James Walden Obituary

Service Information

 
In Memory of

James Kelly Walden

May 22, 1930 - March 9, 2014
Obituary

James Kelly Walden passed away at his home in Maysville, Kentucky on Sunday, March 9, 2014, a couple of months shy of his 84th birthday. He was born in Frankfort, Kentucky on May 22, 1930 the firstborn son of Woodie and Correne Barbour Walden. He grew up on Old Dam 32 on the Ohio River at Vanceburg, Kentucky, where his father was Lockmaster. After graduating from Lewis County (Ky.) High School in 1948, he worked for the Ashland Oil Company for two years on their boat, the Allied Ashland, before entering the US Navy in 1950. There he was first stationed in Port Hueneme, California from 1950-53, where he served as swimming instructor for...
James Kelly Walden passed away at his home in Maysville, Kentucky on Sunday, March 9, 2014, a couple of months shy of his 84th birthday. He was born in Frankfort, Kentucky on May 22, 1930 the firstborn son of Woodie and Correne Barbour Walden. He grew up on Old Dam 32 on the Ohio River at Vanceburg, Kentucky, where his father was Lockmaster. After graduating from Lewis County (Ky.) High School in 1948, he worked for the Ashland Oil Company for two years on their boat, the Allied Ashland, before entering the US Navy in 1950. There he was first stationed in Port Hueneme, California from 1950-53, where he served as swimming instructor for the Construction Battalion (the "Seabees"). He was then transferred to the Destroyer, the USS Higbee, where he saw serious action in Korea for two years, including along the Yalu River. He was honorably discharged in 1955.

James married Janice Esham in January 1958, after having entered Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond that same year, majoring in Education, and graduating in 1961. He taught Biology at his high school Alma Mater in Vanceburg, Kentucky, and then continued teaching the same in 1962 at Palm Beach (Florida) High School, where he also served as basketball & baseball coach, and where he was twice elected "Teacher of the Year" in 1965 & 1966. He subsequently received his Masters Degree from Morehead State University (Kentucky), as well as completing other graduate work in Biology at Texas Tech.

The call of the River led him back in 1971 to working on almost all of the navigable rivers in the Central & Eastern United States, including the Ohio & the Mississippi, and in 1975 he became Captain of a river boat. He retired from the river in 1990, and in 2002, he was commissioned "Admiral of the Great Fleet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky," signed by then Lt. Gov. Stephen L. Henry & his wife, Heather French Henry, Miss America 2000. In retirement, he enjoyed his hobbies of making furniture and videotaping special events for family, friends, and the community in Maysville, Kentucky, where declining health in his latter years regretfully restricted these activities.

James is survived by his wife, Lois Mathewson Bronson Walden, a high school girlfriend whom he married in 1994; his sister, Betty Walden Danner Secoy of Marietta, Ohio; his brother, the Rev. Dr. Bradley Nelson Walden of Lexington, Kentucky; his oldest son, Michael W. Walden of Chapel Hill, North Carolina; his youngest son, Thomas Kelly Walden of Lake Ridge, Virginia; nephews David Kelly Danner and Jeffrey Walden Danner, both of Marietta, Ohio, and Mark Stephen Walden of Cincinnati, Ohio, as well as niece Beth Walden Lee of Versailles, Kentucky; grandchildren Emily and John Walden of North Carolina; First cousins, Julia Margaret Land Sink of Belleville, Illinois and Dr. William Kelly Skaggs of Louisville, Kentucky.

Funeral services for James Kelly Walden will be held at the Knox and Brothers Funeral Home at 11:00 AM Wednesday, March 12, 2014 with Rev. Eric Patterson and Rev. Dr. Bradley Nelson Walden officiating. Interment will be in the Lewis County Memory Gardens in Vanceburg, Kentucky. Visitation will be held at the funeral home on Wednesday from 10:00 AM until the hour of the service. Memorials may be made to the Trinity United Methodist Church, 26 W. Third Street, Maysville, KY 41056 or to the Buffalo Trace Humane Society, PO Box 758, Maysville, KY 41056.

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"So sorry to the family for their loss.....I went to school with MIke and my husband had Mr. Walden as a teacher...You will be in our thoughts and..."

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