February 5, 1941~January 5, 1960
Senior Class President
Buddy's Senior Year Scrapbook
Buddy's brother Jim sent these items Buddy kept from his senior year. I think we all knew how important school and friends were to Buddy and these little memories show how he cherished our class.
Buddy also kept the Gisemo Herald from our senior year. The complete newspapers can be found on the Alma Mater link or click to go directly to it.
Buddy's Photo Album
(Written by Buddy's younger brother, Jim Walton class of '69)
Buddy was my older brother, so I especially enjoyed seeing the senior trip pictures as Buddy was in a couple of the pictures, I had never seen. That was one of the reasons I went thru all the pages, Art wrote a very nice piece, sure wish I could write like him.
It makes me feel good to know that Buddy was associated with such a great group of people. Even tho Buddy was only 18 when he died he has a lasting influence on me. At the time of his death I was in the 3rd grade and I remember thinking that I wanted to be just like him. While in the last 46 years I'm sure that I have not been able to maintain the standards that he would have set for himself; He has been one of my best role models. And I have to just wonder how things would have turned out if Buddy had lived.
Oh don't get me wrong I am a believer and I know that Bud is in a better place but I just can't help but wonder. In my life I have truly been blessed. I have done more and been places I never would have imaged, when I was in the field chopping cotton. I just can't help but think that Buddy is one of my guardian Angles that has made sure I was blessed
My two sisters were in the class of 56 so they both were there for the class reunion. Larry one of my two living brothers is married to Brenda (Nail) Walton. So he was at the breakfast with your class.
(Written by Art for his Grandson Joey for when he gets older and begins to evaluate where he lives and what he lives for.)
The old Dodge pickup and driver bolted from the parking lot of the Poplar Bluff Regional Center in Poplar Bluff—three rolling stops and two traffic signals and it would be home sweet home!
With a lurch, the old Dodge pickup came to a stop on the launching pad at 2211 Orr Road in Poplar Bluff. Stuff taken to and from work each day was gathered and the Daily American Republic newspaper was picked up from the drive way. Then, a visitor was noted sitting in the lawn chair petting Tiger, a cat that became homeless after his owner went to a nursing home, now a friend.
The Angel of Death said “Hello Art”!
“Are you signed out? Does God know where you are just in case you are really needed?” were questions that asked!
“Great sense of humor, Art! I wanted you to know that Ellen Walton died on Sunday, April 27th, in Gideon at the Care Center!”
Tiger was now meowing and looking expectantly with his one eye and battle scarred face for an after work treat! The Angel of Death was gone like a whirlwind—destiny unknown.
Aggravation filled the soul on this beautiful day because good intentions had always been to visit Ellen at the Care Center. But, the time was never just right—there was a perceived something that just had to be completed and the visit would be made tomorrow. Tomorrow never came—for death came suddenly as a friend to her.
The newspaper was opened and the obituary section was read very carefully--and thoughts of Buddy, Kim and Ellen Walton from many years ago came so quickly and so easily! Buddy Wayne Walton was the son of Kim and Ellen Walton.
Buddy’s grades would make any parent proud, he was class president and we made plans to attend Southeast Missouri State College and to share a room in Cheney Hall during the fall semester! However, life created a snag that caused a delay for him. In late August 1959, Buddy mentioned that he would postpone attending college until the spring semester due to a shortage of money.
Great fear existed within the soul and there was doubt whether the spirit would be able to take the plunge to attend college without the best buddy with me to make the sojourn to launch the college days. Fear created doubts as to whether passing grades would be made or would there be pleas of mercy asking for one more chance.
The adventure began, and time was a blur! The recess for Christmas came and a trip home to Tallapoosa/Gideon was made to visit with family and friends. Buddy told me that he would be in Cape Girardeau on January 5, 1960, to get everything ready for the second semester which began in late January. In those days, the fall semester came to a close in mid January with the spring semester beginning a few days later.
January 5th was a fun filled day that came and went so quickly--Buddy came to Cape Girardeau to get things done for the beginning of school and to visit with classmates that were enrolled at Southeast Missouri State College which was the name in those days! However, the Angel of Death was circling unnoticed due to the mirth, merriment and glee that were so abundant! The perch was made and the soul and spirit taken.
Even though the physical remains were light, the casket was heavy as Buddy was transported to a final resting place at Stanfield Cemetery near Clarkton! The mournful feelings of The Waltons and their family and friends may still be seen on this day as Tiger meows in combo with Archie Bunker and Stretch Cunningham requesting their after work treats!
Kim died on June 2, 1977, Ellen died on April 27, 2003 and Buddy on January 5, 1960!
The next conversation with the Angel of Death will surely require a why concerning Buddy, but a lesson has been learned regarding failing to visit Ellen. Procrastination can be costly when one does not visit someone, say a kind word or send a note to a friend--the time of our lives speeds away from us so very quickly. It is imperative to make every effort to burn out to avoid the slightest smudge of rusty intent on the body or in the mind!
The travels of life may only be viewed as being desperate if one is without purpose, unable to aim effort toward a dream or if intentions replace action!
Good bye, Ellen Annetta Walton--say hello to Kim and Buddy! You beat us to the finish line!
Friends are so important and wonderful--past, present and future! Thanks for the memories!
Art Cole, Classmate and friend.
"You are my sunshine"
Buddy was the sunshine to the class of 1959.
Gideon Seniors 1959
All rights reserved. Revised: 02/12/07 05:10:55 -0600.