‘He was the best one in the room every time’: Walker Fielder’s friend reflects on memories the two shared

Published: Oct. 19, 2022 at 7:27 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - There was a parking lot full at Christ United Methodist Church in Jackson as family and friends gathered to pay tribute to Walker Fielder. His friend Nelson Thomas shared some of those now-cherished memories with us ahead of the funeral.

“Walker was my best friend,” said Thomas. “He had the most contagious smile, and he was the best one in the room every time.”

The two set their sights on Oxford after graduating from Jackson Academy in 2020.

“Me and Walker just loved Oxford, and I love being with him in that town,” he said.

And they remained close, despite what some would’ve expected to be a dividing factor...Walker pledged Sigma Chi and Nelson, Phi Delta, each later serving as rush chairman.

“That never affected our friendship,” said Nelson Thomas. “Our bond was much greater than that.”

Gameday in the Grove for the Ole Miss-Auburn game landed on Walker’s 21st birthday. The Grove is a place where friends shared many memories. It’s now the spot of their final meeting.

“He had come up to me in our tent,” said Thomas. “I got to tell him a happy birthday and how much I loved him. And we had made plans to go to Baton Rouge on Friday to go to the Ole Miss versus LSU game. God had different plans in mind for us. And I’m thankful that my last words were that I loved him.”

Another close friend, Cyrus Manning, shared photos and a statement with WLBT that said Walker was one of the few people that saw the best side of every situation. He added that he was the most uplifting and loving person that he will ever know.

Manning spent almost every day with Fielder growing up, along with almost every day in college as they were roommates and pledge brothers. He notes that Fielder was more of a brother than a friend.

“It’ll be tough. It’ll be a lot of time for healing,” added Thomas. “But we have a damn good group of people to do it with.”

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