William Richard Walton

Published 7:08 pm Friday, November 3, 2023

Oct. 20, 1938 — Oct. 29, 2023

The Honorable William Richard (Dick) Walton, 85, of Ironton, died Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023, with his family by his side. 

Former Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge William Richard Walton

Richard was born Oct. 20, 1938, in Ironton, the only son of the late Norman Richard and Edith Lee (Capper) Walton.  He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Phyllis Slough Walton, whom he married in 1967. They were married 55 years at the time of her passing. 

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Richard is a 1956 graduate of Ironton High School. A veteran, he proudly served in the U.S. Army in Germany before attending THE Ohio State University for his undergraduate degree in business administration. 

Richard was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity and worked at Allied Chemical and Dow Chemical to pay for college. He graduated from THE OSU School of Law in 1966. He worked for the Cummin’s Engine Company in Indiana, before opening his legal practice in Ironton. 

Later, he served as a Deputy Prosecutor for Lawrence County. He was appointed by Gov. Jim Rhodes to the bench in 1981 for the Lawrence County Court of Common Pleas and later became the Presiding Judge, serving the people of the area for more than three decades as a fierce public servant.

A dedicated community volunteer during his lifetime, Richard was a member of Christ Episcopal Church in Ironton and served as Senior Warden, Junior Warden, chalicist and reader. Earlier in 2023, he was inducted into the Society of St. Simeon and St. Anna by the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio. 

Richard was a volunteer with Cub Scouts and served as an assistant YMCA soccer coach. Active with the Lions Club for several years, Richard was storyteller with the Haunted Tunnel. He also was a member of the Symmes Creek Fishing Club, the Elks, the Order of Kentucky Colonels and Grand Lodge of Masons among others. 

He enjoyed supporting the town’s historical Church Walks as a guide, the installation of the Robert Parrott Cannons honoring Civil War veterans at Woodland Cemetery and portraying a local historical figure in the Ghost Tours. 

He was also proud of serving on the Memorial Day Committee for many years and being named as Honorary Grand Marshal of the Memorial Day Parade in 2010. 

He was a Life Member of the Ohio State Alumni Association and enjoyed Buckeye football tailgates. He was also a founding member of the Southern Ohio Whitewatering, Skiing and Spelunking Society (SOWSSS). 

Richard is survived by their two children, Laura Walton Crouch (John) of Arlington, Va., and William Richard (Bill) Walton II (Kelley) of Columbus; grandchildren, John (Jack) Walton Crouch, Griffin Capper Crouch, Fiona Edwards Crouch, William Luke Walton and Ryan James Walton; special “framily” member, Anke Duerr McCown (Mark); and many beloved Capper cousins and friends.

A memorial service will be 5 p.m. on Friday at Christ Episcopal Church, 501 Park Ave., Ironton, with Rev. Canon Sallie Schisler and Fr. Gene Hallahan officiating. Visitation for family and friends will be from 3-5 p.m. until the time of service at the church.  Phillips Funeral Home, 1004 S. 7th St., Ironton, is honored to assist the Walton family.