John T. Walton, the middle of three sons of Sam Walton was killed yesterday in the crash of his experimental ultralight aircraft in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Walton, whose net worth was in the $18 billion neighborhood, was 58.
It's been fashionable recently to despise Wal-Mart and the Waltons, but the SF Chronicle printed this about John:
Walton founded the Children's Scholarship Fund in 1998 to provide low-income families with money to send their children to private schools. The foundation started with $67 million from the Walton Family Foundation and benefited more than 67,000 children.It seems as if he was a pretty decent guy. And I hope I'm out flying around in ultralights when I'm closing on 60.
Jim Courtovich, who spent two years getting the Children's Scholarship Fund off the ground, said Walton was a devoted sponsor who "didn't just donate money, he donated time and energy." Walton would clear days at a time from his schedule to focus on the project, he said.
Courtovich also said that Walton had a casual manner and, like his father, not above doing chores himself. One time, skiing in Jackson Hole, he said Walton "had to leave early because he had to caulk his chimney."