Houston Chronicle Sunday
May 27, 1929 - July 14, 2022
Rolan Wilson Walton was born on May 27, 1929 in San Antonio, TX. Rolan graduated from Lamar High School in 1946 and he was the student Regimental Commander of the ROTC. He remembered marching his unit on parades on River Oaks Blvd. Rolan loved all sports. While at Lamar he was the sports chairman for the Irari Club and played for the Lamar American Legion baseball team.
He attended Texas A&M and then transferred to the University of Texas, where he pledged Sigma Nu fraternity and was elected president of his pledge class. He later went to the University of Houston where he was the third baseman on the first UH baseball team, and as a senior, was captain of the 1951 championship team. He was the first 4-year letterman at the school. While in college he played for the semi-pro Victoria Rosebuds, winning the Houston Post tournament several times. He graduated from UH in 1952 with a degree in engineering. He played professional baseball for the Austin Pioneers for several years before joining his dad E Jack Walton in building the Walton Barge Terminal in 1954. In 1957 he formed his own company, Walton Transportation. He married young and had a daughter Renee Walton. He enjoyed watching her perform as the featured twirler for the Memorial Mustangs.
He later married Suzanne Luquette of Houston at the Little Church of the West in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 7, 1975. They had one daughter Anne Keith Walton. He was always a very active and supportive father in all her activities. He admired her scholastic achievements and enjoyed watching her work as an appellate lawyer in Washington, D.C. Rolan was a member and past president of Lakeside Country Club. He was also a member of The Houstonian and the Hills of Lakeway. He was a member of Chapelwood Methodist Church and later joined St. Martin’s Episcopal Church.
In 1974 he went out to the baseball field at the University of Houston to help his old baseball coach Lovett Hill practice with the team. Shortly thereafter he was asked to become the head baseball coach. He continued running his transportation businesses while donating his coach’s salary to the baseball program. In 2006, he was inducted into the University of Houston Athletic Hall of Honor. He loved his coaching career and even coached his daughter Anne’s Kinkaid School middle school softball team as a dollar a year man.
The Hill Country of Texas was his special place. He spent many weekends hunting on deer leases and fishing on the Pedernales river at the ranch outside Johnson City. Most of all he loved playing golf at Lakeway where he owned a house on Bermuda Drive, the scene of many happy family gatherings. He always looked forward to time spent in Hunt, TX, picking Anne up from camp. He and Suzanne enjoyed many family vacations in California and Florida. They loved attending the theater in New York and Houston and they loved to dance. They were members of several dance clubs over the years and were always the first ones on the dance floor.
Rolan was always a gentleman: very mannerly and always ready to help others. He was admired by all for his easy-going, friendly personality. He had many friends and took the role of Dad very seriously. He was a man of honor and maintained a strong Christian faith throughout his life.
Rolan is survived by Suzanne, his wife of 47 years, his daughter Renee Walton of Panama, Florida and four grandchildren, his daughter Anne Keith Walton of Washington, D.C., his brother Andy Walton, two sisters, Leah and Shelley, Also Lydia Luquette, Elyse Luquette Dale, Quentin Keith Luquette. There will be a memorial service in the chapel at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, 717 Woodway, on Wednesday, July 27 at 2 pm. with a reception immediately following. Internment will be at a later date in the columbarium at the Garden of the Holy Cross at St. Martins.
For those desiring, memorials may be made in honor of Rolan to St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, 717 Sage Road in Houston.