UD Love Stories 2018: Darrell and Stephanie Walker

Feb 28, 2018

Love Always Finds A Way 

Stephanie Gilbert (C'08) was a freshman when she first met Darrell Walker (C'07). At the time, she didn't pay him too much attention because he was dating her roommate. Little did she know what the future had in store.

While attending UD, Darrell was a Sigma who played football and competed twice at Nationals for track.  Darrell graduated in 2007, earning a bachelor of arts in speech communication.  Stephanie belonged to the UD Student Nursing Association and was a member of the football cheerleading squad.  She graduated with a bachelor of science in nursing in 2008.  After graduation, Darrell and Stephanie stayed in Dubuque, but they took separate paths.

In November 2012, fate brought them together again. Stephanie was working part-time at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers in Dubuque when Darrell walked in, wearing his Mediacom uniform.  Excited to see him again, Stephanie didn't hesitate to go to his table to say hi. That is where their love story begins.

Stephanie told Darrell she was having issues with her cable and asked if he could fix it.  As luck would have it, the night Darrell stopped to fix the cable, Stephanie happened to be getting ready for a date.  After the date, Darrell sent Stephanie a text message to see how the date had gone.  She told him it wasn't anything spectacular.  Darrell replied, "I know this nice cable guy."  Stephanie knew Darrell was being witty and replied "Oh really?  I wonder who that could be?"  Darrell asked Stephanie to come over for dinner, where he showed off his cooking skills by making homemade chicken cordon bleu, which Stephanie said was delicious.  They enjoyed reconnecting and learned they each had a son, who were only four months apart in age.  Stephanie said, "This was really nice.  The boys could play while we took our time getting to know each other better."

Once Darrell knew Stephanie was "the one," he wanted her to meet his family who lived in Miami. He thought it would be the perfect time to propose.  While in Florida,the couple spent several days at Walt Disney World. Darrell carried the ring in his pocket the entire time.  He said he had a lot of fun with it. "I would snap a photo of the ring every chance I could when she wasn't looking, and I even put it next to her on her pillow and snapped a photo while she was sleeping," Darrell said. The couple spent 10 days in Florida.  Darrell proposed to Stephanie while walking on the beach one of the last nights they were there.  "It was pretty romantic," Stephanie said.

The two were married on June 10, 2017, on a beautiful, sunny, but warm, day at the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, with a reception following at the Best Western in Dubuque. The day was filled with lots of love, family, and friends.  Stephanie's very good friend, and UD alum, Adrienne Kaisand (C'08), was the officiant. Darrell and Stephanie included their boys in the ceremony, helping with the unity sand ceremony as a symbol that they were uniting as a family.

Several of the couple's UD friends shared in their special day as members of the wedding party. The bridesmaids  included Tiffany Higgins (C'09), Jess Rudiger (C'08), and Shauntae Barger and Marcelle Tucker, who attended UD, while the groomsmen were DJ Moore (C'09), Thackery Carter (C'09), Thoni Oriental (C'07), Miquel Jackson (C'11), and Carl Cooper, Jr., who also attended the University. Mr. and Mrs. Walker were blessed to have many more of their UD friends celebrate with them.

Currently, Darrell works for Mediacom and Stephanie works at Mercy Medical Center Dubuque. The couple keep busy with their sons, Braylon, 7, and Kingston, 8.  The boys are involved in various sports, and Darrell enjoys helping coach their teams.  They enjoy traveling, visiting family, and spending time with friends.

"We are just enjoying our life together," Stephanie said.