Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Jackie Ray Walton was a firefighter for 43 years, including 29 years
with the Dallas Fire Department, where he became an assistant chief, and
11 years in Duncanville, where he was the chief of the department.
He was known as a caring man, on and off the job, his family said.
Mr. Walton, 75, died last Wednesday at Wilson N. Jones Medical Center
in Sherman of complications following surgery.
Services were Monday at First Baptist Church in Denison. Burial was
at Tioga Cemetery in Tioga, Texas.
"My dad was a really special person," said Mr. Walton's daughter,
Dena Martin of Plano. "He was just always doing for others. He had a lot
of friends. He treated everybody like they were his good friend. He always
thought of everybody that way; it was real for him."
Born and raised in Denison, Mr. Walton served in the Navy during
the Korean War aboard the destroyer USS Alfred A. Cunningham.
In 1955, he joined the Dallas Fire Department. He was an assistant
chief when he retired in 1984.
Mr. Walton received his bachelor's degree from Abilene Christian
College in 1975.
After leaving the Dallas department, Mr. Walton went to Tennessee,
where he was in the nuclear fire protection program for the Tennessee Valley
In 1988, he returned to North Texas to be near his grandchildren
and become chief of the Duncanville Fire Department. He retired in 1999.
Jan. 14, 1999, was Jackie Walton Day in Duncanville.
He and his wife moved to their vacation home at Lake Texoma in retirement.
Mr. Walton had been a member of the North Central Texas Fire Chiefs
Association and was president of the group from 1990 to 1992.
He had been an instructor at the Fire Academy at Texas A&M
He also was a lifetime member of the American Legion Missing in Action
Post 231 and had been a member of the VFW, the Denison Elks Lodge No. 238
and the George R. Reeves Masonic Lodge.
In addition to his daughter, Mr. Walton is survived by his
wife, Sonja Gray Walton of Lake Texoma; a son, Gary Walton of Leonard,
Texas; a brother, Kenneth Walton of Farmers Branch; two sisters, Bettie
Walton Watson of Montague, Texas, and Betty Lou Cowherd Teachout of Pittsburgh;
and five grandchildren.