Janet Victoria Patchen Walker, 72, of Corsicana, was found dead of natural causes in her home November 19 by a close friend, Neke Newsome. She was born in Norwood, Massachusetts.
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She loved to travel, was an executive with Aetna Insurance Co., owned a home rental business in Corsicana, and was briefly a partner in a Connecticut restaurant. She had numerous personal interests from Broadway plays to elephant protection.
Initial expressions of her wonderlust emerged in her grade school years when she packed a handkerchief, tied it to the end of a pole, and headed down the road. Neighbors would bring her back home. In high school she undertook a year-long stay in Denmark where she learned Danish and attended public school. At Nasson College, Springvale, Maine, she spent semesters abroad in both Germany and France. Later she traveled to Europe and the homeland of her Polish immigrant grandparents. She was still traveling late in life with her late husband, George B. Walker, on cruise ships plying the Caribbean and East Coast.
The daughter of a retail executive, she too worked in the private sector, managing large client accounts for Aetna Insurance. She met her husband George at conferences when he was an executive at J. C. Penny Insurance. They lived in Corsicana and also had a cattle ranch in Bend, Texas. She was a baseball fan who played on the Aetna all female company team--the No Balls--as pitcher. Because of her upbringing in New England, she was a Red Sox fan but also rooted for the Texas Rangers (and built up her savings account with money from many wagers with her brother).
Janet was an independent spirit from a young age. She spent her first decade of life in Gorham, Maine, lived and worked for subsequent decades in New England, and spent more than three decades in Corsicana. Although she shepherded cattle around on the ranch with George, her first encounters with large animals was four summers in the 1950's spent at Camp Kehonka on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire where she fully embraced horse back riding. Growing up she was not encouraged to cook, but later in life taught herself. The lessons she passed along to her brother on the creation of a genuine Texas chili are lore of family gatherings still.
Janet Walker is survived by her brother, Kenneth L R. Patchen (Betty Ann Ralston) of Antioch, Illinois; niece Dr. Loral Patchen Torres (Cesar Torres), and grand niece Solana Torres, of Washington D. C.; and cousin Vincent Domkowski of Florida. She was predeceased by her parents Helen Rylyck Patchen and Frank McKay Patchen, and her husband George B. Walker.
Memorial donations may be sent to: Mary Peterson Child Care Center, 1103 East Collin Street, Corsicana TX 75110. A memorial service will be held Monday, November 25 at at the Corley Funeral Home