Ira Lee Walton was born November 28, 1922, in Ravenna, Texas. Growing up, Ira adored his grandfather, Winger Van Hook.
He was a state high school champion in tennis and upon graduating from Moore High School, he attended Paul Quinn College on a partial scholarship. After his freshman year, he left school to work full-time and help his mother financially. He married Lynell Bracken in 1942. They had four children.
In 1943, Ira was drafted into the military. He proudly served 31 years in the Army and fought on behalf of the United States in three wars — World War II, Korean, and Vietnam. He was awarded two Bronze Star medals for his bravery and courage in combat action.
Ira remarried Christine Lee in 1952 and together they had five children.
He was proud of his family and carried pictures of them in his wallet. At every opportunity, he bragged about his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. Just as he honored his country, he honored his mother, Florine, and wife, by taking care of them during their final years before they passed away.
Ira loved to cater to his family. Cooking breakfast for them in the morning when they visited. If he knew they were coming to visit him, he would stock up on all their favorite snacks, and make a pot of stew to welcome their arrival.
He enjoyed competing in the National Veteran Golden Age Games and attended for 28 consecutive years, winning over 92 medals in the following events: checkers, air rifle, domino, horseshoes, and table tennis. He also enjoyed telling stories of his military career, playing his lotto numbers, giving back to the community, and watching sports, especially the Dallas Cowboys. He was well-known in the Waco community and regarded by his family and friends as a family-oriented, humble, generous, disciplined, intelligent, spry, man of his word, who dominated every table tennis match he played.
Ira Lee Walton passed away peacefully on Thursday, February 24, 2022, in Waco, Texas at the age of 99. He was preceded in death by his brother, Winger Walton; his wife, Christine Lee Walton; his first-born son, Ira Walton Jr., and his daughter, Carolyn Paulette Smith.
He is survived by: brother, Ben L. Walton; daughters, Katherine McIntyre, Loyce Johnson, Susan Pollard, Linda Wilson, and Patricia Walton; sons, Michael Walton and Phillip Walton; eleven grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.
Ira was legendary!
"In lieu of flowers, the family would like a donation to be given in Ira Walton's name to the following charities.”
St. Judes Hospital
Paralyzed Veterans of America