Obituary: Jane Walthall

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Posted at 10:59 AM, Nov 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-15 12:59:55-05

Jane Walthall was born in Mannington, West Virginia on November 7, 1930. She passed peacefully of natural causes in Bozeman, Montana, surrounded by her loving & adoring family and into the arms of her loving Savior on October 12th, 2023.

Jane was born to Dr. Dewey Dallas Hamilton and Margaret Jeannette Morgan Hamilton and was the younger sister of Thomas Millard Hamilton. She grew up during the Depression to kind and generous parents. At their side she learned to give and serve those less fortunate than herself, a trait she carried with her for her entire life. Her father was a horse and buggy doctor, and she had occasion to attend to patients with him as a child on his rounds. She made many friends as a young person and carried those friendships throughout her adult life. Jane took great joy in riding her pony “Lucky” around the hills of Mannington with her girlfriends. She attended the University of West Virginia as a Chi Omega and studied Physical Education, building on her job as a teen of lifeguarding.

While attending University, Jane met her true love, Randolph “Cotton” Walthall from “across a crowded room.” They launched their lifelong journey together and traveled to Louisville, Kentucky to attend dental school. Upon completing Dental School, they moved to Southern California where Cotton’s brother Joe lived, but decided they would move to the Sacramento area to raise their family.

Jane’s selfless nurturing of family, friends and community were always at the core of her life and purpose. She exemplified living life with compassion and grace. Her tireless energy for life and unconditional love for family and friends took her in many amazing directions. Jane had a passion for gardening that included beautiful flower gardens, orchards, boysenberry patches and vegetable gardens. She transformed her gardening bounty into endless fresh and cooked delights for her family, friends and neighbors. Jane loved to bake for her family, the most treasured being her boysenberry pies and jam. During the holidays her family and neighbors were showered with a plethora of amazing homemade desserts.

From childhood and throughout her life, she shared her passion for horses with her family. As a family, the Walthalls had many horses over the years including Tennessee Walkers. Jane loved working with horses as well as horseback riding. She loved swimming, camping, and all activities outdoors. As a family they spent countless weekends and vacations adventuring from seashore to alpine meadows. A voracious reader and “crossword queen,” Jane pursued these sources of enjoyment throughout her life.

She volunteered countless hours with the adaptive riding organization, Saddle Pals, as a weekly horse handler. Jane also helped establish a path to the Neighborhood Preservation Act for her community. She was supportive of other service organizations including the March of Dimes, Salvation Army, UNICEF and Veterans causes, all the while raising her five children.

Jane always chose to have a positive attitude be the times good or challenging. Her resilience in the face of difficulty was, and continues to be, inspirational. Her joyous inner spark was infectious, and we always felt uplifted in her presence. Her enthusiastic and curious nature was fueled by her adventurous spirit and zest for life. All our lives are richer for having been with her.

She is survived by her children, Alan “Randy” (Vickie) Walthall, Kathy Walthall (Henry Joughin), Betty Walthall Swanson and Cindy Walthall; six grandchildren, S. Kathryn Paez, Owen, Joel and Bryan Walthall, and Ellie & Jack Swanson; and eleven great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Randolph Walthall; parents, Dewey Dallas Hamilton & Margaret Jeannette Morgan Hamilton; daughters, Nancy (Tice) Walthall and Janet Walthall; and brother, Thomas Millard Hamilton and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews.

A Memorial service will be held on December 2, 2023, in the Fireside Room at Grace Bible Church, Bozeman, MT beginning at 2:00PM.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Sacramento Open Land Conservancy ( []), Warriors and Quiet Waters ( []), Saddle Pals ( []) or your local therapeutic riding organization.