On August 18, 2018, John David Walker, 50, originally from Missoula, MT, passed away surrounded by loved ones in the beauty of his home state, at his family cabin. John lived in Bellevue, Washington and Colorado Springs, Colorado. He will be truly missed by all that had the great fortune to know him.

John was a Senior Swim Coach and co-founder of Olympic Cascade Aquatics (OCA) in Mercer Island, WA. He dedicated his career to cultivating a love of swimming and to achieving excellence in the sport. His passion for swimming and healthy competition developed early. In his youth, John was a State champion and State record-holder in long-distance freestyle events. His enthusiasm and positivity on and off the deck was contagious. He was a mentor, friend and hero to all of his athletes and their families he worked with throughout his career.

Prior to his time with OCA, he served in many different roles related to swimming. In the early 1990’s, he started his career in swimming by serving as a Head Coach with Carleton College, where he had earned his undergraduate degree. He then joined USA Swimming National Team Division in Colorado Springs, where he was the Resident Team Program Assistant Swimming Coach. After a short time coaching at the University of Missouri and the Edina Swim Club in Minnesota, he returned to the USA Swimming National Team Division in 1999. John served in many important positions with USA Swimming, as Interim National Team Director, High Performance Director, Assistant Director, and Race Analysis Coordinator.

There were many highlights and successes in John’s career, showing his commitment and desire to help develop future medal winners and competitors. Most notably, he was part of Team USA Swimming at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics in Sydney, Australia and Athens, Greece.

John met his future bride, Ellen on the pool deck in Minnesota, where he was coaching swimming and she diving. They had much in common, sharing their love of family, travel, sports, Coca Cola, hiking, fishing and the love of the outdoors. They treasured their shared love of coaching and striving for excellence throughout their journey together. Anyone that knows John and Ellen know that the Minnesota Vikings hold a very dear place in their hearts. Wherever they were, they would always find a way to meet in Minnesota and cheer on their Vikings.

John received his Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Carleton College in Minnesota in 1990. He then went on to earn his Master’s of Science in Exercise Science/Biomechanics from the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs.

He was proceeded in death by his father, Frank Jr., on August 19, 2017. Grandparents Frank and Lila Walker, and Don and Georgia Peach.

As the oldest of four siblings, John grew up in a loving and supportive household in Missoula. He is survived by his wife Ellen, his mother Jeanine, sisters Jessica (Peter) and Mandra, brother Zach (Joscelyn),12 nieces and nephews, one grand niece, many adoring in-laws, the OCA Swim Team and the Minnesota Vikings.

A Celebration of Life is planned for September 22, 2018, 3:00pm-5:00pm, at the Stroum Jewish Community Center and Auditorium, 3801 East Mercer Island Way, Mercer Island, WA 98040.