James H. "Jay" Walton

Born: Thu., Sep. 23, 1937
Died: Sun., Apr. 8, 2012

Private Committal


3:00 PM to 6:00 PM, Wed., Apr. 11, 2012
Location: Cleveland Rd. Location

Funeral Service

6:00 PM Wed., Apr. 11, 2012
Location: Cleveland Rd. Location

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 James Hackett Walton

Sept. 23, 1937 - April 8, 2012


SOUTH BEND -- Professor James H. ("Jay") Walton, 74, passed away Sunday. He is survived by his wife, Carole (Herzog); daughter, Ann Caroline Walton (Donald Kennison) of Worcester, N.Y.; son, John Herzog Walton (Laura Moran Walton) of South Bend; and four granddaughters, Olivia and Brigid Kennison of Worcester, N.Y., and Clara and Iris Walton of South Bend.


   Jay was born in Blue Island, IL, on Chicago's South Side, to the late George and Frances (Hackett) Walton. He earned a bachelor's degree in English at Notre Dame in 1959, and earned a doctoral degree at Northwestern University. He joined the Notre Dame faculty in 1963, and became a professor emeritus in 2003. In addition to his decades of teaching literature, he also contributed to campus publications such as the Notre Dame Review.


   Although he enjoyed traveling, Jay was happiest at home with his family, which included two beloved dogs, Sunny Jim and Billy.


   He wrote extensively as a literary critic -- ranging from the early novel to postmodern poetry -- publishing numerous books, essays, reviews, and monographs. Subjects included Daniel Defoe, Honoré de Balzac, Henry James, Jane Austen, Sheridan Le Fanu and James Joyce. Jay's own novel, Margaret's Book, was published in 1989, and a long, ambitious new novel was nearly complete at the time of his death.


   A lifelong jazz lover, he spent almost as much time listening to bebop and post-bop as he did in academic pursuits. Jay followed the Chicago Bulls and Bears, but baseball was most important to him. He balanced the vicissitudes of the White Sox with a situation he could control: The APBA baseball board game was his primary hobby. 


   Jay also served as a bank director for 15 years at Great Lakes Financial Resources in Blue Island, IL.


   Funeral services will be 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, at Welsheimer Family Funeral Home North, 17033 Cleveland Road. Friends may visit from 3 till time of services on Wednesday at the funeral home. Private burial will be at Cedar Grove Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may go to the Walton Family Fund at the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County, 205 W. Jefferson Blvd, Suite # 610, South Bend, IN 46601 or to The Center for Hospice Care, 111 Sunnybrook Ct, South Bend, IN 46637. Family and friends may leave e-mail condolences at www.welsheimer.com


Charitable donations may be made in James's memory to the following organizations:

Center for Hospice
22579, U.S. 20 East, Elkhart, Indiana, 46516

Walton Family Fund at the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County
205 W. Jefferson Blvd, Suite # 610, South Bend, IN 46601

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Chris Norborg
   Posted Wed April 11, 2012
I'm so sorry for your loss. Professor Walton was a wonderful man. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Angela Brant
   Posted Wed April 11, 2012
My deepest sympathy to the Walton Family. I knew Professor Walton while I was employed in the English Department at the University of Notre Dame. He was a wonderful person, friendly and kind. He would always stop by my office and say hello and sometimes even had a funny joke. He was a very likable person and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.