NORWAY — Robert J. “Bobby” Walker, 70, of Norway passed away in his home on Wednesday, Feb. 22, after a long illness.

He was born in Mechanic Falls on March 31, 1946, and was the son of Joseph and Dorothy (Korn) Walker.

As a young man, Bobby was introduced to stock car racing by his grandfather who brought him to tracks down south and introduced him to the early racing days in Oxford. He started working at Oxford Plains Speedway when he was 15. Bobby graduated from Oxford Hills High School in 1964. In high school, Bob was captain of the golf and ski teams. He left Maine on a golf scholarship to attend Eastern New Mexico University. He left Eastern University to attend United Technical Institute in Atlanta, Ga., and graduated with a major in broadcast journalism and a minor in broadcast engineering in 1971.

During the 1960s, Bob continued to be involved in racing in many different positions, including a crew member on the NASCAR Grand National series and pit steward at Beech Ridge Speedway. In 1971, he began what would be a long career as the announcer at Oxford Plains Speedway. In 1979, he became a permanent employee of Oxford Plains Speedway adding much more responsibility to his duties at the track. He was also a NASCAR technical inspector for 12 years and he worked for Joie Chitwood Thrill Show in 1977 as his publicist. He also was involved in management of tracks in New Hampshire, North Carolina and Oregon and worked with the NASCAR BUSCH series and Dash series. Bobby worked for several local radio stations in western Maine in his lifetime and if he wasn’t talking about racing he could be heard doing play by play for the Oxford Hills football program.

Bob was much more to racing than a voice on the loudspeaker. Racing was his family. He not only knew all of the drivers, many of which he gave lively nick names that have stuck with them, but he could tell you where they were from, their backgrounds, their racing statistics, the colors and sponsors on their cars and he knew all the members of their families. He had a genuine interest in the sport as well as the participants. He also knew the fans, recently recalling a family by name that came down from Canada each Saturday night, back in the day, and quickly reciting the seats they sat in each week. He wrote a book after he suffered a stroke in 2005 that was titled “I couldn’t DRIVE but I could TALK.” In 2008, Bobby was inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame for his contribution to racing.

Bobby also had a love for his community. It was important to him that he live in Norway, where he served the Fire Department for 51 years, earning the rank of Captain. He also served as a Norway Selectman and served on other committees. He was an active member of the Oxford Advent Christian Church.

Bobby is survived by his brother, Jon D. Walker of Johnson City Tenn.; his daughter, Tricia Danielle St. John of Livermore Falls; and his grandson, Devin James Becker, of Auburn.

He was predeceased by his parents, as well as his sister, Janice Marie Walker and his daughter, Melissa Ann Walker Roberts.

Bobby was very grateful to Tender Touch, Beacon Hospice, Stephens Memorial Hospital, Dr. Eshleman and PACE Ambulance service for their compassion and care during his illness.

From the opening of Bobby’s book, A reminder from Bobby …

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, babe in one hand, stiff drink in the other, body thoroughly used up, worn out and screaming……Damn, What a Ride!!!! – Author unknown

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Robert J. “Bobby” Walker

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