Walker celebrates 100th birthday

Dixie Sparkman Walker holds a photo of her and her late husband Carroll Walker. She celebrates her 100th birthday on July 24. (Photo by Mary Rumore, SDN)

Staff Writer

Dixie Sparkman Walker is joining the century club on Tuesday after celebrating with friends and family during her birthday party Sunday afternoon.

Walker was born on July 24, 1918, in Noxubee County and is the daughter of Clara Belle Sanders and James Edwin Sparkman. She attended East Mississippi Junior College and was voted Miss EMJC. She then graduated from Ole Miss with a business degree and was a member of the Phi Mu sorority.

Walker said she taught for a short time, before marrying Carroll Walker becoming a full time bookkeeper, parts man and floor sweeper at Walker and Sons, their family business.

As an adult, Walker said she loved traveling, and she has visited seven European countries, Canada, Mexico and Alaska. She said her favorite place she's travelled was to Germany, where she's visited several times.

The Walkers have three sons, Carroll Jr., Sparky and Ricky. Walker said she enjoyed going to their sporting events when they were young.

"I like to go all my children's ballgames," she said. "Every one of them."

Along with watching her children play sports, Walker said she is an avid Mississippi State baseball fan.

Walker said she went to baseball games at MSU when Dudy Noble and family friend Paul Gregory were coaches.

She and her husband rarely missed a game in the 70's and 80's, and they went with Coach Polk's team to the College World Series, SEC tournaments, Hawaii and other series.

"I followed them everywhere," she said.

Members of the MSU baseball team attended her party at the Claiborne at Adelaide where she lives and gave her an autographed poster for her birthday.

Walker said she will get to attend a few baseball games in the new stadium and still enjoys watching the team on TV.

Walker said she also enjoysgardening.

Walker gave her advice for living a long time with a laugh.

"Don't drink coffee," she said. "I've never drank coffee, and they just can't believe it. And sleep on a cold sleeping porch in all weather."