Life Story / Obituary
Theresa Mae Walker, age 91, passed on to her eternal resting place Wednesday, October 5, 2022, at Resthaven Care Center in Holland, Michigan.
Theresa was born on March 11, 1931, to Mae and Philip Surprenant, Sr., in Kankakee, Illinois. She loved farm life and animals, especially horses and dogs. As a child, she had her favorite horse 'Dolly' who she trained herself to perform at least 20 tricks. Later in her life she became very active in dog agility training with her Australian Shepard 'Chiquita'. She attended agility shows and helped others train their dogs. A Welsh Corgi named 'Babe' came into her life as her hearing declined and she trained Babe as her Hearing Service Dog, they were inseparable.
Throughout her life she enjoyed working on the family farm and driving a school bus for many years. She was especially proud to be one of the first women heavy equipment operators/haul truck drivers at Burning Star #5 coal mine in DeSoto, Illinois. Upon retirement she fulfilled her dream of relocating to Apache Junction, Arizona, where she happily resided for nearly 30 years.
She is survived by two daughters: Connie Walker of Cibolo, TX, and Colleen (Shannon) Rush of New Braunfels, TX; granddaughter, Courtney (Mario) Flores; great granddaughter, Riley Mae of Cibolo, TX; grandson, William Thomas of Lakewood, CO; niece, Rita (Steve) O’Kon of Zeeland, MI; great niece, Amanda Gumpert of Vicksburg, MI; great nephew, Travis (Kristy) Gumpert of Fennville, MI, and their children: Wyatt, Jade, Torri and Addison.
She was preceded in death by her son, James L Walker of Vergennes, IL; brother, Philip Surprenant, Jr.; sister-in-law, Florence Surprenant of Fennville, MI.; and niece, Mary Jean Surprenant of Fennville, MI
A celebration of life mass will be held at a later date in her beloved Apache Junction, Arizona. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Theresa’s honor to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Good Shepherd Horse Rescue & Learning Center “gshmhorserescue.com/donate” or, Paws with a Cause “pawswithacause.org.”
The family would love for friends to share a memory of Theresa to help create an online tribute in her honor.
Funeral arrangements are under the auspices of the Mulder Chapel.