Funeral director recalls final call from distraught Durham man - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Funeral director recalls final call from distraught Durham man

Posted: Updated:
DURHAM, N.C. -

Those who knew Derek Walker, who died Tuesday after a showdown involving Durham Police, remembered him as a positive person who cared about others.

"When he comes around, he just makes the atmosphere change," said Franklin Hanes, the owner of the Hanes Funeral Service, where Walker worked.

"He was a loveable person. Also, too, he loved his son. That's all he talked about all the time," said William Rankins, a friend and co-worker.

Robert Curtis, another friend, said, "Derek is an upbeat, live, makes you laugh once he walks in front of your face. I just -- I'm having a hard time taking it because I know him."

The optimism was gone early Tuesday morning when friends read Walker's suicidal rant on Facebook expressing his anger over a custody battle with his son.

Walker posted the chilling update, in which he expressed his desire to end his life after he said he lost his son in a custody battle, at 12 a.m. Tuesday morning.

"We knew right then, at 2 o'clock in the morning, and people started calling, 'Something's wrong with Derek.' When I looked at it, the first three words, that is not him," Hanes recalled.

Hanes said that at about the time of the standoff with police, Walker called him.

"He just said, 'I want you to bury me in my funeral suit.'

"I said, 'No, because we have two funerals this week and you've got to be here to do these funerals. Everybody loves you. People [have] been calling.'" Hanes said. "He listened to me about two minutes but he was crying the whole time -- hard.

"And, he said, 'I love you.' And that was it."

Now, Hanes faces the reality of Walker's last wish.

"You have to be strong to be a funeral director because if you don't, every funeral will get you," Hanes said. "But now, I'm strong, but this one has took its toll on me."

A funeral for Walker will be held Monday at 2 p.m. at Fisher Memorial United Holy Church.

RELATED STORIES

RELATED LINKS

Justin Quesinberry

Justin is a reporter for WNCN and a North Carolina native. He has spent the better part of the last decade covering the news in central North Carolina.  More>>

  • Durham CountyMore>>

  • Lovette found not guilty in Duke student's death

    Lovette found not guilty in Duke student's death

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 3:19 PM EDT2014-07-30 19:19:27 GMT
    File photoFile photo
    A man convicted of killed UNC student body president Eve Carson was acquitted Wednesday in the murder of a Duke graduate student in 2008.
    A man convicted of killed UNC student body president Eve Carson was acquitted Wednesday in the murder of a Duke graduate student in 2008.
  • Grant Hill to donate $1.25M to Duke

    Grant Hill to donate $1.25M to Duke

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 2:55 PM EDT2014-07-30 18:55:29 GMT
    Former Duke and NBA star Grant Hill and his wife, Tamia, are giving $1.25 million to the school. (Contributed)Former Duke and NBA star Grant Hill and his wife, Tamia, are giving $1.25 million to the school. (Contributed)
    Former Duke and NBA star Grant Hill and his wife are giving $1.25 million to the school.
    Former Duke and NBA star Grant Hill and his wife are giving $1.25 million to the school.
  • Durham assistant police chief sues city over racial discrimination

    Durham assistant police chief sues city over racial discrimination

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 2:15 PM EDT2014-07-30 18:15:33 GMT
    Assistant Police Chief Winslow Forbes says Chief Jose Lopez overlooked black officers for promotions based on race.Assistant Police Chief Winslow Forbes says Chief Jose Lopez overlooked black officers for promotions based on race.
    The attorney for an assistant chief of police in Durham has filed a lawsuit against the City of Durham, Chief Jose Lopez and City Manager Tom Bonfield.
    The attorney for an assistant chief of police in Durham has filed a lawsuit against the City of Durham, Chief Jose Lopez and City Manager Tom Bonfield.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Amtrak services delayed in Morrisville due to freight train derailment

    Amtrak services delayed in Morrisville due to freight train derailment

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:06 PM EDT2014-07-30 03:06:39 GMT

    Amtrak services are delayed in Morrisville due to a freight trail derailment, authorities said.

    Amtrak services are delayed in Morrisville due to a freight trail derailment, authorities said.


  • June Mugshots - Northeast Tennessee

    June Mugshots - Northeast Tennessee

    Thursday, July 10 2014 5:30 PM EDT2014-07-10 21:30:26 GMT
    Gregory A. DarnellGregory A. Darnell
    The following are mugshots of individuals arrested on a variety of charges in June by local authorities in Northeast Tennessee.
    The following are mugshots of individuals arrested on a variety of charges in June by local authorities in Northeast Tennessee.

  • Pine Belt 'Dandy Dozen' Selections Bolster MSU Recruitment Class

    Pine Belt 'Dandy Dozen' Selections Bolster MSU Recruitment Class

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 8:46 PM EDT2014-07-30 00:46:18 GMT
    On paper the Mississippi State football team was the biggest winner after the Clarion Ledger released its 'Dandy Dozen' last week. Five of the team's recruits were picked into the bunch, including a pair of Pine Belt standouts. Cameron Myers of Oak Grove and Jamal Peters of Bassfield will join Timothy Washington of Yazoo City, Malik Dear of Murrah and Dontea Jones of Louisville up in Starkville, while Jay Johnson of Bruce and Armani Linton of Walnut have committed to Ole Miss. The other five ...
    On paper the Mississippi State football team was the biggest winner after the Clarion Ledger released its 'Dandy Dozen' last week. Five of the team's recruits were picked into the bunch, including a pair of Pine Belt standouts. Cameron Myers of Oak Grove and Jamal Peters of Bassfield will join Timothy Washington of Yazoo City, Malik Dear of Murrah and Dontea Jones of Louisville up in Starkville, while Jay Johnson of Bruce and Armani Linton of Walnut have committed to Ole Miss. The other five ...
Powered by WorldNow

5912 Hwy. 49, Ste. A
Hattiesburg, MS 39401

Telephone: 601.545.2077
Fax: 601.545.3589
Email: newsroom@whlt.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.