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Son remembers father who died with coronavirus

Published: Aug. 4, 2020 at 8:13 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - An Anchorage man in his late 80s is among the 25 Alaskans who have died with the coronavirus.

There are times in life when people come into our lives and touch our heart. Jim C. Walton, 89, was one of them.

“You don’t realize how big somebody or how well-known somebody is, all over the world you’re getting people giving their condolences,” Jimmy Walton said.

Walton, the youngest of four, says his father was a great man who was very generous with his time, resources and would always be there if someone needed him.

He loved to fly his small planes.

“He would fly up and down from Alaska, all over the United States, at one point he took three of his grandsons in our old Cessna 182 and flew them all around the United States,” Walton said.

Walton senior and his wife, Emma, moved to Alaska from Oklahoma in the 1970′s. He worked for the FAA for more than thirty years before retiring.

“When mom passed away she was 80 and a month short of 60 years married,” he said.

He says his father was healthy and was still flying until the very end.

“The day before he was diagnosed he was up trying to fly up to Talkeetna but the weather got in the way,” he said.

Walton was diagnosed with the coronavirus in mid-July. He was told to quarantine at home for two weeks, but his health got worse and he was admitted to hospital more than a week ago.

“We had a Zoom call with all my siblings and myself and dad and we all said the same things, he was sitting up, he was talking, looked pretty energetic,” he said. “In fact, we were all shocked, like we were expecting for him to be laying in his bed, not feeling well, barely talking, he was talking and doing everything on Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon and by Sunday night he had passed away.”

Jimmy just arrived from Texas.

“I’m just numb right now, I haven’t gone through the grieving process, I haven’t gone through the grieving process yet, I do know when I’m trying to find something in the house, I keep looking for my dad to ask him and it hits me that I can’t ask him anymore,” he added.

The family thought he could beat it.

“We all felt that if anybody could pull through it at 90-years-old that he would because he was in very good health,” he added.

He’s now left with the memories and the legacy he left behind.

“He would regale everybody with stories and everybody especially all my friends who met him would always say he was such a great man, great stories, so much fun to be around,” he said.

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