Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Macarthur 'Daddy' Walton

Rest In Eternal Peace

Walton, A gentle man, author, and counselor, died peacefully surrounded by loving friends and family on December 22, 2009, at his home in Minneapolis.

Friends and family will gather to celebrate his LIFE on Tuesday, Dec. 29 at 5 pm at the Ascension Church, 1723 Bryant Avenue North, Minneapolis.

To honor his passion for helping others and his work as a community organizer, memorials are preferred to the Mac Walton African American Youth Leadership Scholarship c/o Visitation Monastery, 1527 Fremont Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55411.

The Minneapolis antiviolence educator and author was driven to help black men, their families and others.

Residents of north Minneapolis and beyond will gather Tuesday to celebrate the life of Mac Walton, who imparted sage advice as an antiviolence educator and counselor at the Phyllis Wheatley Community Center in Minneapolis.

Walton, who died last Tuesday at 61 following a five-year fight against colon cancer, also touched scores of lives as an author. He wrote three books and posted tidbits on an array of topics on his award-winning blog, daddyBstrong.

His recently written poem, "Just One More Day," in which he expressed his gratefulness for each day of life, was posted on his blog the day he died at his Minneapolis home.

Through his counseling firm, Cultural Dynamics, Walton developed a multifaceted curriculum that integrated elements of spirituality, culture, values, history and anger management. He used the techniques during the 1990s to help break a devastating cycle of domestic violence. The curriculum was so successful in turning around the lives of many black men that it is still being used today, said Wayne Hunter, family services manager at the Wheatley Center.

Walton's passion to bring healing to black men and their families led him to work with the Bridge for Runaway Youth, Turning Point and Minneapolis Public Housing. He also was a volunteer counselor at Visitation Monastery in north Minneapolis.

"Mac could read the phone book to somebody and motivate somebody," said close friend Mary Pat Gallivan. "His passion was helping others out. That was his story."

Walton told many of his stories on his blog, for which he was recognized with a Shades of Black and White Award and a 2009 Splash Award from the Electronic Village. There he answered questions from readers who followed his battle with cancer and rounds of chemotherapy, and he posted writings on everything from current events to history to politics and poetry.

"You really boosted my sometimes flagging confidence, and sent me a lot of positive energy," wrote one daddyBstrong reader lamenting Walton's death. "I'm glad for the many words of encouragement that you offered me."

Walton's books included "The Rebellious Sixties: Yes I Remember" and "Miles to Go Before I Sleep: Lessons in Living With Cancer Today." He recently finished a third yet unpublished book, "What Will it Take for Black Men to Heal?" Excerpts from the book will appear in the near future on his blog, Gallivan said.

"He was proud of being an author," said Sister Mary Frances of Visitation Monastery. "He felt that through his writing he was leaving a legacy."

Walton was born in Phenix City, Ala., and grew up in Atlanta. He attended Ripon College in Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he studied economics, political science, history and literature.

After college he taught English for several years at an alternative high school in Madison. He arrived in Minneapolis in 1977 when he began his work in community service.

In his honor, friends are establishing the Mac Walton African American Youth Leadership Scholarship to be given to those involved in programs for black youth or youth leadership programs.

A service to celebrate his life will be held at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Church of the Ascension, 1723 Bryant Av. N., Minneapolis.

Comments are re-directed to daddyBstrong.

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