Virginia Ann Sessoms (Walker)
November 11, 1930-August 23, 2017
Virginia Ann Sessoms of Lemoore died August 23 in Salinas. Ann is remembered as a beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, and friend to many. She was a collector who surrounded herself and her loved ones with beautiful things. Generations of peacocks ranged freely around her farm. Ann was known for her remarkable generosity to family, friends, and acquaintances.
Ann was born November 11, 1930, to Bunn Asbury Sessoms and Dell Vinson Sessoms in El Dorado, Arkansas, where she grew up. She attended Ouachita Baptist College in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, where she met Lionel Elcan Walker; they were married in 1949. Ann supported the couple as a secretary while Elcan attended medical school in Little Rock. Their first child, Susan, was born in 1952. The family moved to California the next year for Dr. Walker to pursue a medical internship in San Bernardino, which was followed by a general practice residency at Kings County Hospital in Hanford. Establishing a medical career kept the family on the move through the mid-1950s, with stays in Milford, Utah; Ely, Nevada; and Willow Springs, Missouri. After the birth of daughter Dinah, the Walkers returned to Hanford in 1957, where Dr. Walker served as Assistant Director of Kings County Hospital. In 1962, the family left California for Houston, Texas, where Dr. Walker had a private practice for seven years. Their son Kizer was born there in 1964. In 1969, the Walkers returned to Kings County once again, settling in Lemoore.
Ann raised her family, traveled widely, kept up close relationships with far-flung family and friends, and was a great cook and gracious host. She grew the best fruit and cultivated marvelous flower gardens, hosting annual tours of her iris beds for many years. She oversaw her farm for 30 years after Dr. Walker's death in 1987. Ann was proud of her service on the Kings County Grand Jury in the 1980s. She worked the polls on Election Day for several years. Despite losing her eyesight and much of her mobility in recent years, with loving support from her family and generous assistance from steadfast friends and caregivers, she lived life on her terms and engaged with the lives of her loved ones. Ann was a source of strength, wisdom, love, and unending support for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Ann is survived by her sister, Judy McNeal and husband Larry of Waldo, Arkansas; her daughter, Susan Billingsley and husband Tom of Lemoore; her daughter Dinah Piester and husband Dan of Nipomo, California; her son Kizer Walker and wife Carmi Orenstein of Ithaca, New York; her grandchildren Luke Billingsley and wife Stephanie; Leah Agnew and husband Ernie; Ellen Schwartz and husband David; Lorna Hess and husband Keith; Kenneth Piester, Anna Piester, Emily Piester, Uriel Walker, and Amalia Walker; and her nine beautiful great-grandchildren.
Ann will be buried beside her parents in El Dorado, Arkansas. A memorial service will be held at Lemoore Presbyterian Church on Monday, September 11, at 11:00 AM.
Those who wish to make a donation in Ann's honor may consider one of the following: Lemoore Preschool, 118 Heinlen St, Lemoore, CA 93245; Lemoore Presbyterian Church, 260 B St, Lemoore, CA 93245; Hurricane Harvey Relief, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), P.O. Box 643700, Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700 (memo line: “Disaster Relief-US Hurricane Response”).