Howard Walton Sept. 25, 1932 – Jan. 6, 2021
He was known to Family and Friends as Howard. Howard was My Dad. Howard was born on September 25, 1932, south of Palgrave in the same farmhouse where his paternal grandparents had settled in the 1870s.
He barely knew his father Emerson Walton who died in 1937. Following his father’s death, his mother Ethel (known as Dee Gee), moved the family, Howard, and older sister Doris to Palgrave. Dad said that during the Depression his mother would feed men who would appear at their door after hitching a ride on the freight trains that went through town. He also mentioned seeing Farley Mowat at Gibson’s Garage.
Dad spent most of his 88+ years living and working in the area around Palgrave, Ontario, and the Humber River. At the age of 17, he started at The Woodbridge Advertiser (a weekly farm newspaper in Palgrave) as a typesetter and pressman. Ivan Lavery, Dad’s employer described him as a faithful and devoted employee. When Ivan died, Howard took over the business. I was 15 when I started working with my Dad at the newspaper where I recorded subscriptions and classified ads. He gave me my work ethic and taught me the difference between Holstein, Jersey, and Hereford cattle. My Dad sold the newspaper in 1982. The newspaper is still being published. After selling the newspaper he opened The Printery Antique Shop.
Dad married Laura Ray from Kleinburg in 1956. Daughters Valerie and Deborah followed. Deborah’s son, Alexander Howard Simpson was his only grandchild. In the early 60’s my parents bought me a Shetland pony that we named Trigger. Later Deborah added Duke and Cricket to the stable. In August 1966, his mother, Brother-in-Law Rae Matson, and oldest Niece Deanna were killed in an automotive collision. His Sister and Niece’s Husband Murray Bradley survived. Cheryl, his younger Niece, was safe at home. Doris and Rae were Holstein dairy farmers near Tottenham, Ontario.
Mom and Dad had never been on an airplane, instead our family went on camping trips in Ontario, Quebec, the Maritimes, and the Northeastern U.S. Dad was a member of Palgrave United Church and he played euchre at the Palgrave Orange Hall and the Caledon Seniors’ Centre. He served on Palgrave’s Morningside Cemetery Board of Directors with Bob Gibson, Jack Gibson, and Norval Patterson. Dad passed away at home on January 6, 2021. On September 25, 2021, he was buried in Morningside Cemetery, Palgrave, where he is now at rest with Family and Friends nearby.
Dad loved to talk to people, people he knew for years, and others he had just met. He listened, laughed, and remembered their stories. Just like Dad, I talk to everyone because I learned from the best. Thank you to all of Dad’s Family and Friends for picking up their telephones when he called, plus the times when they called him. He just loved to talk.
Missing you always,
Laura, Valerie, Deborah & Alexander
(Valerie Walton is Howard’s Daughter)
Editor’s Note: Our employers – Bev and Karl Mallette, worked for many years as typesetters at the Toronto Star. It was this shared history in the printing business that tipped the scales in their favour when Howard sold the business in 1982. He selected them as the new owners out of the many interested buyers. When Bob Severn held the auction at the old Woodbridge Advertiser offices in the mid 90s, staffer Tina was fortunate to have the winning bid on the original sign. It hangs proudly in her home to this day.
We are always interested in Woodbridge Advertiser history. Valerie shared with us the following:
“I understand that James McCauley built the first store/original building in Palgrave, Ontario in 1877 in partnership with Charles Brown. It was later purchased by R. J. Lavery, whose son, Roy (Lavery), turned it from a general store to a printing shop, where Roy published The Woodbridge Advertiser each week. Roy M. Lavery died May 24, 1966. I have no idea (dates) when R. J. Lavery purchased the building in Palgrave, opened or closed the Lavery General Store. I would imagine (estimate) that the Lavery General Store was closed prior to 1935.”