Roger Otis Walton

August 13, 2013

By Contributor

Oct. 2, 1926 to June 18, 2013

Roger Walton

Roger Walton

Roger was born in Seattle to Helen Otis Walton and Oliver Walton, spending his growing years in Spokane, where he was an Eagle Scout and an Inland Empire Junior Tennis champion.

Interrupting his freshman year at Washington State University, he joined the Army Air Force during the last two years of World War II. At that war’s end, Roger was assigned the job of replacing the bombing bay with large cameras and photographing Japan, as the U.S. needed more accurate maps of that island nation.

He returned to WSU, affiliating with Sigma Nu Fraternity, and graduated in 1950 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and economics.

A week after graduation, he married his beloved Frannie (Frances Kitlar) and they took a long honeymoon down the Pacific Coast to Los Angeles, where Roger had accepted a furniture training program with Kroehler Manufacturing Co. He later moved his little family to Tacoma, working as a sales representative for F.S. Harmon Manufacturing Co.

Walton retired early to spend more time in the outdoor life he loved: skiing, mountain hiking, golfing and distance snorkeling with Fran.

Those passions he passed on to his children and grandchildren. Roger stepped into a second career after his great friend and father-in-law, Joseph Henry Kitlar, died, accepting the presidency of Harmon, now a land-holding company.

Roger “grew” Harmon into a business that emphasized his belief in a “win-win” situation for all concerned on both sides of the table. He lived The Golden Rule.

Roger was a wonderful dad to his three children Deborah, David and Ellen.

He was proud of his son-in-law Neal, and he was an involved and vital grandfather to Jake, Henry, Claire, Isaac, Ross and Dana. He had yet to know his four great-grandchildren, Preston Roger and Violet Frances Walton, Ruby Grace Smith and Finnley Senna Hogan.

Roger was my beloved husband and closest friend.

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