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Obituary for Cornelius James Walker

Cornelius James Walker was born September 24, 1953, at Hermann Hospital in Houston, TX. He was the second child of James and Sadie Walker. At three days old, he battled for his life through a risky open heart surgery. Not only did he survive, but he also became a champion.

Because his father was active U.S. Air Force, Cornelius lived all over the world, finally landing at Bergstrom Air Force Base. The family united with Greater Mt. Zion Baptist Church and attended Sunday School and the Baptist Training Union because Mama said so!

Cornelius graduated from Del Valle High School, Del Valle, TX in 1971, where he excelled in academics and sports. Playing first base for Del Valle, he was known as the "Homerun King" in many towns. A two-sport standout, Big C was a dominant force on the gridiron. He was heavily recruited by many colleges and finally chose Rice University.

He established himself as a premier defensive tackle, earning All-American honors. The Kansas City Chiefs recognized his presence on the line and drafted him in the third round of the 1975 NFL Draft. After playing for the Chiefs, Cornelius also suited up for the Toronto Argonauts and the Ottawa Rough Riders in the Canadian Football League (CFL).

After retiring from professional sports, Cornelius worked for Proctor and Gamble, Scott Paper Company, and Kimberley-Clark, rising to positions of increasing responsibility.

While in Houston, he met and married Denise Savage. To that union, two lovely daughters were born, Jasmine Motupalli, a Major in the United States Army and Assistant Professor at the United States Military Academy at West Point; and Jamie Walker, a senior tax accountant at Exterran Energy Solutions.

Cornelius met no strangers. Everyone was a friend. He had a heart of gold and a giving spirit. If you needed it and he had it, you got it even if he had to go without. Known affectionately as Bubba by family and close friends, he had a laugh that was contagious. An avid fisherman, golfer and sports buff, he was a man of many stories about how many fish he caught, the hole in one he almost got, and how hard he hit his brother in the Texas A&M vs. Rice football game. When he told his stories, you’d think you were there!

Cornelius loved his family and will always be remembered as the champion he was in this life. He leaves to cherish his memory his wife Denise; daughters Jasmine Motupalli and her husband Venkat of West Point, New York and Jamie Walker of Houston; sister Brenda Burrell and her husband Elliott of Syracuse, Utah; brother Alvin "Skip" Walker and his wife Kim of Austin, TX; and his beloved granddaughter, Jade Walker. Also treasuring his memory are a host of nieces and nephews; close Houston family, George and Patricia Savage; close friends Cedric Joseph, Rodney Norton, Edwin Collins and countless others.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Cornelius James Walker, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Greater Mount Zion Baptist Church

4301 Tannehill Lane
Austin,, TX 78721





2:00 PM
Greater Mount Zion Baptist Church

4301 Tannehill Lane
Austin,, TX 78721

Cemetery Details


Evergreen Cemetery

12th & Airport Blvd.
Austin, TX 78721


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