Writing about death is practically an everyday occurrence for me, but I now find myself writing about it from a completely different, and very unexpected perspective.
Several months ago I was attending the Inspired Mic, a monthly “open mic” night for authors here in my town, and there was a newcomer in the lineup.
Walker Newton read an excerpt from one of his novels, and by the time his six minutes were up he had morphed from a writer I had never heard of, to the guy I wanted to be friends with.
Maybe it was his style of writing, which was very similar to mine. After the event several people approached me and commented about the similarities in our styles.
It could have been the fact that he was also a musician, often combining his musical performances with his book signings. I thought that was too cool.
Most likely it was his cool, easy manner.
Unassuming, modest, easy-going and humble.
I liked him immediately.
When I learned that he was from neighboring St. Augustine, and that his books were set there, I thought How do I not know this guy?
Walker and I had a couple of conversations and were featured together at a signing held at a local winery, where we exchanged books.
We were well on our way to becoming friends.
Sadly, that friendship has been put on hold.
Rance “Walker” Newton passed away on Monday April 13, 2015 at the age of 70.
After serving as a submariner in the US Navy, Walker received a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree. He traveled extensively and had a very successful career in hotel development.
He was a talented musician and writer, but far more important, he was a friend to everyone he met.
His legacy will live forever in the hearts of all who had the pleasure of knowing him.
I’ve never written an obituary, and I didn’t know Walker well enough to do him justice, but I can say that he was taken far too soon.
As always – Thank you for reading…and Godspeed Walker
21 responses to “In Memory of Walker Newton”
Very sad to hear of the loss of an author and your friend, Tim. I think you did a fine job of paying tribute to the man.
Thank you. I’m sure you would have liked him too!
Thank you, Tim! He was truly an amazing talented man, in so many ways. I’m so glad you had the opportunity to know him, if only for a little while. He was loved by many.
You’re very welcome, Jan. I wish we could have had more time together, but I am very glad for that I got to know him as much as I did.
Such a lovely post, Tim. A sad loss for you.
Thank you, Helen
More often than I care to admit, I grieve for people I never got to know. This is one of those people. Your tribute to him brought him to life for those of us who never had the pleasure of meeting him. I’m sorry for your loss. I intend to order one of his books from Amazon.
I am confident that, if you like mine, you will like his.
Rance was indeed beautiful inside and out. Your remembrance is wonderful and thank you for it.
You are very welcome, Barb.
I’ve known him for nearly 50yrs; he was never a miss. The best.
I’m very sorry for your loss, Cathy.
Thanks for the introduction, Tim, we feel truly honored to get to know him through his writing.
Reblogged this on The Transparent Author and commented:
We lost a good writer and an all around cool guy….
Gone too soon is an understatement. wish we would have known him sooner and longer! Nice Zevon video attached. Words to live by for the rest of us!
Thank you, Dede
I just found your article as I was searching for Walker’s email-adress in order to send him a song…
I met Walker in an hostel in Mexico during my world travel. He had just finished his book, was on holiday and we celebrated with a group of random people from all over the world. A girl, an english teacher from England, downloaded East Coast Toast on her Kindle and she started reading the book to all of us. She read it in such a great way, with different voices and passion. Walker was so moved, he had tears in his eyes, telling us he never heard his words read out loud by someone else in such a way. I played guitar with him, singing random lyrics about what we were doing at the moment. He sang some of his songs, me some of mine. We just spend some days, but with intense conversations, songs and memories. He was an remarkable character who brings a smile to your face whenever you think of him.
Thank you for your article. This hit me. I am thankful for these precious moments I spent with Walker and his guitar. I wish I could have played this one song for him. He would have laughed.
He was and will be forever in my thoughts. R. I. P.
Thank you Leena…I’m sure these thoughts would have touched Walker deeply!
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