Life Story Service
Thursday, December 16, 2021
4:00 PM EST
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
A reception will follow - chili dogs and Miller Lite - John's favorite.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Residential Opportunities Inc (ROI)
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
All who knew John Walton could see that his grandchildren were the light of his life. He worked hard throughout his life, but he knew how to have a good time, too. John told the best stories, and you could hear his laughter bellow from across the room, which made him so much fun to be around. Someone who could talk to anyone, a stranger was never a stranger for long when John was around. Deeply loved, he will never be forgotten.
The 1930s were some of the most trying days we have faced as a nation as the entire decade was clouded by the hardship of the Great Depression. Although jobs were hard to find and the unemployment rate soared, cities, communities, and families came together to weather the storm however they could. In the midst the challenging times, Lloyd and Hazel (Hutchins) Walton were able to shift their focus to an exciting time in their lives as they announced the birth of the baby boy they named John on January 3, 1932, in Cadillac, Michigan. He was the youngest of four children in his family as his siblings included Marie, Lloyd, and Maxine. For the bulk of his childhood John was raised in Cadillac, but they moved to Flint for high school where he graduated from St. Michaels High School. His father worked in construction while his mother was a homemaker.
In many ways John was a typical young boy of his generation. He was very outgoing and popular as well as a talented athlete. John particularly excelled in football and played as a guard. He tried to play at Michigan State, but he was too small. John was able to play at Hillsdale College for one year. John loved his Indian motorcycle and also had a Chevy convertible as he loved cars. In addition, he boxed in the Golden Gloves and did very well. Although he was only 150 pounds and not very tall, John was very tough. He then left college and enlisted in the Army. He remained stateside and drove truck until he was discharged in 1952.
Not to be forgotten during his years as a young man was John’s introduction to the woman of his dreams. Her name was Anna Powell, and they met at a dance at Western Michigan University. Sparks flew right from the start, and after dating for a year they were married on January 15, 1955, at St. Joseph Church in Kalamazoo. The newlyweds then drove down to Mexico for a honeymoon. Together they welcomed two children, Kevin and Kelleen “Kellee” into their hearts and home. To support his family, John worked as a salesman for several different places over the years until he retired from Wheaton Chemical Company. Anna was the one who ran the house, and she never had a problem telling John what needed done. He was always there for his kids, he coached Kevin in baseball and was there to support Kellee in her activities like cheerleading and ice skating.
There were so many things that kept John busy as he was someone who was rarely still. For years he and Anna enjoyed going to the Knights of Columbus “KofC” #1616 downtown on Cedar Street. There, they played cards, enjoyed the fish fries, and shared in many draft beers with many great couples. John moved up the ranks and was past Grand Knight and was a 4th Degree Knight as well. He loved going there to see the guys and to have some laughs and a few beers. Later on, he enjoyed bartending at the American Legion and Eagles Lodge. John and Anna also traveled to Las Vegas later in life. He played poker while Anna played the slots. John enjoyed fishing and hunting including deer hunting. Even though he went to deer camp with his good friend, Bob Worline, and never got a deer in 25 years, he always had fun. Their travels also took John and Anna to Florida. For years John planned bus trips to the casino for the day. He loved putting these trips together and had a wide variety of friends and people of all ages who came. Football was John’s favorite sport, and he was an avid Notre Dame fan. He also played summer softball into his eighties.
Nothing was better to John than becoming a grandfather, and being with his grandchildren and his family was his favorite pastime. He never missed any of his grandchildren’s activities or events, and he was so proud of each of them. John was so grateful to be close with his grandchildren while they were growing up. He loved the holidays since they could all be together, and he could always be counted on to bring the shrimp cocktail. It’s also been said that he enjoyed a cold Miller Lite or Natty Lite, and if no one was looking the Black Velvet came out. John rarely met a food that he didn’t like and loved chili dogs as well as upside down pineapple cake on his birthday. For the past several years, he enjoyed traveling with Marvis McCarty, and he felt so blessed to live with his son, Kevin.
All who knew John Walton would agree that he was truly extraordinary. He was outgoing and fun-loving with a zest for life that was contagious to all who were near. The life of the party wherever he went, John’s laughter could be heard from a mile away. He told amazing jokes and stories in any setting. John will be forever missed by all who were blessed to know and love him.
John C. Walton, Age 89 – 3 weeks from his 90th birthday – died on Monday, December 6, 2021 at his home. John was preceded in death by his wife Anna Walton in 2000; sister, Marie Morrison; and travel companion, Marvis McCarthy. Surviving are 2 children: Kevin Walton and Kelleen (Dennis) Clancy; 4 grandchildren: Ryan Clancy, Connor (Taylor) Clancy, Caitlin Clancy (Michael Hedge) and Colleen Clancy; siblings; Lloyd “Buster” Walton and Maxine Baker; very special sister-in-law, Bonnie Powell; nieces and nephews, and in 3 short months to becoming a great-grandpa. Cremation has taken place. Please join us for a Life Story Service at 4 pm on Thursday (DEC 16) at Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900 where a reception will follow in the Life Story Center. Please visit John’s personal web page at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com, where you can read his life story, archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Residential Opportunities Inc (ROI).