Jim Walker began his career working for the International Harvester Company in locations in Wisconsin and Illinois. In 1969, he and business partner Wayne Schork, moved their families to Rochelle to own and operate Walker-Schork International, the local International Harvester dealership. Originally from Plainfield, Wisconsin, Jim was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting and fishing and shared these loves with his sons and grandsons. A brilliant businessman, risk taker and entrepreneur.
Jim was a founding member of the Greater Rochelle Economic Development Organization and helped to establish Rochelle’s city owned rail spur. In retirement, he became a builder and developer, establishing the Hickory Ridge Subdivision west of Rochelle. In his lifetime, Jim’s philanthropy was mostly private, sharing his gifts both financial and as a mentor with those who were willing to work hard to achieve their goals.
To honor his life and leave a legacy for the community in his memory, Jim’s family has established the H.P. “Jim” Walker Memorial Endowment Fund, a charitable donor advised fund of the Rochelle Area Community Foundation. Jim’s family will have the opportunity to annually recommend grants to projects and programs that support his interests in sporting and conservation, agriculture, education, training and mentorship, among others. The Rochelle Area Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving the charitable and philanthropic needs of the community, is honored to assist the Walker family in supporting the community through the H.P. “Jim” Walker Memorial Endowment Fund.