Richard Joel Walters passed away Friday, April 28, 2023, at his residence in Winter Park, FL. First son of Louise Frances Stephenson (1914-2010) and Thomas Joel Frederick Walters (1913-1990), Richard was born in 1938 in Whiting, IN. Around 1955, the family returned to Henry County, purchased a farm near Huntingdon, TN, and built a house on Kentucky Lake. In 1960, Richard married his sweetheart, Mary Blanche Pettyjohn Walters, who survives.
Richard is a local success story. Following his service in the US Army, he graduated with an engineering degree from Purdue University, and an MBA from the Sellinger School of Business at Loyola College. Soon after, he added an MS degree from the same Loyola Business College. Richard applied his accounting and business knowledge to advance his career, becoming President of the Data Systems Division of the Martin Marietta Corporation in 1978. In 1980 he was promoted to Corporate Vice President of Martin Marietta. In 1985, Richard left Martin Marietta to form his own company, H.L. Pettyjohn Inc., named after his wife Mary’s deceased father who was a respectable businessman in Henry, TN.
Working as a Turnaround Management consultant, Richard was hired by dozens of companies to take over as President and rebuild each enterprise, restoring them to profitability. His success with Turnaround Management inspired the World Bank to ask him to help restructure a portfolio of companies in Slovenia when that country converted from Socialism to Capitalism around 1990.
Richard is survived by his younger brothers, Daniel, Charles Frederick, and Brian Thomas; his two children, Richard Joel Jr., and April Walters Hughes; and his three grandchildren, Paul Richard Hughes Jr., Richard Joel Walters III, and Elizabeth Wren Walters. Although the family is now located in Winter Park, Florida, Richard will be returning to Paris where he and his wife, Mary, lived happily in their retirement.
Arrangements are being handled by Ridgeway Funeral Home, 201 Dunlap Street/PO Box 788, Paris, TN 38242. Visitation will be Saturday, May 6, 2023, from 11:00 am – 12:30 pm at Ridgeway Funeral Home. A brief Masonic Ceremony will be conducted by the leaders of the Paris Lodge #108 from 12:30 pm to 1:00 pm. The funeral service will be Saturday, May 6, 2023, at 1:00 pm at Ridgeway Funeral Home, with Emily Walker officiating.
Entombment will be in Rose Lawn Mausoleum in Paris, TN.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 225 N. Michigan Avenue, Floor 17, Chicago, IL 60601 or at www.alz.org.