Monday, February 7, 2011

James N. Walters

Goodbye friend. This is a tribute to James N. Walters. A wonderful man who will be missed by all who knew him. He and his wife Rita Marie Walters were always the first to offer a helping hand to those in need. He always had a big smile and I can hear his laughter as I write this post.
BENTON COUNTY — James N. Walters      1926 - 2011

BENTONVILLE — James N. “Jim” Walters, 84, died Friday, Feb. 4, 2011, at his home in Bentonville.
James was born Feb. 25, 1926, in Kansas City, Mo., to the late O. Neal and Martha Ellen (Watters) Walters.

James moved to Bentonville in 1964 with his company, Neal Walters Poster and General Business Forms Inc., of which he was president. He was an active member of Rotary International and the Mason’s for 64 years, president of the Chamber of Commerce in 1966-1967, a recipient of the Chamber Outstanding Achievement Award in 1978, a founding member of the NWACC Foundation and a member of the Benton County Fair Board since 1964.
He was chairman of Ozark Guidance and a board member for five years and a recipient of the R.E. “Ed” Buck Leadership Award in 1982. James was appointed to the State Alcoholic Beverage Control Board in 1974 by then Gov. Dale Bumpers and was re-appointed by subsequent governors for 23 years. In 1986, James was made Knight of St. Gregory by Pope John Paul II for outstanding community, church, and political service, the highest award for a Catholic layman. James was also the county campaign manager for Dale Bumpers for U.S. Senate, David Pryor for U.S. Senate, and Gov. Bill Clinton.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 7, 2011, at St. Stephen Catholic Church in Bentonville, with a private burial at a later time.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in James’ name to St. Stephen Catholic Church; or NWACC Disability Resources.
Online condolences can be made at

One year Rita sent out their Christmas card with a note that she was sorry the cards were late, because she and James had gone to the White House to have dinner with President Clinton and Hillary. It made me laugh because how many people would be worried about Christmas cards if they could be having dinner with the President of the United States.
James was a YELLOW DOG DEMOCRAT, but he was loved by all...Democrats and Republicans alike. The photos below were taken at my uncle's 80 birthday party. My uncle was a Republican County Judge. Senator Jim Cauldwell and Preston Bynum are both members of the Republican party, but James Walters brought out the best in people no matter their party!
Rita Walters, Senator Jim Caldwell, James Walters
Preston Bynum, Rita Walters, James Walters

My daughter, who grew up with James and Rita in her life, wrote this beautiful note on the online guest book:

You and James were a very memorable part of my childhood. I learned the importance of being a "YELLOW DOG DEMOCRAT" at a very early age. I even received a letter for my 18th birthday from President Clinton because James pulled a few strings. I felt very special and it is still a topic of conversation in my home, because its proudly displayed on my living room wall. Anytime I have a visitor they ask me how I got a letter from the President and I simply reply because I'm special. Thank you both for making me always feel special.


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