July 24, 1956 – January 21, 2023
KILL DEVIL HILLS — Bruce Ray Walker, scholar, attorney, and friend, passed away January 21, 2023, following a short illness. He was born on July 24, 1956, in Charleston, West Virginia, and was a Stonewall Jackson High School alumnus. Bruce retired in 2018 after more than 35 years of public service as an attorney in West Virginia state government to live in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. He was preceded in death in 2021 by his beloved wife of 38 years, Donna Hanna-Walker.
Bruce received a bachelor’s degree with high honors in humanities from Michigan State University in 1977, and graduated cum laude with a law degree from Washington and Lee University in 1981. He was news editor for the university newspaper at Michigan State and a member of the national mock trial team at Washington and Lee. Bruce was easily clever enough to have landed a job as an attorney in any national firm or corporation, but instead committed his brilliance to improving the lives of and opportunities for his colleagues and all West Virginians through devoted work at the Attorney General’s Office and West Virginia’s Higher Education agencies. He was an outstanding writer who loved traveling the world with friends, amateur acting, puns and jokes. Bruce stood strong, even when he stood alone, for what he believed was right and ethical.
Bruce served for more than 30 years with distinction as general counsel for the West Virginia higher education system, skillfully guiding numerous chancellors, commissioners, university presidents and governors and authoring thousands of lines of State Code. His sharp, often daring sense of humor and humility belied the sage counsel he provided — always gratis — to family, friends and co-workers. Bruce’s commitment to ethical representation of his client was paramount to his long and successful career, and West Virginia is better because of it.
Bruce will be remembered for his undying love for his wife, his friends, animals, travel and theater, and for his never-ending wit. A memorial service in his and Donna’s honor will be scheduled this spring in the Charleston area. Friends wishing to honor Bruce may donate to Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association, 1248 Greenbrier St., Charleston, WV 25311.
Twiford Funeral Homes, Outer Banks is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.TwifordFH.com.