Janie Suzanne Walker

May 27, 2021

Janie Suzanne Walker, beloved and devoted wife, mother, daughter, and teacher passed away and went to her heavenly home on May 26, 2021 at the age of 47 after complications from a recent surgery.

Janie was born on March 26, 1974 in Pensacola, FL to Robert and Kathy Newbold. Janie grew up in Pensacola and attended Cordova Park Elementary, J.H. Workman Middle School, and Booker T. Washington High School. Janie and her family were active members of First Baptist Church in Pensacola where she was baptized and married and she served as a Children’s Camp Counselor and played the trumpet in the church orchestra.

Following graduation from high school in 1992 with honors, Janie attended the University of Alabama where she received a Bachelor of Music Education in 1997. While at Alabama she was a member of the Million Dollar Band, Jazz Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Quota Brass Quintet and Mu Phi Epsilon. Janie and her future husband, Chris Walker, met at Alabama and they were both members of the Million Dollar Band.

Janie started her teaching career in the fall of 1997 when she became the band director at UMS Wright Preparatory School in Mobile, AL. While living in Mobile, Janie played in the Mobile Pops Orchestra.

In the fall of 1999, Janie moved back to Pensacola and became the band director at Ransom Middle School.  During her time at Ransom, her symphonic and jazz bands received consistent superior ratings at District Music Performance Assessments, and she had 18 students selected for participation in Florida all state bands. Janie also served as guest conductor for Middle School Honor Bands in Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties in Florida.  She was selected as the Ransom Middle School teacher of the year for the 2020-2021 school year.

Janie commitments were her faith in Christ, her family, and the band program at Ransom Middle School. Since 2002, Janie and her family were active members of Hillcrest Baptist Church where she played at various times in the Church’s instrumental group. Janie enjoyed spending time with her family and being mom to her son, Andrew. She enjoyed traveling with her family to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Sanibel Island in Florida and attending University of Alabama football games. She enjoyed teaching the love of music to Andrew and seeing him play trombone at Ransom and then seeing Andrew continue his music career with the Tate High School Band.

Janie had a tremendous impact on music education in Escambia County. She cared deeply for her students and wanted her students to reach their potential. She served as a mentor to other band directors in our area and she was always appreciative of the directors who guided her in her teaching career. Former students of Janie are serving in teaching positions at various middle school and high school band programs in the Florida panhandle and various former students are professional musicians.

Janie is preceded in death by her father, Robert Newbold. She is survived by her mother, Kathy Newbold of Pensacola; husband, Chris Walker of Pensacola; son, Andrew Walker of Pensacola; her brother, Robert Newbold (Amy) and their children, Jonathan and Anna of Daphne, AL; mother and father in-law, Judy and Marvin Walker of Gadsden, AL; brother in-law, Mark Walker (Julie) and their children, Matthew and Caleb of Jacksonville, AL.

Visitation will be held at 10:00 am until the Funeral Service begins at 12:00 pm Saturday, May 29, 2021 at Hillcrest Baptist Church on Nine Mile Road in Pensacola, FL with Rev. Jim Locke officiating. Burial will be held at Bayview Memorial Park in Pensacola, FL with Rev. Mark Walker officiating at the graveside.

Active Pallbearers will be Lee Rigdon, Jakob Wisdom, Tristan Workman, Robert Newbold, Andrew Walker, Matthew Walker, and Caleb Walker. Honorary Pallbearers include Jack Overman, Joe Hooten, Tim Willis, Dave Schmidt, and Janie’s co-workers at Ransom Middle School.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may made to the Ransom Middle School Band Boosters, Inc., 1000 W. Kingsfield Road, Cantonment, FL  32533-4621.

Finally, the family would like to thank the care provided to Janie by doctors Jarian Duke-Elmore and Jonathan Dean and the various doctors, nurses, and staff at Ascension Sacred Heart.


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