James Barry Walker passed away on Wednesday, January 18, 2023, after a valiant battle with cancer. Barry was preceded in death by his father, J.B. Walker. He is survived by his devoted wife of 37 years, Rita; children, Josh (Kirstie), Jorie, and Jake; grandchildren, Jackson, Brooks, Isla, and Ava; mother, Jean Walker; sisters, Pam Nunley and Nancy Wright; nieces, Katie Nunley, Kaci Rickards (Zach), and Alex Morse (AJ); nephews, Clay Koon, Casey Koon, Trey Chesser, and Trevor Chesser; mother-in-law, Faye Ruffin; sister-in-law, Melinda Chesser (Tracy); brother-in-law, Richard Koon (Sharon); and cousin, Keith Walker.
Barry was born on December 4, 1961, in Macon, Georgia, to J.B. and Jean Walker. He attended Dublin High School and Georgia College and State University. In 1985, Barry joined his dad in the family insurance business in Dublin, Georgia. The Walker Insurance Agency was named to the Nationwide Insurance Presidents Conference 12 times and the Champion Conference 16 times. When Barry realized his death was imminent, he looked for the best opportunity for his staff and his clients, and he merged the 47-year-old family agency with Oakbridge Insurance Agency. Barry was a member of the Exchange Club and First Baptist Church.
Barry had a passion for investing in youth. While in college, he began coaching and refereeing youth sports. His commitment to youth sports continued throughout his adult life. This commitment was evident when he established the Strike Zone, a baseball and softball training facility. In addition, he helped develop numerous athletic programs throughout the Dublin/Laurens County community and surrounding areas. He coached his three children in every sport they played. His proudest moments were coaching his children to region and state titles in both baseball and softball. He coached with an encouraging demeanor, always praising effort, rather than results. His hard work and dedication to youth sports was recognized by Trinity Christian School in 2020 when the softball field was named Barry Walker Softball Field.
Barry also enjoyed playing softball, golfing, hunting, and skiing, but spending time with his family is what Barry enjoyed doing the most. His greatest passion was his family. He attended all of his children’s and grandchildren’s activities, and he loved going on family beach trips and other vacations. When it came to spoiling his four grandchildren, “Poppy” was an expert!
Funeral services for Barry will be held at 2:00 PM, on Friday, January 20, 2023, at First Baptist Church of Dublin with burial to follow at Dublin Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends following the committal service at the cemetery.
Pallbearers will be Clay Koon, Casey Koon, Trey Chesser, Trevor Chesser, Tracy Chesser, and Richard Koon.
Honorary pallbearers will be Bobby Clark, Allen McMichael, Kevin Baggett, Chuck Bass, LV Lee, Billy Moses, Steve Garner, Dennis Holley, and Mike Prosperi.
In lieu of flowers, Barry wishes that donations be made to Trinity Christian School, 200 Trinity Road, Dublin, GA 31021, as much of his time and heart were poured into the students and athletic programs at Trinity or to First Baptist Church, 405 Bellevue Avenue, Dublin, GA 31021.
Trinity Christian School
200 Trinity Road, Dublin GA 31021
First Baptist Church of Dublin
405 Bellevue Avenue, Dublin GA 31021