Family Login:

Dr. Walker Lee Breland
  • First Centenary United Methodist Church
    419 Mccallie Avenue
    Chattanooga, TN 37402

Share This Obituary
Resources

Arrangements made by

J. Henry Stuhr West Ashley Chapel

3360 Glenn McConnell Parkway
Charleston, SC 29414
Get Directions

Profile of J. Henry Stuhr West Ashley Chapel

View Phone Number
View Fax Number

Send Flowers
 Local Florists


Memories & Candles

“We extend our sympathy to all your family in the loss of Walker. We have many happy memories of your stay in Columbia and Walker's music ministry at...Read More »
1 of 14 | Posted by: Lavonne Bazemore

“June, I am so saddened to read Walker’s obituary. He was the most talented musician I have ever met and I am so proud to say that he was a...Read More »
2 of 14 | Posted by: Dianne Hiers Wood - Friend

“As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends...Read More »
3 of 14 | Posted by: Narda Platt Marvin - Friend

“As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends. ...Read More »
4 of 14 | Posted by: Narda Platt Marvin - Friend

“Dearest June: The Whites here in Chattanooga. We were saddened to read Walker's obituary on Easter Sunday. Yet, given that it was that particular...Read More »
5 of 14 | Posted by: E. Alan White - Chattanooga, TN

“June,I am so saddened to hear of Walker's death. God will lift you up and hold you dear. I remember many wonderful memories of our teaching career...Read More »
6 of 14 | Posted by: RoseMary Stalter - SUNSET BEACH, NC

“Walker made the music come alive especially at Easter. What a blessing he was to First Centenary and all who shared his love of music. June and...Read More »
7 of 14 | Posted by: Jim and Caroline Rogers - Friend

“Dr. Breland was a kind and thoughtful man who cared about his art and his students. I am grateful to have been one of those students. Singing under...Read More »
8 of 14 | Posted by: Nylea Butler-Moore - Los Alamos, NM

“It was a wonderful treat for my wife and I to know Walker. He always thrilled us with his keyboard technique and style. His music is often played...Read More »
9 of 14 | Posted by: Steve Byrum - Signal Mountain, TN

“Miss June, We are praying for you and your family. You and Mr. Walker were special neighbors when we lived in Highwood Estates. You both were...Read More »
10 of 14 | Posted by: Kathy Johnson - Adairsville, GA

“To the family,I was very sad to hear of Dr.Brelands passing. He was my college advisor at UTC and I tell people all the time if it had not been for...Read More »
11 of 14 | Posted by: Harlie "Stephen" Walker - TN

“June, My love to you and your family. I have always thought so fondly of Walker not only as the wonderful musician that he was but also as a kind...Read More »
12 of 14 | Posted by: Claudia Myers - Charleston, SC

“One of my favorite memories will always be how that organ literally rocked when Walker played the Widor. I'll be thinking of him this Sunday when...Read More »
13 of 14 | Posted by: Donna Palmer - Rock Spring, GA

“Dr. Breland was one of my favorite choir directors when I was at UT Chattanooga. I loved his kind and gentle manner. He was a southern gentleman in...Read More »
14 of 14 | Posted by: Randy Walker - Chattanooga, TN


Dr. Walker Lee Breland, 85, husband of June Starr Price Breland, passed away on Palm Sunday, March 28, after a courageous 14 year battle with Parkinson's disease.

Walker, a native of Walterboro, SC, began playing music by ear in his elementary school years. Learning to read music came next, where he traveled to Charleston to take piano and organ lessons from Vernon Weston. A graduate of Walterboro High School, he served as drum major and accompanied various choral groups. Walker received a full scholarship to Furman University, where he served as the accompanist for the Furman Singers. After graduating from Furman, he married his high school sweetheart, June Price Breland and served in the U.S. Army.

Walker pursued his PhD in sacred music from Indiana University. While in graduate school, he served as organist of North Christian Church in Columbus, Indiana. Walker served as professor of music at Columbia College, Columbia, SC from 1965-1972. Each summer, he led educational tours for his students all throughout Europe. While living in Columbia, Walker served as the organist of Cayce UMC and Trenholm Road UMC.

In 1972, Walker moved to Tennessee working as a professor of music at the University of TN at Chattanooga. He led the Madrigal Singers and taught one of his favorites, a Survey of Jazz, as well as organ instruction. Walker chaired various committees including the Academic Affairs and Athletic Committees. He retired from UTC in 2004 after serving 32 years. Walker was a popular professor amongst the student body---it would not be unusual for former students to greet him while out and about in Chattanooga with his family, and remark that "they love jazz or classical music" because of his course at UTC.

While in Chattanooga, Walker served as the organist for First Centenary UMC, for 25 years. Upon retirement, he was named Organist Emeritus. Walker was encouraged to record a CD of his most requested organ pieces. One in particular, the Fifth Organ Symphony in F, Op 42 #1, by Charles-Marie Widor, was always played on Easter services annually. This same recording was featured in his youngest granddaughter's wedding recessional, when he was not able to play due to his Parkinson's disease. He was a gifted musician, who not only played the notes proficiently, but allowed the Holy Spirit to infill his work, which he played to the glory of God.

One of the honors of his life, was to serve as the President of the Riverbend Festival in Chattanooga, in it's early years of inception. Walker was proud of the offerings of all genres of music to the wider Chattanooga community and the many lasting friendships he made along the way.

Walker and June were fortunate to travel the world together before his Parkinson's diagnosis and loved spending time with their four grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, June of Charleston SC; daughters: Beth Breland Snyder (Greg) of Johns Island, SC and Melanie Breland Hembree (Wade) of Milton, Ga; four grandchildren: Rachel Snyder Miller (Luke) of Knoxville, TN, Sarah Snyder Brown (Cary) of Myrtle Beach, SC and Walker and Will Hembree of Milton, GA; one great-granddaughter, Elizabeth Frances Miller; and his sister, Irene Stokes (Don) of Dunwoody, GA. Additionally Walker is survived by his extended family, sister-in-law, Judy Rembert Price of Simpsonville, SC; nieces and nephew, Paige Price McCluskey (Chris) of Anderson, SC, Rachael Price Garcia (Charles) of Simpsonville, SC and Becky and Jimmy Halford, of Atlanta, GA.

Walker was predeceased by his parents, Julius Earl Breland and Reba Walker Breland, of Walterboro, SC.

A private family graveside is planned in the near future. Arrangements by J. Henry Stuhr, Inc., West Ashley Chapel.

The family requests that memorial contributions be made to: First Centenary UMC, PO Box 208, Chattanooga, TN 37401 attn: Music Ministry Fund.

Upcoming Funeral Services
Graveside Service

Live Oak Cemetery, Walterboro

South Jefferies Blvd. Walterboro, SC 29488