John Edward (Jack) Walton
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LAFAYETTE - John Edward (Jack) Walton passed away in his sleep on March 30, 2013 at the age of 90. Born in Detroit, Michigan on August 7, 1922, Jack was the son of Herman Francis Walton and Ila Lee Doran Walton, and was the sixth great-grandson of George Walton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Jack's family moved south to Beaumont, Texas in 1927 driving a Model T Ford equipped with camping gear and hand-forged snow chains. A pair of pet raccoons named "Maggie and Jiggs" accompanied the family.
Jack graduated from Beaumont High School and was in the very first class to graduate from Lamar University. He joined the United States Army Air Corps during World War II as a Flight Instructor first stationed at Ellington Field outside of Houston, Texas and then transferring to Parks Field in Wisconsin. In Wisconsin, he contracted rheumatic fever, was transferred to a military hospital in Florida and not expected to live. After a year in the hospital, he received a medical discharge from the service and returned to Beaumont.
In Beaumont, Jack and his younger brother, Thomas Wirt Walton, played taps at the funerals of fallen soldiers, one playing trumpet at the graveside and the other playing another trumpet as echo in the distance. In 1946, Jack was introduced to eighteen year old, Mamie Owana Stewart, at the Beaumont VFW Hall. Mamie, from Isola, Mississippi, was visiting her uncle, Frank Bertschler, a close friend of Jack's father. Jack and Mamie married and during their 56 year marriage had four children, Melinda Nell, Jackie Larue, Jerry Lewis, and Connie Lynn. In 1962, with their four young children in tow, Jack and Mamie moved from the family farm in East Texas to Lafayette, Louisiana where Jack managed and later purchased Alamo Glass Company, currently owned by his son, Jerry Walton.
During Jack and Mamie's marriage, they traveled extensively and since music was always at the center of family life, they loved to attend bluegrass festivals. They drove a large recreational vehicle that was usually party-central during the festivals, making many friends along the way. In 1982, the couple moved from Lafayette, Louisiana and permanently returned to their beloved East Texas farm. Mamie predeceased Jack in 2002.
Jack is survived by his two sisters, Francis Walton Wyche and Mary Ann Walton Kittel, both of Colmesneil, Texas, brother-in-law Ken Kittel, sister-in-law Maxine Walton of Vidor, Texas, four children, Melinda Walton and husband, Thomas Larry Smith, of Middleburg, Virginia, Jackie Larue Walton of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Jerry Walton and wife, Cindy, of Lafayette, Louisiana and Connie Walton and husband Michael Gary Fleniken, of Middleburg, Virginia. Jack is also survived by his only grandchild, Louis Austin Walton, of Lafayette, Louisiana, as well as numerous nieces and nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews. His dog, Rufus, is maintaining a vigilant watch over his farm.
The family wishes to thank Jack's caregiver, Bob Chudoba and his family from the Czech Republic, for seven years of wonderful care, as well as the Texas Total Care Hospice for their care during the last several months.
A graveside service will be held on April 5th, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at the Walton Family Cemetery located on the family farm outside of Beaumont, Texas. In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations be made in Jack's name to Animal Friends of Washington County, 3901 Highway 36 North, Brenham, Texas 77833, www.animalfriendstexas.org
View the obituary and guestbook online at www.mourning.com
Martin & Castille - DOWNTOWN, 330 St. Landry Street, Lafayette, LA. 70506. 337-234-2311
Martin & Castille
330 Saint Landry Street Lafayette, LA 70506
Published in the The Advertiser on Apr. 3, 2013