Marquis de Lafayette "Lafe" Walter, 86, of Ashland, passed away in Community Hospice Care Center in Ashland March 12, 2017, after a long illness.
Lafe was born to the late Lawson Wadsworth and Thelma Lora Chandler Walter Sept. 12, 1930, in Beaver, Ohio. Mr. Walter was preceded in death by his parents, Lawson Wadsworth and Thelma Lora Walter; a grandson, James Russell "Rusty" Burke; a sister, Norida Nan Walter Nipp; and brothers, John Paul, Wendell Jack and Richard Brockton Walter.
In 1946, at the age of 15, he joined the U.S. Army where he was a Private assigned to the 711th Airborne Ordinance Maintenance Company and trained as a parachutist. He served in Japan post-war. He received an Honorable discharge in 1947 where he received two service medals, the World War II Victory Medal and the Army of Occupation Medal.
After the war, Lafe returned to school and graduated in 1949 from Ashland High School where he was active in Tomcat sports. He later received his bachelor of arts degree from Marshall University and his master's degree from Morehead State University.
In 1956, Lafe started his career at Fairview High School teaching Art and was an assistant coach before moving to Tampa, Fla. in 1958, where he continued teaching and was a coach at Adams Junior High School. In 1966, he returned to Fairview High School for one year before he accepted a position at Russell High School where he taught health and physical education and began coaching the Russell Red Devils. He later had the position of Athletic Director at Russell until his retirement in 1988. He is in both the Fairview and Russell Hall of Fame.
Lafe was a Kentucky colonel, a member of the Kentucky Association of Retired Teachers, Kentucky Association of Athletic Directors, Rotary Club, Elks Club and belonged to Oak Springs United Baptist Church but attended Central Baptist Church in South Ashland.
Mr. Walter is survived by his wife of 65 years, Betty Jo Runyon Walter; his eight children, John, Mark (Pam), Jacque (Dale), Jeanie (Jon), Jim (Amy), Beverly, Danny (Julie) and Mary Beth; 12 grandchildren, Angela (Matt), Cristin (Chris), Matthew (Angie), Mandee, Anna, Bonnie, Shelby, Zachary, Ryan (Bridget), Samantha, Tori and Trent; 17 great-grandchildren, Malia, Alayna, Isaiah, Noah, Sydney, Anniston, Paisley, Tyler, Micah, Austin, Madison, Nathan, Ben, Ryleigh, Levi, Lexi and Brenton; two brothers, William Grady Walter (Sue) and Theodore "Ted" Walter (Patsy); three sisters-in-law, Sylvia Walter, Jenny Walter and Carole Walter; a brother-in-law, Bob Nipp; other surviving in-laws include, Linda Moore (Steve), Fred Runyon (Susan) and Jack Runyon; and many nieces, nephews and extended loved ones.
Lafe enjoyed reading, horse racing, playing cards and bingo, watching Kentucky basketball and football, but most of all he loved traveling with his family and spending time with his children and grandchildren.
Memorial services will be at 1 p.m. Thursday, March 16, 2017, at Miller Funeral Home in Ashland. His final resting place will be in Golden Oaks Memorial Gardens in Ashland with military rites by the Kenova American Legion Post 93 and U.S. Army.
Friends may call after 11 a.m. Thursday at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to The Rusty Burke Scholarship Fund. Checks may be made payable to The Rusty Burke Scholarship Fund and mailed to 2200 Blackburn Ave., Ashland, KY 41101.
Condolences may be left at mfhfuneralhome.com.
Published on March 13, 2017