John Walton
1951 - 2019
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John Michael Walton
1951-2019
The Airwaves lost a Radio Legend on Monday, July 1, 2019 at 11:55pm.
John Michael Walton peacefully passed away in his Fulshear, Texas home surrounded by loving family members. He was 67.
Born in Houston to father, John Edward Walton, and mother Mattie Lee Walton (née Hoot), he lived a full and beautiful life as an accomplished broadcast professional, a loving father and husband, an acclaimed opinion influencer and entertainer where his thoughts, opinions and voice travelled far beyond his native city.
He attended Murray State College in Tishamingo, OK, and graduated from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK, attending on a football scholarship where he warmed the bench, with occasional forays into the fray. Accepted to Harvard Law School, after a law office internship, he declined a law career deciding that broadcasting was his passion.
His first radio job, in 1973, was the overnight air-shift on KILE Galveston/Houston. With studios located in the first level of the Hotel Galvez, on the gulf, he learned that he had made the right choice, and he discovered his love and commitment to the art. From this, he elevated his career trajectory assuming the role of Morning Drive talent, along with the Promotional Director position at KTRM Beaumont/Port Arthur. Multiple and successive positions followed - WJDX Jackson, MS, to KLVI Beaumont to KIEN Great Falls, MT, where his responsibility grew to encompass every phase of the broadcast operation. At KTSA San Antonio and KIX 106 Dallas/Fort Worth, John honed his on-air persona as well as his management skills.
In 1983, a chance meeting with Steve Johnson was the combination that led to the vaunted "Walton and Johnson" radio show. John and his colleague, Steve, daily analyzed world events and news of the day, large and small, connecting with listeners at WQUE New Orleans, HOT 103 New York, and KISS FM Dallas. Additional stations included B97 FM New Orleans, WRNO New Orleans, The Eagle 98.1 Baton Rouge, and shortly after they started multi-city syndication.
Their show daily explored the absurdities of life. They created a space where news, opinion and entertainment collided and delivered a unique morning-drive radio show that entertained listeners in Houston and 15 additional cities throughout the United States. Their listenership spanned the world through their web presence at www.waltonandjohnson.com getting over half a million individual hits per week on average. Additionally, the Walton and Johnson app serves over tens of thousands subscribers.
For the past 36 years, the Walton and Johnson show has delivered a unique mix of "stream of consciousness", opinionated and compelling talk, guests, musical elements, fictional characters, impersonators,great writing and production coupled with powerful audience interaction. It was this singular relationship with the listening audience that brought success to the Walton and Johnson Show, and tremendous satisfaction to John throughout his career.
In addition, John is the owner/operator of 103 FREE FM in Beaumont, Texas, where he created a format that celebrated the cultural roots of East Texas musical tradition, with an emphasis on spotlighting Texas musicians and performers. Throughout his broadcast career, John Walton, along with Steve Johnson, have raised millions of dollars for philanthropic causes including the Sunshine Kids, Children's Hospital New Orleans, law enforcement officers and first responders, and a long list of additional causes. Additionally, listeners in the armed services sported W&J tattoos, most notably during the Iraq war, as a sign of inspiration and loyalty to the American Ideal of Liberty, Free Speech, and Freedom.
Throughout the years of accomplishments, affiliates and broadcast accolades, John was a loving, supporting and caring husband, father, step-father and grandfather.
Known for his love for animals, his advocacy also included adopt and rescue pets that included dogs, cats, sheep, cattle and horses.
John was predeceased by his parents, and his son, Trent Walton. He is survived by his loving wife of 29 years Lainie Walton, his sons Cody Walton and Adam Walton, and step daughter Olivia Ostrand, as well as Adam's wife Jesse Walton. He is grandfather to their children Nolan and Izzy Pearl. He is an adoptive father also to Jeff Florence and his son Alex. John was truly blessed with a loving family that went beyond the bounds of home to include his exceptional partner and colleagues and his amazing listening audience, and he appreciated one and all!
A Houston Memorial service will be held on Friday, July 12, 2019 at 11:00 am at the Second Baptist Church West Campus, 19449 Katy Freeway, Houston, TX, 77094
The New Orleans tribute, "A Celebration of Life", is Sunday, July 14, from 12:00 to 3:00 at Generations Hall, 310 Andrew Higgins Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70130. A memorial motorcycle run is scheduled to honor John, details available soon on the Walton and Johnson website.
He loved his family, his life and all of the wonderful people he met on his journey. He was so blessed as they returned his love. Then of thousands of condolences have been received, and sincere Thanks to All. Having lost his life to cancer, in John's name, we would like to encourage all to support loved ones in your lives to living well, and addressing health issues at their earliest sign....and maybe a random act of kindness in his honor would be a sterling tribute.
John will be laid to rest in Breckenrige, Colorado

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Jul. 11, 2019.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
JUL
12
JUL
14
Celebration of Life
12:00 - 03:00 PM
Memories & Condolences
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View Printed Guest Book
25 entries
July 5, 2020
We still miss you and think about you daily. Now eat it every day with Stevie Ray

Evelyn
August 4, 2019
RIP, Radio without you will never be the same. But Kenny and Steve are doing their very best.
Evelyn
August 3, 2019
john walton touched my life as he did so many others and brought a little more joy and peace each day that otherwise would not have been there and for that i am very grateful...rip john walton.
t allan freiberg
July 29, 2019
"Thank you John, a very memorable person indeed.."
Kevin Kmetz
July 28, 2019
Thank you John for the inspiration and for all the laughs. And for making life and radio truly exceptional. Sending strength to all who knew and loved you.
From all your friends at Bayou 95.7 and Entercom Radio New Orleans
Kat Vance
July 26, 2019
Thank you guys for all the laughs thru the years, you helped me thru some difficult times, going to miss that comforting voice. God bless.
John Fontenot
July 24, 2019
The world will miss you John Walton. That may be a lie. Most of the south will miss you. I remember getting into plenty of arguments with people over whether or not I listened to you on Q93. I'm 38, I have listened to y'all literally as long as I can remember. You being gone is truly feels like a piece of my soul is missing. I don't think I will ever be able to form my own opinions ever again. You will never be forgotten because now every day will feel like a Saturday.
Paco
July 23, 2019
Everything reminds me of him. He was a dad to me. I really miss his voice.
Jacquimo
July 19, 2019
I, like countless others, will miss you dreadfully and on a daily basis.
Rest In Peace John Walton. Thank you thank you thank you for being YOU.
Mary Matthew
July 18, 2019
I have listened to the show since 1983. I laughed so hard , driving to work I was embarrassed to get out the car. May Steve carry on In good health. I miss John every day. I love Steve's Kenneth and Mr. O.
July 18, 2019
PEACE,,,BROTHER,,,
R ROSE
July 18, 2019
I WJ
You and your show enriched my life. I have laughed for countless hours, cried, giggled at inappropriate times, used you as a parenting tool, sang along, been inspired and moved to action by your philanthropy. Even though we never met and only corresponded a handful of times I considered you a friend. Thank you for all that you did, said, gave, inspired and continue to inspire. You are truly missed. I ❤WJ ~ Lay
Layla Jackson
July 16, 2019
We lost one of the best. Never met him in person but considered him a good friend through years of dedicated listening. I know Mr. Johnson will continue to preach the truth. My family and I will always be praying for you all especially during your time of bereavement. Stay strong, the Good Lord got him a good one!! We'll see him again one day.
Bryan Franks
July 16, 2019
YOU BEAUTIFUL, BELOVED AND CHERISHED MAN!!! HOW I THANK MY GOOD GOD IN NOT ONLY HAVE WORKED WITH YOU AND STEVE IN THE 90'S, BUT TO TRULY SAY, "YES! JOHN IS MY FRIEND..FOREVER!" TO YOUR FAMILY, TO YOUR FRIENDS, TO YOUR BELOVED ANIMALS AND TO THAT OTHER POOCHIE, STEVE JOHNSON..I SEND POWER, PEACE AND INFINITE LOVE.

LOOK AFTER US, MY BELOVED RADIO GAWD, JOHN! OH, AND THAT MAN OVER THERE IS MY DAD! FINALLY, Y'ALL MEET.

THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING YOU HAVE DONE FOR ME. YOU AND STEVE TOOK ME IN IMMEDIATELY AFTER HURRICANE KATRINA AND GAVE ME A GIG. I AM FOREVER GRATEFUL!!! SINCERELY. GRATEFUL.

WITH TRUE LOVE AND RESPECT, YOUR FRIEND THAT MISSES YOU, HAWD, HAWD, HAWD..I SWEAR TO GAWD,

NIKKI REYES
N'AWLINS
NIKKI REYES
July 15, 2019
I never met John, but was a regular listener for many years in Baton Rouge and thanks to the internet. His wit and common sense will be missed. My condolences to his family and those lucky enough to have worked with him. Long live Walton and Johnson, the Next Generation!
John Newman
July 14, 2019
Sadly hearing of John's passing was shocking. I became a listener a few years ago and never stopped laughing at this man's keen wit and satire with Steve. Condolences to his family staff and listeners.
Ben Less
July 12, 2019
Your wit, wisdom and humor got me through many dark times and I am forever grateful. I never met you but listening for 20 plus years I feel as if I have lost a family member. You were truly the last of your kind in the business. Rest in peace
Tom Noski
July 12, 2019
Were going to miss you man.
Jerry
July 12, 2019
Like many, I never actually met John, but through the Walton and Johnson show, I had the privilege of spending thousands of hours with him. I started listening to John and Steve with my dad riding with him to work. He went home to be with the Lord 9 years ago, but I continued to listen. Now with the loss of John, it's like losing another member of my family and someone that I looked up to. I'll miss your wit, your sarcasm, your great laugh and your ability to bring clarity to the ever crazy culture that we find ourselves in.
Robert Bird
July 12, 2019
RIP John..
July 12, 2019
Decades ago my husband would tell this New Orleans girl Brooke you have to listen to these guys. I avoided listening for a few years but found the app and never missed a show from up here in Virginia. I felt punched in the gut on hearing of Mr Walton's death and know those that knew him personally must be devastated. Thanks for the good sense and good laughs
Brooke Zimmerman
July 12, 2019
Our mornings will never be the same. He was brilliant and funny. Hugs to his family. Although most of the 10%ers never met him, we all felt like he was indeed our family and we will miss him terribly. RIP...
July 11, 2019
Eternal Affection Arrangement- BASKET INCLUDED
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Sympathy Gift courtesy of
Mary Ann Malaluan
July 11, 2019
I met John many years ago at a Houston radio station. He was mysterious and intimidating...for the first few years that I was around him. Later, I had the pleasure of working with John & Lainie and found him to be funny, kind and loyal! A few things I learned about John over the years; he LOVED his wife, LOVED his family, LOVED his job, LOVED animals and LOVED his life in Fulshear! I'm thankful to have known him. He was one of a kind and he will be missed!
July 11, 2019
John was such a wonderful person. I know he will be missed by so many. Lainie, my prayers are that you and the family can find peace and comfort during this time of grief.
Melissa Rapp
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