Born to Roy and Sallie Walters in Franklin Parish, Louisiana, on December 16, 1932, Franklin Delano Walters embodied the motto of his beloved Marine Corps, Semper Fidelis.
Doodlebug, as his family called him, grew up with his brother, Herbert, and sister, Edith, on his family’s farm. He learned to hunt and fish with his dad. He’d teach his children and grandchildren to hunt and fish later in life.
He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1949 and began a career that would see him through two wars, Korea and Vietnam, and countless postings around the world. He received the Purple Heart during his service in Korea. After 32 years in the Marines, he retired to Beaufort, South Carolina, as Sergeant Major in 1982.
He never met a stranger. He made a friend no matter where he went. And he always had a story to tell. Like his many hunting outings, such as the time he shot a record- setting buck on Camp Lejeune, or the stories of his military service shared over an early morning cup of coffee with veterans at Amvets.
These stories were told many a time with family over fish fries in his backyard. An avid outdoorsman, he’d come home with “a whole mess of fish” to prepare for the family.
He called his children and grandchildren regularly and would visit as often as he could. Always interested in how they were and what they were doing. Family and friends will forever miss him, and his iconic life will live on with all those who knew him.
He passed away on Saturday, November 21, at 87. His wife of 44 years, Barbara, passed in 2000. He is survived by his three children, Patricia Peacock; Linda and husband Menderes Akdag; and David and wife Melanie Walters. He also has eight grandchildren, Denise, Heather, Kirkie, Devin, Dalan, Sibel, Travis, and Alicia, and eight great-grandchildren.
A graveside service will be held at 11 o’clock Tuesday morning, November 24, 2020, at Beaufort National Cemetery with United States Marine Corps honors.