Wind: 5 mph
9/19/1952 – 1/17/2013
Wilmarth Bradford Walker III, known to everyone as Brad, died at home surrounded by friends on January 17, 2013, after a brave battle with cancer. Brad was the son of Edward and Jeanne Walker of Burlington and Montpelier. He is survived by his brother’s family, Mark, Cyndy and Alex, who reside in Jericho, Vermont.
Brad was born in Burlington. While still young, Brad’s family moved to Berlin where he attended elementary school in Berlin Corners, then on to Montpelier High School where he loved working in drama and stage set construction and lighting. He spent hours building elaborate sets, probably not realizing that he would become an exceptional finish carpenter later in life. It was in high school that Brad developed his love of guitar. He was given his first guitar for Christmas by his father at age 16 and practiced daily, staying up in his bedroom until late at night. Deaf in his right ear, he would tilt his head to favor his left side and played by his good ear, copying riffs from the blues rockers of the time.
Brad graduated high school in 1970. In 1971, he attended UVM, majoring in English. He had a strong love of the English language and was somewhat of a wordsmith. Brad worked in the stage shop at UVM’s newly constructed Royal Tyler Theater, further honing his creativity in woodworking.
In 1975, Brad ventured off to Aspen, Colorado, with a good friend to ski the slopes, enjoy the outdoors and work in carpentry. In 1978, he went to Vail to remodel and staff a new ski shop, returning to Aspen in 1980. In 1986, Brad returned to Vermont, living in Essex renovating a house for his parents. He then moved to Waterbury, Vermont, to continue his love of carpentry and playing guitar. Brad worked on and built several houses, additions and renovations, all enhanced by his fine eye for detail, exceptional craftsmanship and knowledge of period correctness. Brad was very creative and the quality of his creations was unsurpassed. Those who were fortunate enough to have him work on their homes have a long-lasting reminder of his talent.
In 1998, Brad moved to East Haven, Vermont, where his life was enriched by Alcoholics Anonymous, embracing changes that allowed him to completely overcome his struggles. Along with his success in the program, Brad gained a huge new family, which he embraced without reservation. He loved going to meetings, sharing his years of success with his typical wit and superior sense of humor.
Brad often drove the 80 miles back to the Mad River Valley to work his carpentry magic on projects that fulfilled his creative need. His ingenious way of looking at things always added a whimsical touch to everything he made. Enough cannot be said about his humor, lightheartedness and his willingness to please.
Brad was a gentle soul who will be greatly missed by everyone he touched. He was taken from us too soon.