Clyde A. Walker knew what it was like to arrive in a strange land without friends and emotional support, and he took it on himself to help others who arrived as he did in the U.S. to seek new opportunities.
"His house was a revolving door for friends and family who came to the U.S. to start a better life," his family said.
Clyde, who came to Philadelphia from Jamaica in the early '80s, got his college education, and eventually started his own accounting and real-estate firm, was shot to death April 16 at 51st and Warren streets, West Philadelphia.
He was 48 and lived in Drexel Hill.
Police have determined no motive or suspects in the slaying.
Clyde was born in St. Thomas, Jamaica, the sixth of the 11 children of Rhoda Walker and the late Constantine Walker. He got his early education in Jamaica and began his religious activities.
While still a youngster, he formed a youth club and gospel group called the Unique Gospel Singers, as his way to spread the word of his faith.
"He was very passionate about music and enjoyed working with the youths in the church," his family said.
After arriving in the U.S., he enrolled at Temple University and received his bachelor's degree in business administration in 1988.
Clyde had returned briefly to Jamaica in 1986 to marry his first love, Veronica Blake, called Elaine by family and friends.
He went to work for Delaware Investments and J.P. Morgan before fulfilling his dream of running his own business.
He was active in a number of churches, including New Testament Church of God in West Philadelphia.
He served as choir director, youth director, youth department coordinator, outreach program developer and director, financial officer and adviser.
At his death, he was a member of Sharon Baptist Church.
"Clyde was a remarkable source of strength to his family and friends," his family said. "He was a hard worker who was brilliant, witty, outspoken and resilient. He was kind, helpful, unselfish and impeccably honest.
"In addition, Clyde was blessed with a big heart and his character embodied the words 'charitable' and 'merciful.' "
Besides his wife and mother, he is survived by a son, Kareem, 12, and a daughter, Vanessa, 11; sisters Myrna, Delceta and Cynthia, and brothers Everton, Everod, Michael, Selvin, Desmond and Rudolph.
Services: 11 a.m. Friday at Sharon Baptist Church, 3955 Conshohocken Ave. Friends may call at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Francis Funeral Home, 5201 Whitby Ave., and at 9 a.m. Friday at the church. Burial will be in Fernwood Cemetery, Delaware County. *