Emagene Walton, 89, long time resident of Fredonia, Kansas passed away, Sunday, July 23, 2023 at Neodesha Kansas Morningstar. Emagene was born on September 12, 1933 in Enid, Oklahoma to George and Pearl Lounsbury. Her parents named her Emma Jean, but due to a miscommunication, her birth certificate read, Emagene. Her mother must have liked it, as the error was never corrected. When Emagene was 11, she was joined by her only sibling, Marion Kay. At age 1. Emagene won a “Most Beautiful Baby” contest and started singing and dancing soon after. She was singing for church by age 5 and learned to play the piano too. Emagene attended Pond Creek school where she participated in all the music groups and musicals. She was frequently asked to entertain for functions outside of school, as well as singing and playing the piano for church. Emagene’s father was a superintendent of schools, so the family moved frequently. After graduating from high school, she attended Phillips College and received her Bachelor of Music Education at Oklahoma State University.
Emagene moved to Fredonia in 1955, to teach vocal music, admitting she chose Fredonia, because they offered the best salary. She married Floyd N. Walton, JR on June 2, 1957, in Fredonia, Kansas. After 42 happy years of marriage, Floyd died on March 19, 1999.
If you ask any middle-aged Fredonia High School graduate to list their favorite teacher, chances are Emagene Walton would be high on that list. Emagene loved teaching and felt all her students were her kids. She enjoyed all the vocal music groups, even though she found the contests stressful. She taught some outstanding musicians, including Martha and Ruth Friend and Roland Reinhart, who was her only student to receive a standing ovation with his contest solo. Also memorable was a class of ‘64 men’s chorus performing a Sea Chanty at contest and senior night. She also enjoyed helping to produce high school musicals, including “Oklahoma” and “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.” Emagene taught for 36 years in the Fredonia School District, having taught at all levels, retiring in 1993. She was very successful and touched all the lives of those she taught. Emagene wrote the lyrics for the “Fight Song” and she and George Beggs wrote the music to the “Alma Mater.” All who had Emagene in school remember her beautiful outfits and shoes that she wore. Her Pageant dresses were hand made for her and nothing store bought could compare to them.
From 1972 to 1985, Emagene served as the sponsor for the Pom- Pom squad. Her favorite Pom-Pom moment was when the girls wowed the crowd with their dance to “Yankee Doodle Dandy”. Her pom girls were very special to her. One group remembers her buying them all matching necklaces when they performed at Emporia State. She once ran off a group of boys who were trying to visit with her poms when they went to pom camp. Emagenes’s favorite words to speed the students along, were “Chop, Chop.”
Once Emagene retired, she continued to work as a substitute teacher for many years.
Emagene was formerly a member of First Christian Church of Fredonia and later a member of Buxton Christian church. She served in both churches, leading their choirs and frequently singing for them. She would attend music reading clinics and purchase music for the choirs with her own money.
Since moving to Morningstar in 2016, she enjoyed playing the piano for the other residents. Emagene was also a member of 1910 Club, bridge club, Retired KNEA, Hospital Auxilary and AARP. Emagene enjoyed decorating her home for each holiday. After moving to Morningstar, she had a Christmas tree that she would keep decorated to celebrate the holidays. Emagene enriched the lives of all who knew her. She was the most loving soul you would ever meet.
Emagene is survived by sons; Darole (Shirley) Walton of Fredonia, Kansas, Barry (Diane) Walton of Welch, Oklahoma, sister; Marian Myers of Flower Mound, Texas, Nieces; Amy (Jim) Golden of Mustang, Oklahoma, Sydney (Paul) Gore of Elgin, Oklahoma, Holly (Randy) Riggins of Lantana, Texas, Judy (Tom) Brownback of Blue Mound , Kansas, 10 Great nieces and nephews 2 grandchildren and many friends who loved her dearly.
Emagene was preceded in death by her husband, Floyd, her parents, George and Pearl Lounsbury and cousin, Guy Tate.
The family will receive friends 5:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M., Friday, July 28, 2023 at Wickham Family Funeral Home, 510 North 7th, Fredonia, Kansas 66736.
Graveside services will be 10:30 A.M., Saturday, July 29, 2023 at Fredonia Cemetery with Gene Benefiel, officiating.
Memorials are suggested to Relay for Life of Wilson County, Kansas or the Buxton Christian Church and may be mailed to or left at the funeral home.