Dr. Benjamin H. Walker Jr. ’80 died on April 25, 2009, in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, after battling colon cancer for five years.
He was born on August 8, 1958, in New York City, and prepared for college at St. Mark’s School in Southborough, Mass. At Bowdoin, he was a member of Zeta Psi fraternity, lettered in varsity squash and was team captain as a senior. A James Bowdoin Scholar and German major, he won the Old Broad Bay Prize for excellence in German when he was a sophomore, and graduated summa cum laude. He graduated from the Columbia University School of Medicine in 1985. He did his residency in emergency medicine at Wilford Hall Medical Center in Texas, the Air Force’s largest hospital, and resigned from the Air Force as a major in 1994. He then joined the emergency medicine staff at Newport Hospital. He served as chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine from 1997 to 2004, when he retired due to his illness. In 2005, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Newport Hospital Board of Trustees for his visionary leadership, compassion and expert medical judgment. An avid sailor and squash player, he was a member of the Clambake Club of Newport, Ida Lewis Yacht Club, the Cuttyhunk Yacht Club, and a Mason in the Holland Lodge No. 8 of New York City. He is survived by his wife of 16 years, Dr. Susan Wuthrich Walker; two sons, Benjamin Harrison Walker III and Carter Harold Harrison Walker; and a brother, James Harrison Walker. He was the great-great- great-grandson of President William Henry Harrison and the great-grandson of President Benjamin Harrison.