Leslie Tucker Walker, of Macomb, died on Sunday, April 22, 2018 at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, Illinois. At her side were her husband, Ron Walker, her son Matthew and his fiancee Ceren Tuzmen of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and her son Ryan and his wife Kate of Everett, Washington. She is also survived by her sister Judy Arnett of Redlands, California, brother Gary Tucker of Orange, California, and twin sister Linda Wride of Provo, Utah. She was preceded in death by parents Donald and Ethel Tucker of Long Beach, California, and sister-in-law Suzanne Walker of Warm Springs, Virginia.
Throughout her life, Leslie was a relentless advocate for her family, friends, and those in need. She was never afraid to go against the grain in order to protect and nurture the people she loved. Her passion for caregiving often developed into a service of the larger community. She became a leader of La Leche League, Cub Scout den mother, announcer and official scorekeeper at Little League baseball games, president of the Macomb High Bomber Booster Club, and executive producer of Ryan's nonfiction film The Bootlegger. She considered it her great privilege to care for her own mother, whom she visited daily at The Elms nursing home for 10 years. Afterward, Leslie continued visiting The Elms to spend time with the other patients who had become her friends.  
Leslie was a native southern Californian, born and raised in Long Beach, where she attended Woodrow Wilson High School. She then studied Spanish at the University of Redlands, where she met Ron. After marrying in 1967, the couple lived briefly in Los Angeles and Charlotte, North Carolina. They moved to College Park, Maryland, where Ron wrote (but Leslie flawlessly typed) his doctoral dissertation and the two participated in such historic events as the March on Washington. Their Maryland years were also special for bringing Leslie and Ron close to the family of Ron's brother, Ty Dennis Walker. In 1973 the couple moved to Victoria, Texas, where they lived for thirteen years, made good friends, started their own family and enjoyed sabbaticals to Mexico. Ron joined WIU's English department in 1986, and the family settled in Macomb.
Leslie loved to read books, play card games, and share funny videos. She treasured a unique relationship with her identical twin sister, who remained her closest friend at every stage of life. Leslie was a prolific writer, penning letters and opinion pieces for the local newspapers, keeping detailed travel journals and family memoirs, and corresponding with favorite authors.  Fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, Leslie lived with Ron and the boys in Mexico City for a year, and enjoyed a lifelong connection to Brazil. She visited the country three times over the decades, maintaining a strong, multi-generational bond with the Aguiar and Faria family of Vitoria and Sao Paolo. Enjoying retirement with Ron, she visited Hawaii, Alaska, Switzerland, the British Isles, the Mexican Riviera, and the Mediterranean and Baltic sea coasts.  Also during retirement she taught Learning Is Forever (LIFE) courses, covering such wide-ranging topics as President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Brazil, and the plight of left-handed people.  
 In 2014 Leslie suffered a debilitating stroke, leaving her unable to care for herself. With support from family, friends and therapists, she beat the odds, regaining speech, some mobility, and even the ability to travel. In the last year of her life, she triumphantly climbed the 62 steps leading to Matt and Ceren's apartment in Pittsburgh, and then the two flights of stairs up to Ryan and Kate's apartment near Seattle. She wrote and carefully delivered to her therapists a speech chronicling her recovery then still in progress, defying an early prognosis that she might never again use language. She celebrated with Ron their 50th wedding anniversary in November 2017. Most recently she was overjoyed to know about Matt's engagement to Ceren.
In the Macomb community, Leslie managed Copperfield & Co. Booksellers for fifteen years.  She volunteered at the public radio station WIUM, recording readings for the visually impaired.  She was a long-time member and secretary of the Anna L. Parker Club.  
The Walker family will be hosting a Celebration of Life at 2pm on Saturday, April 28th, at Macomb Country Club. The ceremony is open to the public, and everyone is welcome to participate in sharing memories of Leslie. There will be light refreshments, including her favorite food: ice cream. The family requests that those sharing in their grief consider, in lieu of sending flowers, making a donation to causes that Leslie supported, including the Colchester Area Relief Effort, La Leche League of Illinois, Mexican Christian Children's Aid, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the United Negro College Fund.  
Leslie will be forever cherished by her family and the many others whose lives she brightened.