Home Opinion The Loss of A Friend Bill Fraizer

The Loss of A Friend Bill Fraizer


Today I attended the
funeral of a friend. Alex
Walton was probably the
most unique person that I
have ever known. Alex’s
personality was real as
he never put on “AIRS”
to impress anyone. He
spoke outright about his
opinion whether you liked
it or not. I would be lying
if I did not say that he
sometimes hurt my feel-
ings. But his honesty and
no hesitation to speak his
thoughts were a great asset
as everyone that knew
him respected him for his
honesty. Even the staff
over at Nichols State Vet-
erans Home in Alex City
respected Alex in spite of
his crankiness.
I remember that in high
school, Alex was big into
hunting. Instead of chas-
ing girls like the rest of
us, he and Henry Tucker
were at a dove field or
fishing in the creek. He
and John Alsobrook were
close friends and Alex
spent many nights in Cus-
seta with John, who was
another hunting nut.
People have a ten-
dency not to believe this,
but Alex went to all of
his classes at Alabama
Polytechnic Institute
(Auburn University)
wearing overalls – the
kind with galluses (straps).
This was just at the end of
World War II and all of the
veterans returning from
the war commuted with us
to classes in Auburn every
day. But Alex got his act
together when he was
forced to wear a uniform
during his last two years
in ROTC at Auburn.
About the only person
that I knew of (other than
his wife Ann) that could
issue orders to Alex and he
would take under consid-
eration, was his cousin At-
torney Billy Walton. Billy
could tell Alex to go jump
in the lake and he would
do without bothering tak-
ing his clothes off.
During Alex’s years in
later life he was the most
kindhearted individual
that I have ever known.
In spite of his somewhat
salty language, he was
probably the most gener-
ous and caring person in
LaFayette. I have never
known Alex to refuse to
help anyone in need. Dur-
ing his tenure as the owner
of the local feed store, he
cancelled a number of ac-
cumulated debts from his
customers that he probably
could not afford to do so.
After Alex sold his
farm supply store, he got
into the lumber market.
He purchased a small saw
mill and installed it in the
old Tucker warehouse.
Alex specialized in quality
hardwoods and other rot
resistant wood like cedar.
All of the local cabinet
shops and local hardwood
flooring installers found
Alex’s wood quality
superior to others on the
market. With the able help
of the skilled craftsman
Curtis Lamb, Alex made
master craft products such
as gun stock out of walnut.
How he managed, I do
not know, but as he ran
his lumber business, he
continued to supply ;pond
fertilizer to local landown-
ers. In cooperation with
the Auburn Agricultural
School, he assisted in the
development of pond
fertilizer and supplied fer-
tilizer to State Of Alabama
Alex was very instru-
mental in establishing
Chambers Academy. He
was on the ground floor
and was one of the major
contributors to the success
of the school.
After I returned to La-
Fayette, Alex never failed
to drop a crate of fruit at
my office at Christmas
time. If I ever needed a
door prize for our forestry
programs, Alex would
always donate an item
such as one of his wood
I am not alone for
knowing Alex as a LaFay-
ette icon as the Methodist
Church was packed with
those who knew and loved
him as someone special.
Of course, his great-
est legacy is his lovely
family–wife Ann, his
children Lex, Becky, Clay
and Debbie and 18 grand-
children and nine great
My treasured memory
is that every time that I
think about Alex, it brings
a smile on my face.