Maj. John T. Walton, 88, of Abilene, passed from this life on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 in Abilene.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at The Hamil Family Funeral Home Chapel with Don Greenway, officiating. Interment will be in the Texas State Veterans Cemetery under the direction of The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road.
John was born on August 24, 1932 in Greenville, Kentucky to Ruby Mae (Wright) and Thomas Miller Walton. He was raised in Greenville and graduated from Greenville High School in 1950. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky in 1955 and his master’s degree from the University of North Dakota in 1970.
John and Jane Elizabeth “Betty” Ward were married on August 29, 1958 in Gulfport, Mississippi. She preceded him in death on March 14, 2020. On March 5, 1962, then Captain Walton and two other airmen won the prestigious Bendix trophy and broke three speed records that still stand today. Flying a B-58 Hustler they flew from LA to New York in 2 hours and 58 seconds. The two other speed records were for the return trip and the round trip. He retired for the US Air Force after 20 years of service. After his retirement, John worked in the security department for Hendrick Medical Center for 15 years. He later worked for the Abilene Reporter News for 5 years. In 1972, he and Betty moved to Abilene from Gulfport, Mississippi. He was a member of the North Side Baptist Church.
John was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, and an infant son, Michael Thomas Walton.
John is survived by one daughter, Donna Kay Johnson and husband Thurman of Midland, Texas; one son, Steven Walton and wife Lisa of Abilene; five grandchildren, Dallas, Dustin, Laci, Lydia and Randall; and 13 great grandchildren, Shannyn, Brody, Chase, Landyn, Skylar, Jax, Hayden, Trenton, Zac, Steven, Sarah, Hannah and Hailey.
Family suggests memorials may be made to the North Side Baptist Church Visitation Program, 2474 Westwood, Abilene, TX 79603.
The family of John Walton wishes to extend thanks to Interim Hospice, the staff at Chisolm Place and Bryan and Joyce Mundy for being the best neighbors and lifelong friends.
The family first began in the funeral business in 1933. The Hamil's legacy, beginning with the Elliott's to John and Jo Ann Hamil and now continuing with Robert and Karla Hamil, is to serve families in their time of need.