The mother of Hallmark Channel fan favorite Andrew Walker has died after a long journey with Alzheimer’s. Joyce Francis Crossley Walker, a lifelong Canadian, died on March 16, 2023, in Montréal, according to her obituary, in which her family described her as a “prodigy pianist, Fashionista, watercolor artist, jazz musician, afternoon tea sipper, unique jewelry wearer and a true pillar of strength and comfort to many. Always bringing joy and laughter, a true ‘star’ entertainer, never failing to make a lasting impression on her guests.”
Andrew Walker, 43, has talked lovingly about his mom in interviews and on social media over the years, crediting her with inspiring him to become an actor. He posted an Instagram tribute to her on March 8 for International Women’s Day, in which he alluded to knowing that her death was imminent.
“As you leave us in this material world,” Walker wrote, “I’ll be able to feel your presence wherever I go which gives me so much comfort. I love you eternally mom.”
Walker’s Hallmark colleagues and fans have rallied around the actor this month as his family prepared for and grieved their loss. Walker is close with his dad Bruce Walker, recently taking him to Mexico for a father-son trip, and his sister, fellow actress and artist Jennimay Walker, who posted her own photo and tribute to their mom on March 21.
Alongside a photo of her and her brother with their mom, she wrote, “We miss you and love you so much Mummy fly freely beautiful soul.”
Due to Alzheimer’s, Andrew Walker’s Mom Was ‘Not At All Who She Used to Be’
In August 2021, while promoting his Hallmark movie “My Christmas Family Tree,” Walker told TV Fanatic that his mom had been slowly declining for the last decade due to Alzheimer’s, but that her condition “only really started to get bad during the pandemic.” Playing a character named Kris who lost both of his parents at a young age, Walker said at the time that he was able to channel some of his emotions with his mom into the role.
“There’s a piece of Kris that I was able to draw from in losing his parents because I feel like I am processing the inevitable loss of my mom and the way she’s not at all who she was, who I’ve remembered her being throughout my life. So it’s therapy.”
“It makes me appreciate having my mom and my dad still around,” he continued. “Even though my mom is not at all who she used to be, my dad is still very much a presence in my life, and I speak to him every single day. And so I appreciate it more too.”
Walker’s close friend Nikki DeLoach, with whom he stars in the “Curious Caterer” mystery franchise, has been a big support to him and his wife, Cassandra Troy, given that she lost her dad in 2021 to a form of Alzheimer’s, which is the most common type of dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, and has an average life expectancy of four to eight years.
In 2020, DeLoach told People, “It’s a cause that is near and dear to both of our hearts because we’ve been touched deeply by it by our families.”
On March 21, she commented on the photo Walker posted of his mom.
“Holding you,” she wrote. “Wrapping all my love around you, Jen and your dad. Love you so much, my dear friend. Know that she is now with you everywhere you go. 💜”
Also on March 21, Walker posted a photo in his Instagram Stories of himself holding a large peace plant that was sent to him by Hallmark Media staff.
“Got so much love for my @hallmarkchannel fam,” he wrote over the photo, tagging several executives and drawing a heart around their names. He also added a past birthday photo of mom in his Stories and wrote, “Miss you mom. Xo.”
Andrew Walker Says His Musical Mom Encouraged Him to Be An Actor
Walker has said he’s grateful for growing up with such a creative mom and credits her with motivating him to become an actor.
In a 2020 Mother’s Day video for Hallmark, Walker said, “My mother was an artist, an incredible artist, and if it wasn’t for her encouraging me to pursue my acting career, I don’t think I’d be doing what I’m doing today.”
Music was a big part of Walker’s life growing up, given his mom’s talent as a piano player and a very musical extended family.
“I come from a family of musicians, my mom was an incredible pianist,” Walker told TV Fanatic. “And my aunt was a music teacher, my uncle was a trumpet player, my two cousins were opera singers, and one cousin did some off-Broadway stuff. And so I remember that when we were younger, we would go caroling. We would just knock on people’s doors. The whole family would go out for one night, we raised some money for charities, and we would go around caroling.”
Though that tradition ended by the time he was a teen, music continued to be a big part of his family’s holiday traditions, which include his wife’s family of “amazing chefs” and his family of musicians and singers.
In 2021, he told Southern Living, “We have these amazing chefs between my wife and her sisters and their mother, and then my mom comes and plays piano and I’m singing. We have the music sheets that come out. We just sing. And that’s what it’s really about. Family, food, and music.”
On March 21, Walker posted a video of his mom playing piano with his son West, now 7, when he was a toddler.
“Grateful West was able to learn from the best,” he wrote. “She always had music running through her veins 🎹 🖤”
Per her obituary, the Walker family will hold a celebration of life gathering at a later date.