In loving memory of Lee Walton
Looking back on the memory of
The dance we shared 'neath the stars above
For a moment all the world was right
How could I have known that you'd ever say goodbye
And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end, the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I'd have had to miss the dance
Our hearts have broken. The day has come that Lee Walton, dedicated father, beloved Bumpa/Grandpa, and my other half, has passed away at the age of 63 following a courageous journey with pancreatic cancer. The depth of our grief is surpassed only by the depth of our enduring love for Lee.
Lee is survived by his wife Jane, his children Felicia (Joe), Joshua (Laura), and Cameron, his grandchildren Ella, Ben, Sienna, Everly, and Jake, his siblings Patsy (Tom), Billy (Toni) and Pam (Don), his mother-in-law and father-in-law Sue and Howie, his cat Tig :) and countless other treasured extended family and friends.
Charles Lee Walton was born April 24, 1957 in North Carolina, to Mary Jane and Carl Walton. He was the youngest of four, the baby of the family. He spent his childhood in Raleigh, NC and graduated from Sanderson High School and UNC Charlotte. He worked in healthcare IT at Burroughs, St. Joseph’s Hospital in Asheville, and Huntsville Hospital. He cared deeply about his work and the contributions he could make - large or small. Asheville was the place where we met, where we married 24 years ago, and where we began our love story - full of Jimmy Buffett songs and our shared dream of living on the beach - a dream that came true when we moved to Dauphin Island, Alabama five years ago. His life was made sweeter by the friends and family he had with him all along the way.
Lee’s family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors remember him for his kindness, his patience, his integrity, and his generosity - of his time, of his expertise, of his friendship. It has been written that people do not remember what you say, but they remember how they made you feel. Lee was a person who made people feel valued and cared for, to feel hopeful, to feel a deep sense of belonging. His warmth and compassion touched every person he met.
For his children, Felicia, Josh and Cameron, he was their rock, an unwavering source of love, strength and support. He believed in their dreams and was so proud of the people they each became. He cherished them so deeply. And he cherished his beloved son-in-law Joe and daughter-in-law Laura, so happy for his children to experience the kind of love you only experience when you find your soulmate. Likewise he has delighted in watching the affection and support between Cameron and his girlfriend Sarah grow over these last years. If happiness in life is to love and be loved, then Lee lived the happiest of lives because the love he gave to his children - and they to him in return - was boundless.
And just when you think your heart couldn’t love someone as much as you love your children, life gifts you with grandchildren. For Bumpa, the joy he felt with his five grandchildren Ella, Ben, Sienna, Everly, and Jake was the joy of a lifetime. He adored them and delighted in every moment spent together - on FaceTime getting hugs and kisses and stories, swimming together in the pool and beach, racing cars down the hall decorated with their artwork, knocking out our pieces in a heated game of marbles, sharing his Oreos, Rice Krispie treats and snickerdoodle cookies and wearing his special hug bracelet, connected no matter the miles or circumstances. They adored him and there was rarely a moment together when one of them didn’t have him by the hand or curled up in his lap. To watch him with his little ones was to experience the purest kind of happiness, an unforgettable joy and love that will stay with us for a lifetime.
There've been fishes in the ocean
Any bird ever flew
There've been stars up in the heavens
I've been in love with you
For me, Lee was my everything. My love, my soulmate, my best friend, my hero, my every missing piece, my fairy tale. There are no words I can write to explain the love we shared with each other. My life began when I met Lee. We raised the most beautiful family together. Having Lee by my side made me a better mother, a better friend and a better person. I am forever grateful to him for giving me his unconditional love and devotion. I know that our love story will go on through our children and grandchildren, and our many friends and family that have walked alongside us. To share a love like ours is rare and precious and I will treasure it always. I will remember him a thousand different ways, in the warmth of the sun on my skin, in the smell of the sea, the feel of the sand, in the bright light of the stars in a dark sky - each one a reminder of the light he brought into my life.
My soulmate is at rest, and I hold him close within me. Please hold him close, as I do, in your mind and your spirit as we celebrate our love for Lee and the lasting impact he has made on each one of us.
I love you Lee, now and forever.
Those crazy days and crazy ways
We never want to un-do
We'll be together now and forever
At the Blue Heaven rendezvous
- Jane Walton
Memorial contributions may be made to University of South Alabama Mitchell Cancer Institute in honor of the amazing nurses, doctors and staff and the care they provided to Lee. https://giving.usahealthsystem.com/mcigifts