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James Thomas "Tom" Walkup, 1946-2023

James Thomas "Tom" Walkup of Lake Wales passed away at Lakeland Regional Hospital on Friday, May 12, 2023 of complications after a traumatic injury.

Tom was born March 19, 1946, in Warren, Ohio to James Frederick and Anna Mae (Woods) Walkup, both now deceased. He had two siblings: Joel Frederick Walkup (deceased) and Peggy Ann Walkup. He is survived by his wife of almost 50 years, Mary, and four children: James Troy Walkup with wife, Tonya, of King, North Carolina, Jennifer Lynn Walkup of Clemons, North Carolina, Jonathan Allan Walkup of Sebring, Florida, and Ferly Tamara Valdovinas with husband, Rudy of Las Vegas, Nevada. He also had seven loving grandchildren: Lyndsey, Trinity, Jocylyn, Luke, David, Aiden, and Ryleigh, as well as one beautiful great-grandchild, Dagny.

Aside from his family, Tom's greatest devotion was to the military. He spent 22 years as an active member of the Navy before retiring in 2004 at the rank and rate of Senior Chief Navy Counselor.

Tom also supported numerous veterans' groups and causes throughout his life. His experience in the Navy played a very important role in his life. He frequently pointed out that the Navy taught him the value of discipline, teamwork, and investing in a cause larger than himself. He would often explain to loved ones how these values contributed to the person he was.

Cremation will be handled by Lakeland Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens, and his remains will be given military honors at sea. His celebration of life is planned for September 16, 2023, on what would have been Tom and Mary's 50th Wedding Anniversary. In lieu of flowers, the family asks memorial contributions be made to "VeteransAgainstAlzheimer's, a network of UsAgainstAlzheimer's.

 

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