subject was the glowing candle – a theme which she had truly mastered. For more than 40 years, Connie owned and operated Art Illusions Gallery and Frame Shoppe in Mesa and Apache Junction, Arizona. She held numerous memberships, offices in associations and leagues, seminars, and toured her artwork to starving artist shows and bazaars. She taught hundreds in classes – inspiring others to continue the spirit and their love of the art. She won countless awards and recognitions. What she appreciated most about her career was the flexibility to manage her own time.
Connie is survived by her husband, Col. Thomas Eugene Walker USAF (ret.); her children Patti Stern (Greg), Debbi LaRocque (Bob), Thomas Walker II (Laurie), and Scott Walker (Laura); her sisters Ellen Bacon and LaRee Abbey; grandchildren: Crystin, Luke, Lauren, Dana, Tyler, Jacob, Jonathan, Chad, Jenna and Jeremiah; her great grandchildren, as well as other family and friends – all special in her heart. Connie always had a smile on her face, loved spending time with her family and enjoyed creating her own delicious elegant dishes. She had an amazing capacity for love and compassion that she demonstrated to those who had the privilege to get to know her. She was a little earth-bound angel.
She will forever be remembered as a truly gifted artist as her legacy carries on. She wrote in her art journal, “I want to enjoy life while I’m here but I also want to leave something for the future. Painters die but art lives forever.” Carry her in your heart and treasure her favorite quote “Don’t Worry, Be Happy!” J
We will plan for a Celebration of Life ceremony at a future date.