Chuck Walker, a beloved son, husband, father, and grandfather passed away peacefully in Jackson Hole, WY on July 11, 2020. Born on August 18th, 1957 in Paducah, KY to Jesse Richard (Dick) and Jane Walker, Chuck graduated from Reidland High School in 1975 and attended the University of Mississippi.
On move-in day at Ole Miss, Chuck was introduced to Lissa Frankenbach of Nashville, TN. Lissa became the love of his life, his soulmate and later his wife. While at Ole Miss, Chuck was well known on campus, serving as a 3-year Varsity Cheerleader and was elected “Colonel Rebel” (now, “Mr. Ole Miss”) his senior year. Chuck received his Bachelor of Accountancy degree in 1979. He accepted a job with KPMG in Houston, and on the same day proposed to Lissa, living the next 40 years under his motto “One job; one wife.”
In 1986, Chuck and Lissa moved to Nashville, TN to be closer to home and for Chuck to continue his tax career in the areas of real estate and partnerships. He was admitted to the KPMG Partnership in 1989 and for 17 years was a member of the Firm’s Washington National Tax Practice. Chuck also held various leadership positions with KPMG including serving as Southeast Tax Area Managing Partner, National Asset Management Leader and later, Leader of KPMG’s Global Tax Asset Management team. Chuck prided himself on growing the next generation of talent. He embodied the definition of “servant leader” and was literally a mentor to thousands, with a sphere of influence which extended well beyond his own team, office and borders. He retired in from KPMG in September 2019.
Chuck was passionate about giving back to the Ole Miss Patterson School of Accountancy. Before retiring from KPMG, Chuck led his firm’s efforts to provide gifts of over $3.0M, which were used to establish a KPMG Chair of Accountancy and two new graduate degree programs for Ole Miss accounting students. Chuck often credited his success at KPMG to the education received and relationships he developed at Ole Miss. In 2019, Chuck was inducted into the Ole Miss Accountancy Hall of Fame.
Chuck loved spending time with his two sons and daughters-in-law, Reed (Courtney) and Grant (Sarah), most often fishing together on the Snake River, hiking along a trail in the Tetons or enjoying a family meal in Jackson Hole. Chuck was also relishing his new role as “Big Daddy” to granddaughters Daphne and Sylvia, where they could be found fishing together in a nearby stream, enjoying the wonder of ever-present wildlife or just reading a bedtime story. They were his joy.
But Chuck most often thrived when paired with Lissa; they worked in perfect tandem for over 44 years. They were destined to be together, having never dated others after that fateful introduction at Ole Miss. They were a force for their kids, friends, community and family. Chuck and Lissa had adopted Jackson Hole as their home, having spent many summers there with the boys and more recently upon purchasing a permanent residence there. They were extremely active, usually at Lissa’s direction, with a daily round of golf, riding bikes, fishing, hiking or skiing together in WY.
He also enjoyed time on the golf course, not just because he enjoyed the game, but rather each round provided him 4 or more hours of fellowship with his playing partners. Chuck most often played golf with Lissa, but he especially enjoyed a round with his Dad. Chuck was close to many people, but none more so than his Dad. When not playing golf together, they spoke daily, usually about whatever popped into Chuck’s mind to warrant a discussion. They were truly kindred spirits.
Whether at work or in casual social settings, Chuck was well known as the ultimate host; he created reasons to share life with work colleagues, friends and family. An avid outdoorsman and conservationist, he was constantly planning his next hunting trip with his friends and family. But his favorite pastime was floating on a river: the New Fork, the South Fork, the Green or at home on the Snake (“Moose to Murph”). In our minds, he will forever be comfortably resting in the back seat of the boat, ceding the best water to his partner in the front, holding a fly rod (streamers only), wearing that tattered straw hat, with the best premium cigars (for everyone) at the ready and flashing that huge smile, wondering aloud, “Isn’t this great?!?” He was always happy.
Chuck was our beacon, who showed us how to live life to the fullest. No words of judgement ever passed his lips. He was our mentor for all personal or professional counsel and our organizer of all things social. He was ALWAYS positive; people gravitated to his infectious personality. He was kind to everyone, irrespective of their station in life. He was known by all as a Southern Gentleman and, always, a gentle man. He left us too soon, but we know he left with no regrets and no ill will towards anyone. We know he is likely making new friends today, looking for a golf game or looking for a river. And we know he is smiling.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic protocols, Chuck’s life will be celebrated via private services in Jackson Hole and Nashville, sometime this fall. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Chuck’s name to either The University of Mississippi Foundation or a charity of your choice.