Dr. David L. Walters

Obituary
9 entries
  • "I was always amazed that Dr. Walters new all of us by name...."
    - Julie Johnston Broughton
  • "May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow."
    - JF
  • "Well done Dr Walters. Thanks to his family for sharing him..."
    - Danny/Jacquie Musick
  • "I respected Dr Walters as much as any man I have ever..."
    - Steve Warren
  • "Such an inspiration for so many. God Bless the family and..."
    - Pattie Fuester
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A funeral service celebrating the life of Dr. David L. Walters, 92, born October 19, 1923, will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, January 3, 2016, at the First Presbyterian Church, 1701 Henry Road, Anniston, Alabama. Burial will be in Ashland City Cemetery in Ashland, following the service. The family will receive friends at the church on Sunday from 11:30 a.m. until service time. Dr. Walters, beloved husband, father and professor of music, died on Wednesday, December 30, 2015. Dr. Walters is survived by his wife, Jeannie Levie Walters, of Jacksonville; his children, Dr. Joe David (Sheila) Walters, of Satsuma, Marda Walters (Allen) Sydnor, of Birmingham and Jon Timothy (Sherry) Walters, of Chattanooga, Tenn.; his grandchildren, Michael David (Emily) Walters, Christopher Allen (Brittany) Walters, Joshua Lynn Walters, James Allen Sydnor III, John Benton Hughes Sydnor, Hannah Elizabeth Walters and Kemp Kristofor Walters and three great-grandchildren. A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Dr. Walters graduated from Struthers High School. He served six years in the United States Navy, where he graduated from the Navy School of Music. He continued his education at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he received a B.S. in music. Dr. Walters completed his graduate work in musicology at Washington University in St. Louis and music theory at Florida State University. Dr. Walters' teaching career began as Band Director at Fairfield High School in Hamilton, Ohio. He then became Supervisor of Music in New Bern, N.C., where he also served as Band Director at New Bern High School. In 1961, he became Director of Bands at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, a position he held until his retirement in 1991. Under his leadership and playing music he arranged himself, The Marching Southerners became known for its trademark sound and unique half-time shows. He was the emeritus director of bands until the time of his death. Dr. Walters was recognized in the national music community for being an innovative composer and arranger of music. His unique approach to marching band was reflected in the jazz-style harmonies of his arrangements, his feature tunes and making use of a dance-band style little group. Dr. Walters' leadership style, empowering the band members as leaders by believing in them, remains an important part of the continuing heritage that is The Marching Southerners. A consummate teacher, he consistently instilled in his students a sense of urgency in practice to polish performances to the highest achievable level. In recognition of his achievements, the music department at JSU is named in his honor. He was inducted into JSU's Sports Hall of Fame and was awarded the Orpheus Award by national Phi Mu Alpha, a professional music fraternity of which he was a member. He was inducted into Pi Beta Mu, the Alabama Bandmaster's Association honorary fraternity. He was awarded the Mentor Award by the National Band Association in 2007. During his tenure as Director of Bands, The Southerners performed at hundreds of band competitions as the exhibition band. They performed as the halftime entertainment for the Atlanta Falcons for many years. Dr. Walters wrote the "theme" music for the All-American Bowl which was played in Tampa, Fla., where The Southerners performed on many occasions. Under his direction, The Southerners represented Alabama in the Inaugural Parade for President Lyndon Johnson in the early 60s. In 1976, The Southerners were selected to represent Alabama in the Bi-Centennial parade in Philadelphia. Dr. Walters' Symphonic Bands also toured the Southeast and performed for many high schools and recruited some of the finest performers. His band program produced many fine directors and educators. Dr. Walters continually spoke very fondly of his nearly 5,000 band alumni whom he says were the finest people he ever had the privilege to teach. Dr. Walters was known for his quiet humility and his core belief that giving someone your time and full attention is one of the most important things you can do for another person. He was a selfless, positive and inspiring force to friends, family and students. He had a favorite expression which illustrates the way he lived his life: "Be kind to each other. It's important." These qualities had a profound impact on all who knew him. The family extends its heartfelt thanks to Dr. David Schultz, cardiologist, and the outstanding medical team at St. Vincent's Hospital for providing such excellent, loving care. Dr. Walters was preceded in death by his parents, Helen Allen Walters and David Thomas Walters; his sister, Phyllis Walters Dempsey and his brother, Paul Allen Walters. Flowers will be accepted or donations may be made to the David L. Walters Band Scholarship, Jacksonville State University Foundation, Rock House, 700 Pelham Road North, Jacksonville, Alabama 36265. Online condolences to the family at www.klbrownfuneralhome.com. K.L. Brown Funeral Home & Cremation Center 322 Nisbet St., N.W. Jacksonville, AL 36265 256-435-7042
Funeral Home
K.L. Brown Funeral Home and Crematory
322 Nisbet Street NW
Jacksonville, AL 36265
(256) 435-7042
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Published in The Anniston Star from Jan. 1 to Jan. 2, 2016
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