CORVALLIS — James T. Walton Sr., 97, of Corvallis, passed away Sunday, May 5, 2019, at the Discovery Care Center in Hamilton. James was born Sept. 25, 1921, in Beeville, Texas, to the late William Bryan and Jewell Lane Walton. He attended a one room school until the age of 7, when the family moved to Hamlin, Texas. James was the oldest of five children, three boys and two girls. He spent his younger years learning to work on cars and tractors from his father. He worked in the oil fields of West Texas for some time before going off to war in 1943. He served 3 ƒ years in combat in the South Pacific. Upon his return home he worked back in the oil fields for a short time before going into farming in California, where he met his wife of 62 years, Edith Bloomquist. They were married in April 1947 in Reno, Nevada.
James and Edith had two boys, Craig and Jimmy and raised their Grandson Chris from the age of 3 weeks old. They moved back to Texas for many years before returning to Salinas in 1962. He started making a name for himself in the farming community and became one of the top growers in California, Arizona and Mexico. In 2001, after retirement for 15 years, James and Edith moved here to the Bitterroot Valley where their grandchildren lived. James joined the American Legion Post 91 of Corvallis, enjoyed visiting and meeting many people in the valley. He rode his John Deer lawn mower until the day he was put in the hospital with pneumonia and would love to be mowing that great law in the sky. He will be missed by many and always loved.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Edith Mae Walton in 2009; parents, Bill and Jewell Walton; brother, Richard Walton; sister, Dorothy Walton; son, James T. Walton Jr. and step-daughter, Charlotte Milay.
James is survived by his son, Craig (Tamara) Walton of Hollister, California; grandsons, Chris (Vicki) Hall of Corvallis and Tracy (Marilyn) Hall of Hamilton; brother, Billy Tom Walton of Brownwood, Texas; sister, Bobby Harrison of Naples, Texas; numerous grandkids, great-grandkids and great-great-grandkids spread throughout the country.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, at the Daly-Leach Chapel in Hamilton with Pastor John Weaver officiating. Military honors will be presented by the U.S. Army and the Corvallis American Legion Post 91. Private interment will take place at Sunset Cemetery in Missoula. The family suggests contributions be made to Corvallis American Legion Post 91, Attn: Don Goodnight to help military veterans.