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Johnnie Walters

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Johnnie Mac Walters


On Tuesday, June 24, 2014, Johnnie Mac Walters died at home. He was 94 years old.

Mr. Walters is survived by his wife of more than 66 years, Donna L. Hall, two daughters and their families, Dee Dee Gent and her husband Michael and their son, Christopher of Sparks, Nevada; Betsy Kukorowski and her husband Kenneth and their son, Drew of Raleigh, N. C.; two sons and their families Hilton and his wife Sharon Walters and their three children, Ryan, Erin and Kelsey of Oklahoma City, OK.; John Roy and his wife Chris Walters and their two sons, John Westlund and William of Irmo; three sisters, Christine King, Louise Sparrow and Mildred Purvis all of Hartsville.

Mr. Walters, a native of Hartsville, South Carolina, graduated from Furman University with a BA degree in 1942. He then served in the United States Air Force until l945 as an aerial navigator on B-24s flying missions out of Italy. He was awarded several medals, including: Air medal with several clusters, Purple Heart, and the Distinguished Flying Cross. On September 16, 2012, President Sarkozy of France appointed him a Chevalier of France's Legion of Honor for his contribution to the United States "decisive role in the liberation of France during World War II."

Following discharge from the Air Force in October, 1945, he graduated with an LLB degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 1948. After that he worked in the Office of the Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service until 1953. He then joined the Legal Department (Tax Division) of Texaco, Inc. in New York. In 1961, he resigned from Texaco and came to Greenville and opened an office to practice tax law. In 1969, President Nixon nominated and the U. S. Senate confirmed him as Assistant Attorney General to head the Department of Justice's Tax Division. Three years later, President Nixon nominated and the Senate confirmed him as Commissioner of Internal Revenue.

In 1973, he resigned as Commissioner and joined the Washington Office of the Richmond, Virginia Law Firm of Hunton and Williams. He remained in that Washington Office until 1979 when he withdrew from the firm to join Leatherwood Walker Todd and Mann in Greenville as the firm's senior tax partner. He remained there until he withdrew in 1996 to join Colonial Trust Company as Executive Vice President and General Counsel. He retired from Colonial Trust Company at the age of 85 on January 1, 2006.

Mr. Walters maintained membership in the Greenville County, South Carolina State and American Bar Associations. He was admitted to practice law in Michigan in 1948, in New York in 1955, in South Carolina in 1961 and in the District of Columbia in 1973. He was admitted to practice in all South Carolina courts, the Federal District Court of South Carolina, the U.S. Court of Claims, the U. S. Tax Court, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States. In addition, he actively participated in various national and state tax law committees and sections. He was a life member of the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference and of the South Carolina and American Bar Foundations. Furman University conferred an honorary doctor of laws degree upon him in l973. In addition to his professional activities, Mr. Walters over the years participated in many civic, community and cultural activities, including the Greenville Rotary Club (President 1968-69).

Visitation will be held Saturday, July 19, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. until 2:15 p.m. in the Narthex of the First Baptist Church followed by a memorial service at 2:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Greenville, 847 Cleveland Street, Greenville, 29601.

Memorials will be welcomed by the Greenville Rotary Foundation, 728 N. Pleasantburg Dr., Greenville, S.C. 29607; the Greenville Little Theatre, 444 College Street, Greenville, S.C. 29601; Furman University, 3300 Poinsett Highway, Greenville, S.C. 29617; The First Baptist Church, 847 Cleveland Street, Greenville, S.C. 29601 or .

Published in The Greenville News from July 13 to July 15, 2014
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