Thirty-four years ago, I joined a home inspection company called National Home Inspection Service based in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. John Heyn had started the firm with the assistance of Claxton Walker. We worked out of a small office in a shopping strip in Silver Spring, Maryland, but used a mail service from D.C. to have the D.C. mailing address. Home inspecting was in its infancy and was a unique professional calling. At that time, expectations were not high or overly demanding.
When I joined the firm, Claxton was my immediate supervisor. We became good friends. Eventually, Claxton left the firm to form Claxton Walker and Associates. Many of his associates became leaders of ASHI by volunteering for committees and serving on the Board of Directors. These included Speed Williams (the second Executive Director of ASHI), Bill Papian, PE, followed by Kent Boucher (Verifier), before his son, Joseph (Skip) Walker, joined the firm and took the reins.
Whenever I needed professional advice, I always turned to Claxton first and foremost. His council was always straightforward and his friendship unwavering. When I started my own firm, he advised using my name for the company, rather than a catchy sounding one, because he felt ours is a personal service profession, and ‘How will they know it’s you?’ made a great deal of sense.
Claxton was a charter member of ASHI and he allowed me to accompany him to MAC-ASHI meetings prior to my finally being able to join in 1979. He introduced me to Paul O’Connell and John Cox, as well as many other ASHI leaders.
Claxton and I shared the same college degree and both enjoyed teaching others. He taught many home inspectors across the country through his articles in the early issues of the ASHI Reporter. Each month there was a column called Clacky’s Corner in which he shared his experiences and knowledge. It was always the first portion many of us read.
Claxton contributed a vast amount of his time and energy into making ASHI the best of the best. He had a firm belief in honesty, integrity and sharing experiences to make the profession vastly more sophisticated and demanding. He gave time assisting in the creation of our first Code of Ethics and the Standards of Practice. In honor of his commitment and dedication, he was one of the first to receive the Monohan Award.
It is with a saddened heart that I inform the membership that Claxton Walker, my first mentor and a superior friend, passed away on October 2, 2006.