We unexpectedly and tragically lost our amazing and beloved son, Dallin Walker, on January 21, 2021. Dallin had so many diverse interests and was incredibly talented at each. He loved to cook, baking in particular, and our home was constantly filled with the smells of his efforts. He did aerobatics (cirque du soleil). He had amazing talents musically, though he didn’t want to formalize any of them. He played piano for many years, and recently started collecting obscure musical instruments and could figure out how to play most any song on just about any instrument after just a few minutes of experimenting. But most of all he created. We knew this about him during his life, but as we’ve gone through his writings in notebook after notebook, and journal after journal, we are astounded at how much he created in his short life. He invented games and activities for siblings and cousins. He created numerous video games on his computer (which he also built). He had dozens of ideas on different things to invent and create. One of the great questions we have around his early death is what his mind would have been capable of creating had he had a full life to develop and bring his ideas to fruition.
He was a Senior at Corner Canyon High School, with nearly a 4.0 GPA. He scored a 35 on the ACT on his first attempt and had recently been accepted at a number of schools including the University of Utah, Cal Poly, UC Irvine, and UCSD. He truly had a gifted, brilliant mind.
He was very active in making his community a better place. He achieved his Eagle Scout by creating a safe place for children on the autism spectrum at a local elementary school. He participated in food drives, served at care centers, helped those in need at Christmastime, and had an active interest in helping with climate change. He blessed the lives of family and friends around him. He was an amazing older brother to his siblings, Dawson, and Sadie. He was a wonderful loving son to his parents, Zack, and Cassie. He was the first grandchild for his grandparents Debra Wiltsey and Val and Olivia Walker, and blessed their lives tremendously. Dallin went on many adventures with his grandparents including cousin’s camps, Papa’s workshops, and many amazing vacations. He loved being with his aunts, uncles, and cousins: Jenny Wiltsey (aunt), Jake and Courtney Walker and their daughter Aila; Nick and Kristy Walker, Mikell and Mikey Heinz and their children Lincoln, Tiger, Stevie, and Bostyn; and Jesse Walker (uncle). He was surrounded by a broad extended family as well but in particular Ben and Eliana Walker and their children Enya, Stella, and Max, with whom he shared some of his happiest moments in life.
It is impossible to describe the pain and grief we now face. I think that only those who have lost a child can have any idea about what it might be like; we could never have anticipated this amount of suffering. We have faith that we will see him again, and this gives us hope during this difficult time. We want to thank so many who have loved, prayed, and supported us, as it may be the only thing that has kept us moving forward. We truly thank you. Thanks to the generous donations from many of you, we will be establishing a scholarship endowment in his honor at the University of Utah.
Lastly, to our son Dallin, we thank you for blessing our lives for the time you were here. Your broad amazing smile. Your infectious laugh. Your exclamations of “I did a thing” whenever you finished your most recent amazing creation. Your treats. Your mentoring of your younger siblings and cousins. Your kind, generous heart. Your wit. Your intelligence. Watching movies with you. Your desire to organize fun. The late-night talks about life. We will see you again, but until then, we will miss you dearly.