Headstones at Arlington National Cemetery
Archive photo

Retired Lt. Col. James Ted Walters

Retired Lt. Col. James Ted Walters, 89, of Topeka, passed away Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020.

He was born Oct. 15, 1931, in Detroit, Kansas, the son of Vernon and Amanda Walters.

Ted graduated from Dickenson County High School in 1949 and later went on to attend College of Emporia where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1954. He also attended the Kansas State Teacher’s College and the University of Kansas, where he earned his master’s degree in 1957 and later his specialist degree in education in 1966.

He served in the Kansas National Guard and Army Reserve. He retired in 1980 as lieutenant colonel.

Ted was employed by USD 501 in Topeka for 38 years, retiring in June 1992. Ted started as a teacher at Sumner and Polk Elementary in 1954. He became principal at Van Buren Elementary in 1957 and then Sumner in 1960. He was placed at Randolph Elementary in 1967, where he was principal until he was moved to Whitson Elementary in 1977. He finished his career at Avondale East Elementary School.

He was a member of and regional president of AARP, president of Topeka Association of Retired Teachers, Masonic Lodge, Kansas Association of Retired School Principals, National Education Association, Master Gardeners, First Christian Church of Topeka and many other organizations.

Ted married the love of his life, Alice Pauline “Pat” Walters, June 17, 1951, in Emporia. They were married for 63 years until she preceded him in death Jan. 25, 2014.

Survivors include his son, James Todd Walters (Teresa) of Topeka; two daughters, Patricia “Trish” Walters and Mary Ann Walters of Topeka; grandchildren, James Tyreill Walters (Nicole) of Gibraltar, Michigan; Chynna Prenzler (Scott) of Deer Park, Texas; Geoffrey Walters of Topeka; Sheinja Brooks of Emporia; Chelsea Schnegelsiepen of Saginaw, Texas; Sierra Wilson of Topeka; Joel Knapp of Vancouver, Washington; Christian Flint of Los Angeles, Californian; Melissa Hickman (Kenneth) of Fairbanks, Alaska; and Brandon Flint (Nicole) of Sioux City, Iowa; 12 great grandchildren and a multitude of other family and friends who mourn his death.

Ted was preceded in death by his parents and four sisters.

Ted enjoyed traveling, crossword puzzles, singing and playing guitar and was a huge fan of KU. Spending time with his family was his number one priority, but his grandchildren and great grandchildren were his special joy. He always lit up with his special smile every time they came to visit. Everyone he met loved him.

Honoring Ted’s request, cremation is planned. A memorial service will be planned for later in the spring of 2021. Penwell-Gabel Cremations, Funerals and Receptions, 1321 SW 10th Ave., Topeka, KS 66604 is assisting the family with arrangements.

Interment of Ted’s cremated remains will be at Memorial Park Cemetery, 3616 SW 6th Ave., Topeka.

Memorial contributions may be made to Topeka Rescue Mission, Inc. PO Box 8350, Topeka, KS, 66608-0350.

To leave a message of condolence for Ted’s family, or to share a special memory of Ted, https://www.penwellgabeltopeka.com/Obituary/193495/James-Walters/Topeka-KS