Alice Lee Thomason Walkup

Alice Lee Thomason Walkup passed away on May 30, 2022 in Southaven, Mississippi during an extended visit with her daughter in Mississippi. She was 104 years old. 

Born on September 4, 1917 in Perote, Alabama, she was the daughter of Dr. James Wiley Thomason and Virginia Mizell Thomason. She attended schools in Perote and Midway, Alabama, and graduated from Bullock County High School. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Huntingdon College and pursued graduate studies at Tulane University. 

Alice married Robert Harvey Walkup, a Presbyterian minister in Ozark, Alabama and served by his side in churches and communities in Ozark and Mobile, Alabama; Fulton, Missouri; Starkville, Mississippi; McAllen, Texas; Memphis, Tennessee; and Helena, Arkansas, as well as post-retirement interim ministries, including Germantown, Tennessee; Tupelo, Mississippi and Louisville, Kentucky. She joyfully fulfilled the roles of minister’s spouse and mother of four children, as well as working outside the home, including as a social worker and as the founding director of the childcare program at Idlewild Presbyterian Church in Memphis. 

In addition to her late husband, she was predeceased by her parents and by her sister Virginia Thomason Whatley and brother James Wiley Thomason, Jr. She is survived by her sons, Robert Harvey Walkup, Jr., John Knox Walkup (and his wife Betsy), and James Thomason Walkup (and his wife Meg Wolder), and daughter, Virginia Walkup Coleman (and her husband James). 

Alice is also survived by her seven grandchildren: Alice M. Walkup and Emily Walkup, Alice E. Walkup and Margaret Walkup, Jake Walkup, Jamie Coleman and Meg Coleman Killgore (and her husband Ryan), as well as two great-grandchildren: Easton Killgore and Mary Alice Killgore.

Alice Walkup opened her heart to others and lifted the spirits of all who met her. Her courage and faith alongside that of her minister husband during all eras, but especially in the 1950’s and 1960’s in the Deep South, established the well-deserved admiration and affection of those who knew her. Although she was quite serious-minded about issues of importance, Alice had a wonderful sense of humor and fun which she maintained to the end of her life. Her lively spirit enabled her to connect with everyone—young and old alike, across many generations.

When her husband, Bob, and her daughter-in-law, Cecilia, died within months of each other, she gladly, at age 75, joined her son Robert’s household to assist him. She brought her characteristic loving care to his young daughters, Alice M. and Emily, in all her tasks, including driving them to their schools and swim practices. She thrived in those later years, welcoming new friends and ideas into her life. 

A longtime resident of Auburn, Alabama, Alice was an active member of First Presbyterian Church of Auburn. A memorial service will be scheduled there at a future date. 

The family suggests that gifts in her memory be made to: Montreat Conference Center Office of Development P.O. Box 969 Montreat, NC 28757 First Presbyterian Church 143 East Thach Avenue Auburn, AL 36830.

Pate-Jones Funeral Home Senatobia, MS had charge of the arrangements.

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