John William Walton passed away Sunday, February 12, 2017, at Indianola Rehabilitation and Health Center in Indianola.
John was born March 5, 1948, in Vardaman as the third child of M.L. Walton and Jimmie Alice Simpson Walton. John’s father was employed at Conley Frog and Switch Co. in Memphis, TN, where he ran the steel hammer earning the nick name “father time” for his many years at the forge. John’s mother was a devoted wife who maintained the family home in Slate Springs and was a beloved lifelong teacher in Calhoun City Schools teaching in the elementary and middle school grades.
John began school in the Slate Springs community before later graduating as a member of the class of 1966 from Calhoun City High School. John was an active student in high school serving as a class officer, playing in the band, running track and playing basketball. John’s time in school was marked by many deep and abiding friendships with his classmates, relationships he maintained and treasured his entire life.
John attended Northwest Mississippi Community College in Senatobia, where he met the love of his life, Jo Ann McClure of Shaw. John and Jo Ann finished their undergraduate degrees at Delta State University in Cleveland. John completed graduate work at Delta State University as well.
John and Jo Ann exchanged vows in a small ceremony on August 17, 1969, the same day Hurricane Camille roared ashore in Mississippi just demonstrating that the two of them always new how to make an entrance.
Over a distinguished career in service to public education in Mississippi, John served as a teacher, coach, counselor and principal in districts from the coast, to the hills to the delta. John later joined Harcourt Brace Educational Management of San Antonio, TX, and ultimately retired as Senior Measurement Consultant.
John and Jo Ann were members of Galloway Memorial United Methodist Church while living in the Jackson area, joining on October 22, 1995. John enjoyed time with his Sunday school class and serving in various church ministries.
John was preceded in death by his parents and father and mother-in-law, J.C. and Pauline McClure.
He is survived by his wife Jo Ann McClure Walton who faithfully loved and cared for him throughout his life and extended illness; his son Dr. Jason Lewis Walton and daughter-in-law Laurie Bearden Walton of Ridgeland. He was a loving grandfather to two grandchildren by Jason and Laurie: Caroline Rose Walton and John William Walton, II. John is survived by a devoted daughter Callie Walton, of Indianola. John is survived by two older siblings Alice Ann Walton Kitchen (and her husband Marvin Kitchen) of Oklahoma City, OK, and by his older brother Lewis Simpson Walton of Gainesville, FL.
He is predeceased by his niece Joan Walton Carmichael.
Surviving nieces and nephews by his siblings include Leanne Rollins, Timothy Scott Kitchen and Julie Kitchen Thompson. John is survived by his sister-in-law Bonnie McClure Spencer (and her husband Dwight Spencer) of Barney, GA, and a brother-in-law James Otis McClure (and his wife René Bishop McClure) of Shaw. Surviving nieces and nephews of his sister and brother-in-law include: Carla Spencer, Karen Summerlin, Brian McClure and Thomas McClure. He is survived by numerous great nieces and nephews.
A Service of Resurrection will be held at 4 p.m. on Thursday, February 16, 2017, at Galloway Memorial United Methodist Church at 305 North Congress Street in Jackson.
In lieu of flowers, and in recognition of John’s lifelong dedication to the field of education, the family requests that memorial donations be made to Jackson Preparatory School c/o the faculty development endowment, P.O. Box 4940, Jackson, MS 39296.