Millersburg family starts to rebuild life, home after loss of father and boyfriend, Robert Walker, in fire

Jamie Battles (left), Crystal Atterberry and Robert Walker Jr., loved ones of the late Robert Walker, watch the family’s youngest member, three-year-old Pandora Walker, counts to 10 on her fingers as sisters Jasmine Walker and Raven Walker play a game on the computer Friday night. Robert Walker, 37 of Fulton, died during a fire in his Millersburg home on Dec. 12. Battles was the girlfriend of Robert Walker and Atterberry was his fiance. The two have been friends since about 1998, before they both became Robert Walker’s girlfriends — a lifestyle they both were happy with for more than a decade. Now, the women are connected through not only friendship, but also their children.

Jamie Battles (left), Crystal Atterberry and Robert Walker Jr., loved ones of the late Robert Walker, watch the family’s youngest member, three-year-old Pandora Walker, counts to 10 on her fingers as sisters Jasmine Walker and Raven Walker play a game on the computer Friday night. Robert Walker, 37 of Fulton, died during a fire in his Millersburg home on Dec. 12. Battles was the girlfriend of Robert Walker and Atterberry was his fiance. The two have been friends since about 1998, before they both became Robert Walker’s girlfriends — a lifestyle they both were happy with for more than a decade. Now, the women are connected through not only friendship, but also their children. Photo by Brittany Ruess.

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The Walker Family cat, Sock, stretches after sleeping as Pandora Walker, 3, naps in her Fulton home on Saturday night. Pandora Walker is the youngest child of the late Robert Walker’s five children. Robert Walker, 37 of Fulton, died in a fire on Dec. 12 after a pan of french fries caught fire in his kitchen. Robert Walker’s son, Robert Walker Jr., saved Sock when he tossed him outside of the house.

A Millersburg family who lost its father and loved one, Robert Walker, 37, of Fulton in a house fire on Dec. 12 hopes to be in a new home by New Year’s Eve.

The family — Jamie Battles, 30, of Millersburg and her three children — has decided to live in a new home on the same spot where the Dec. 12 fire took place. Battles, a girlfriend of Robert Walker for almost 15 years, said the location is a midpoint between her jobs in Columbia and Fulton. Her children also want to continue attending school in New Bloomfield and continue living near their friends.

The home sits off of County Road 323. Battles said living in the country is a must for her and her family. She loves going on the front porch to star gaze and building bonfires in the backyard for her children.

Battles has been missing her wide open spaces, where she can be as loud and silly as she wants with her children. Battles and her three children have been temporarily living in a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment with Battles’ friend Crystal Atterberry. Atterberry was also Robert Walker’s girlfriend of nearly 17 years and the couple was recently engaged. Battles and Atterberry, both friends and significant others of Robert Walker simultaneously, are happy being connected to each other through friendship and their relationships with Robert Walker.

They have been comfortable with their lifestyle of more than a decade. Battles, Atterberry and Robert Walker all lived together for multiple years previously.

Their strongest connection, though, is through their children. Atterberry is the mother of her and Robert Walker’s 3-year-old daughter, Pandora Walker. Battles’ children — Jasmine, 13, Raven, 12 and Robert Walker Jr., 10 — are Pandora Walker’s half siblings.

Looking back on Robert Walker’s life, his family describes him as a loving and caring person who was dedicated to his job as a Petro diesel mechanic and above all else, his five children. Serena Walker, 16, is the oldest of Robert Walker’s children and has a different mother.

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The family is continuing to seek financial support. Robert Walker’s funeral services totaled to about $5,000, Atterberry said. To help cover the cost, Atterberry took out a $3,500 loan with her bank. About $1,000 remains to be paid off and is due at the end of December. With her own bills to pay, Atterberry has little left to pay toward the funeral bill.

Donations for funeral costs can go to the Maupin Funeral Home in memory of Robert Walker. The number for the Maupin Funeral Home is (573) 642-3334.

Battles, Atterberry and their children expressed thankfulness for everything they’ve been given so far — from socks to a flat-screen TV from Socket — during an interview Friday night. For Battles, it was hard to put her appreciation into words.

“There’s a lot of angels around here,” Battles said. “A whole lot of angels.”

For anyone wishing to donate items to the family, call Battles’ cell phone at (573) 544-8375.

To finish reading this article, please pick up a copy of The Fulton Sun at a newsstand nearest you or become a subscriber by calling (573) 642-7272.

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