James Coates Walters

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  • "Jim and I had many good times together following the stock..."
    - Robert Clements
  • "Jim was one of the most influential persons in my life and..."
    - Greg Sanders
  • "We honor Jim every spring with the awarding of a..."
    - Kay Pasley
  • "“Good morning, good morning. Wake up, the sun’s alive. Good..."
    - James Knobbe
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    - Steve Chapman
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Athens - James Coates Walters ("Jim"), 85, of Athens, died on March 6, 2011, of complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was born on May 26, 1925, in Denver, Colo., to Frank and Gertrude Walters. His father and mother were in an automobile accident one month before his birth, and his father was fatally injured. His mother took him and his four siblings back to her hometown of Topeka, Kan., where Jim was reared primarily by his mother's sister Anna. He graduated from Topeka High School in 1943 and earned his Bachelor's degree at Washburn University in Topeka in 1946. He then went to the University of Iowa Child Welfare Research Station, where he earned his Master's degree in Child Welfare in 1948. While studying for his degree, Jim married Frances Michael, of Topeka. His first employment was at Rutgers University in New Jersey, after which he was employed by Oklahoma State University (then Oklahoma A&M). He began work on his Doctor of Philosophy degree while there, but went to Florida State University to complete the work and earn the degree in 1954. Immediately after earning his Ph.D., Jim was employed as a full professor and Department Head at the University of Alabama. Since that time, he has taught at Oklahoma State University, Florida State University, and the University of Georgia, where he retired in 1989.
Jim was recognized as a writer while still in high school. As a professional, he published many scientific articles and a textbook, and he served as a reviewer for numerous scientific and professional journals. He was appointed editor of the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) journal, Family Relations: Journal of Applied Family and Child Studies in 1976. He also served as President of NCFR. When he stepped outside the rigors of scientific writing, he was clever and entertaining; a high school teacher once wrote on his essay, "You have a penchant for the goofy."
Jim was a favorite teacher and a mentor to many students. Among his awards, he was most proud of the coveted University of Georgia Josiah Meigs Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the NCFR Ernest Osborne Award for Outstanding Teaching. He was a builder of people, known for his sincerity and his humor. He was kind and generous with his time, still editing papers for colleagues and students years after he retired.
Survivors include his wife of 36 years, Lynda Henley Walters; his children, Connor Walters (Keith Dutton) and Chris Walters (Cindy); his step-daughter, Anna Morgan (Keith); and his grandchildren, James Knobbe, Taylor Walters-Chapman, Jason Dutton, Emily Pitts, Lauren Walters, Katie Walters, and John Morgan. His first wife, Frances, and siblings, Lois, Larry, Frank, and Willis, all preceded him in death.
As his family, we wish to thank Jim's many friends for their kindnesses and thoughtfulness over the years of his disease. Our special thanks go to employees and friends at Arbor Terrace and Silverleaf assisted living facilities, and to those with Silverleaf Hospice. In lieu of flowers, charitable contributions may be directed to the University of Georgia Foundation for the James and Lynda Walters Family and Consumer Sciences Support Fund, and sent to the Development Office, 224 Dawson Hall, University of Georgia, Athens, 30602.
A private family service will be held at a later date.
Published in Athens Banner-Herald on Mar. 8, 2011
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