Glendon Ray Walker, 89, passed away peacefully on November 17, 2023 surrounded by the love of his life, Anna Marie Davis Walker, his devoted wife of 67 years. Born on August 24, 1934, in the family home south of Aurora, MO, Glendon was the second of seven children, and oldest son of Odes and Vaneta Walker. Growing up on the family farm during the Great Depression and World War II would shape Glendon’s strong work ethic and love for family. His charming personality was present throughout his life even through a 15-year struggle with dementia and Alzheimer’s.
When most memories had faded for Glendon, he fondly recalled starting kindergarten a year early because his mother wanted someone to accompany his older sister Mildred on the walk to school. He attended the White Oak one-room schoolhouse that his father had helped build. He was proud of the faith and trust his mother had placed in him. His father would have high expectations for doing things the right way on the farm. As Glendon was being interviewed for the 35th anniversary video of his company, TransLand, that would be his cherished memory about his business career. “My father wanted me to do things right, and I did” (referring to TransLand).
Glendon graduated Aurora High School in 1951. He was anxious to find a job off the farm. He started as a helper at the Juvenile Shoe Company in Aurora. That soon led to a role dispatching train crews for Frisco Railroad. Along the way, a high school buddy of his, Wayne Skaggs, introduced him to his sister-in-law, Anna Marie Davis. In July 1956, Anna Marie and Glendon were married. In April 1957, their son Mark was born and their first home construction was completed. A feat accomplished by Glendon, his father, and uncle Calvin Crouch. Their son, Michael was born two years later. To create better working hours for a growing family, Glendon would accept a job in Springfield with Frisco Transportation, the trucking company arm of the railroad. That role would have him moving to Kansas City, St. Joseph, and a return to Springfield as he pursued his career. He and Anna Marie would have two daughters born while in Kansas City, Sheila and Shelly. In 1971, the desire to return closer to family encouraged him to accept a sales role again with Frisco Transportation in Springfield.
As the trucking industry deregulated in 1980 and the merger of Frisco Railroad with Burlington Northern had taken place, Glendon saw an opportunity to start his own company. He partnered with a Kansas City based trucking company, Terminal Consolidation. With Anna Marie, they created the Terminal Consolidation of Springfield, Inc. satellite operation in January 1982. With one truck and three employees, they launched their business. Forty-two years later, the company would comprise 250 employees with 200 active trucks on the road. Glendon would often comment that the company was not supposed to get this big.
Glendon was revered by all he worked with. His business philosophy of “treating people the way you want to be treated” was well received by office employees and drivers alike. He also would make sure that his business transactions with vendors would be fair to both parties. Often telling salesmen that this deal looked pretty good for him, and would ask if they were making money on it too? It’s that sense of fairness that guided his life through all his many activities. He was often credited with helping others launch their trucking careers by offering savvy advice.
Glendon was proud of his service to his country through the U.S. Army Reserves 750th Railway Battalion in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, though never called to active duty. He and Anna Marie would plant roots in whatever community they moved to. Glendon wouldn’t hesitate to play volunteer leadership roles if needed, such as Scoutmaster for Mark and Mike’s Cub Scout Troup or chairman of the board in their church, such as North Kansas City Christian Church and Central Christian Church in Springfield where he was a member for over 50 years. He was proud of his service on the board of Boys & Girls Club of Springfield, and the Springfield Business Development Corporation. He served a term as chairman of the Missouri Trucking Association board of directors and is a recipient of the Frank G. Campbell Award for Outstanding Service to the industry. He was a strong advocate for community involvement and employee engagement by his company. He saw value in promoting United Way as well as investing in 401K programs for his employees. He recognized that small business needed voices with elected officials, so he founded the Springfield Area Motor Carriers Club as a branch of the Missouri Trucking Association to help engage industry leaders in governmental issues that impacted their business.
He found great delight in spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In the last few years, a visit by his great-grandchildren would always bring a smile and laugh. Above all else, Glendon cherished his 67 years with Anna Marie. They did virtually everything together.
Glendon is survived by his wife Anna, sister Maxine Klein (Milton), Bosie, ID, brother Joe Walker (Flora) Marionville and sister’s-n-law Doris Walker Hedrick (Carl), Barbara Skaggs Hancock (Jim), Doris Jean Lewis (Eddie), and brother-n-law Charlie Davis. Sons Mark (Mary) of Springfield, Michael (Mary) of Kimberling City. Daughter’s Sheila of Maui, Hawaii, and Shelly of Springfield. Grandchildren Blake Walker (Jessica), Andrew Walker (Jessica), Jaleah Walker Willis (Matt), Patrick Walker (Kari), Anthoney Vanarsdall (Kimberly), Catherine Walker Upp (Jeff), and Ranie Vanarsdall (Jason Quigley). Great grandchildren Hayden Willis, Mackenzie Walker, William Walker, Asher Willis, Emilia Walker and Ethan Walker. As well as numerous nieces and nephews, all for whom he held a special place in his heart. He was preceded in death in addition to his parents by a sister Mildred Bacher (Ben), and brothers Wayne (Pete) Walker, Jack Walker(Kay) and Jerry Walker (in infancy).
Visitation will be Friday, November 24 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at Greenlawn East Funeral Home, 3540 E. Seminole, Springfield, MO. Funeral Services will be held at 10:00 am at Central Christian Church, 1475 N. Washington, Ave, Springfield, MO. Graveside services will immediately follow at Greenlawn Cemetery, North National Ave.
In lieu of flowers, you are welcome to make a memorial contribution to the Strafford Senior Center.