William Stanford "Buster" Walker
February 1, 1927 - February 27, 2020
The World Professional Chuckwagon Association was saddened by the passing of former chuckwagon driver, outrider and chuckwagon judge William Stanford "Buster" Walker on Thursday, February 27, 2020 from natural causes at the age of 93.
Buster Walker’s career in chuckwagon racing started in 1943 as a barn hand and an outrider for chuckwagon driver Orville Strandquist. He outrode sporadically over the next few years and eventually started driving. He put together his own outfit, and he competed as a driver at the Calgary Stampede for the first time in 1948. In his first heat at the Calgary Stampede, Buster was matched against 4 other wagons, and at the time of his passing, he was the last surviving chuckwagon driver to have competed in a race featuring five chuckwagons.
In 1951 Buster had his first top ten overall placing at the Calgary Stampede placing 8th, and two years later in 1953 he won his first show as a chuckwagon driver at Innisfail. Later in 1953 he and Jack Gill became the first two Canadian chuckwagon drivers to compete at the Cheyenne Frontier Days where Buster finished second to Jack Gill. Buster posted several top ten runs at the Calgary Stampede over the course of his career, and in 1963 he had his lone day money run at the Calgary Stampede, and won the Saturday Morning Round-Up at the Calgary Stampede that same year. He had his best overall finish at the Calgary Stampede in 1964 placing 7th, and finished his career as a driver in 1966.
Buster was a founding member of the World Professional Chuckwagon Association (WPCA) in 1981 and acted as a chuckwagon judge from 1981 until 2004. He won the WPCA Judging Award, which is chosen by his judging peers in 1991 and again in 1997. In 1994 Buster was honored by the WPCA with its’ Past Member Tribute.
Buster is survived by his children: George (Rhoda) Walker, Janeice (Al) Salvail, Ralph (Rosanne) Walker and Wendy (Len) Stankievech; step-children: Rose Fidler, Alfred (Donna) Rode, Raymond (Deena) Rode and Carolyn (Colin) Smith; 18 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren. Buster also leaves 6 sisters: Jeanne (Mac) Sinclair, Joyce (Dick) Moore, Winnie Paulsen, Doris Schilling, Deanna (Doug) Johnson and Lynda (Cliff) Wilkie and 3 brothers: Ken Walker, Dennis (Sally) Walker and Allen Walker; sister-in-law Joy Walker; brother-in-law Rod Rarick; as wellas numerous nieces, nephews and life long friends.
A Celebration of Buster’s life will be held at the Byemoor Community Hall in Byemoor, Alberta on Saturday, March 14, 2020 at 2:00 P.M. Memorial Donations may be made to Stettler Health Services Foundation ~ Palliative Care Unit, Saving Grace Animal Society, Endiang Cemetery or to the Byemoor Cemetery.
Buster will be missed by all in the WPCA, and we extend our sincere condolences to the Walker family.
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