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Obituaries: 06/01/2009

Herbert Leland Walkup, 1923-2009





Longtime Oakmont resident Herb Walkup, a prominent member of the Oakmont Symposium and a familiar visitor to Kenwood – he can best be remembered wearing a dashing Stetson while driving his fire-engine-red 1949 Jeepster in a recent Fourth of July parade here – passed away May 20 at Memorial Hospital in Santa Rosa. He was 86, and though he was a non-smoker, suffered from a sudden and unexpected onset of lung cancer.

Born April 19, 1923, at Stanford Lane Hospital in San Francisco, Herb grew up in the Richmond and Sunset Districts, scion of a family descended from Scottish aristocracy. His father, Herbert Leland Walkup, Sr. and his grandfather, Ward Bell Walkup, were in a partnership owning Walkup and Sons, a turn-of-the-century printing and mapmaking firm in downtown San Francisco. Herb’s mother was Helen Frances Morgan, daughter of William Russell and Frances Rowe Morgan.

In 1941 Herb was graduated from that city’s Polytechnic High School and in 1947 (after a brief stint in the army during WW II) from the California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo. Herb’s professional career began as a foreman on purebred Angus and Hereford ranches in the Central Valley, returning to San Francisco in the early 1950s. In 1956 he married Barbara Lorene Rutherford and launched his career as a salesman for Bekins; one of his proudest jobs was moving the George Lucas firm from San Rafael to Lucas Valley. After becoming an executive, he moved his family to Marin County. Along with their daughter Suzanne and son Steven, the Walkups were dedicated lovers of the outdoors, spending many summers hiking and camping the High Sierra, and winters skiing at their cabin in Tahoe. In 1988 he retired to Oakmont with his wife Barbara, herself an accomplished naturalist and writer. Barbara Walkup passed away in 1992.

Herb is survived by his sister, Helen Walkup Arrington; son, Steven Leland Walkup; daughter-in-law, Dr. Deborah Jean Owen and grandchildren, Amanda Mae Owen-Walkup and Zachary Leland Owen-Walkup; his daughter Suzanne Lorene Walkup Dobbs; son-in-law Robert W. Dobbs and grandsons Gary William Dobbs and Ryan Christopher Dobbs.

A private gathering to celebrate Herb’s life will be held in Oakmont on Saturday, June 20, at 11 a.m. Please contact Steve Walkup at swalkup@walkupclark.com for details.

Herb was an ardent supporter of the Yosemite Fund, the Yosemite Association, and the Valley of the Moon Children’s Center, where he taught money management. Donations may be made to these organizations and to the American Cancer Society.



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