Phyllis Walton

Published 8:24 pm Monday, January 8, 2024

Our precious mother, Phyllis Anne Phair Walton, 87, entered heaven peacefully on Thursday, December 14, 2023. She ran the race with endurance, and she is FREE!

Phyllis is survived by her children, Katherine Walton, Allison (Dale) Irving and Richard (Molly) Walton, Jr. and her grandchildren, Harrison Scott Gilbert, Hannah Beth Gilbert, William Walton (Meredith) McCauley, Hope Phair Gilbert, Kristin Joanna Walton, James Richard “Trace” Walton, III, her younger brother, George (Charolette) Phair, and several beloved nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her husband of 54 years, James Richard Walton, Sr., her parents, Bradley and Annette Phair, her older brother, Bradley, and nephews, Brad (Trey) Phair and Andy Phair.

Phyllis, who loved to be called “Sassy” by her grandchildren and others, was born in Houston, Texas, June 1, 1936, to Bradley Clyde Phair and Annette Gillespie Phair. She remained a proud Texan her entire life. She was a graduate of Lamar High School and Rice University, where she majored in English. She taught 3rd and 4th grade until Dick Walton swept her off her feet and married her in 1960 then moved them to Alabama in 1963. After that, she devoted her life to homemaking and being a loving wife to Dick and wonderfully engaged mother to Katherine, Allison and Richard.

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She was extroverted, cheerful, fun, and energetic! She loved Jesus, RED, the USA, Texas Bluebonnets, and her favorite snacks were chocolate chip cookies and Bluebell Light vanilla.

She invested lots of time pioneering and volunteering with the American Cancer Society’s Reach for Recovery program for women who were recovering from mastectomy surgeries, as she had experienced in 1970. When she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2008, she learned as much as she could about the disease, volunteered for clinical trials and mentored new PD patients. When she moved to Brookdale Independent Living in 2016, she soon became an Ambassador who helped new residents get oriented to their new environs.

Her driving motivation was to share the love of Jesus and serve people in His name. She taught Sunday School to highschoolers and led Bible studies to
teenagers at our home. She volunteered for decades with Prison Fellowship, teaching inmates to read and study the Bible, praying with inmates on Death Row and even ministering with PF Founder, Chuck Colson, on several Easter Sundays in Maximum Security prisons around the country. She served on many boards, but her heart was counseling. She often was found counseling troubled teenagers in our living room. After her children were out of college, she enrolled in Birmingham Theological Seminary where she earned a Master’s Degree in Biblical Counseling. She was a prayer warrior and a great encourager and cheerleader to all around her and would often approach total strangers offering to pray for them – wanting to know what they were “doing about Jesus”. She brought so many into saving knowledge of Jesus… huge Kingdom impact! She had many dear friends of all generations. She loved them well and was so very loved. Her life verse was Nehemiah 8:10 – The Joy of the Lord is my strength! We will miss her cheerful personality and her amazing smile, but we are so comforted that she is with Jesus – perfectly whole and healed.

Family and friends are invited to celebrate her life at Church of the Highlands Chapel, 4700 Highlands Way, Irondale, AL 35210 on Friday, Jan 12, 2024 at 11am. Family will receive visitors 10-10:50am.

A public graveside service will be held Saturday Jan 13, 2024, 1 pm at Lafayette Cemetery, 301 Ave A SE, LaFayette AL 36862. Thank you to Valley-Point Funeral Home for handling the arrangements for the graveside service.

Her family would like to thank the Briarwood Deeper Life Sunday School Class members, Brian Davenport, Journey Hospice, Beth Keplinger, Becky Walton McPherson, Jerome Pettway and Marianne Walton Terry for their faithful love and support.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Phyllis’ memory to
PRISON FELLOWSHIP, Prison Fellowship, PO Box 1550, Merrifield, VA 22116, or DANIEL CASON KIDS MINISTRY (DanielCason.org) P.O. Box 39090, Birmingham, AL 35208.