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Michele Donato Walker

January 17, 1947 ~ February 27, 2024 (age 77) 77 Years Old

Michele Walker Obituary

Michele Donato Walker died peacefully in her home after a long battle with cancer in Moscow, ID, on Tuesday, February 27th. She was 77 years old.

Michele is survived by her husband, Eddy Walker, her son, William Louis Walker (42) and her granddaughter, Janet Gertrude Walker (10).

Michele was born in Oakland, CA, to Thomas and Janet Donato. She graduated from Holy Names high school. From an early age, Michele’s life was musical and deeply religious. As a skilled and classically trained vocalist, she performed all over the San Francisco Bay Area with her father and other family members in the 1950s and 1960s.

Michele was working at the Oakland USO in 1968, where she met her future husband and love of her life, Eddy. Eddy was in training to become a member of the U.S. Navy Underwater Demolition Teams / SEALs, and after his graduation and a year of courtship, he proposed. Michele and Eddy were married in Piedmont, CA, on June 19th, 1969. They moved to San Diego, CA, where they lived for the next 8 years. During that time, Michele worked as a dental assistant and performed as a member of the San Diego opera. She pursued a professional operatic career in Austria, coincident with moving to Virginia Beach, VA when Eddy was transferred there as part of his military service.

Michele and Eddy lived in Virginia Beach for 5 years in a beautiful house next to the ocean. In 1980, they conceived their first and only child, William. Having a child motivated another transfer, this time to Memphis, TN, where William was born on September 23rd, 1981. The Walker family lived in a beautiful house on a multi-acre, wooded property overlooking the Mississippi river. Michele stayed at home to raise her son for several years, and then returned to work as a dental assistant in 1984. Eddy retired from military service in 1987.

Michele was a devoted mother, passing along her love of music, history, art, and nature to her son. Education and exposure to the arts was of great important to her, and in 1990 she made the difficult decision to leave Memphis and move back to the San Francisco Bay Area with her son. Eddy followed, after selling the Memphis home in 1992. Michele worked as a dental assistant for several offices before finding her first perfect job as a bookkeeper in the dental office of Drs. William Moore and Mark Kay. Over the next decade, Michele honed her business skills, eventually becoming the business manager for the practice, which she transformed into one of the most successful dental offices in the area, with revenue of over 1M per year. She presided over the transition from paper to a fully digital practice, always diving into learning opportunities and challenges. Alongside Eddy, she was able to purchase a house in Pinole, CA, in 1993, and send her son to St. Mary’s College High School, the same high school that her father attended, which was always one of her dreams. During these years, Michele reconnected with her faith and her music, finding opportunities to perform as a choir member and soloist at the churches she attended, as well as with her father and her son, who accompanied her as pianists.

In 2005 Michele and Eddy moved to Moscow, ID, to be closer to their son, who was attending graduate school at the University of Idaho, and to pursue new work and eventual retirement opportunities. Michele briefly worked for Palouse Psychological Services, again as a bookkeeper, before responding to an add in the paper for a dental practice management position posted by Dr. Karen Sept. Michele and Karen launched Palouse Pediatric Dentistry together, with Karen’s skills as a dentist and Michele’s skills as an experienced management professional proving to be an excellent combination. Michele continued her lifelong pursuit of learning, and at the age of 63, became a fellow of the American Association of Dental Office Managers, an achievement of which she was very proud. Her fellowship allowed her to pass knowledge to others in industry across the country. Palouse Pediatric Dentistry now has offices in Washington and Idaho, Michele being instrumental to the growth and success of the practice. Beyond business, Michele forged exceptional relationships with her colleagues. Idaho was a renaissance personally and professionally.

Michele became a grandmother to Janet on March 2nd, 2014. Just as she was as a mother, Michele was a devoted grandmother, passing on her love of the arts and her work ethic to her granddaughter just as she did her son.

In 2021, Michele contracted cancer and just like all other phases of her life, approached the battle with courage and a desire to learn. She retired from Palouse Pediatric Dentistry to focus on her family and her fight. Her strength, will to live, and ability to find beauty even during struggle were an inspiration to those who knew her, even briefly. She was and is the love of Eddy’s life and is a hero to her son.

Michele will be buried at Moscow Cemetery at 11am on Monday, March 4th, 2024.

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Graveside Service
March 4, 2024

11:00 AM
Moscow Cemetery, Moscow


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