Walter Thomas Boone
Walter Thomas Boone
  • December 28, 1939 - January 27, 2018
  • Mississippi

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Walter Thomas Boone died peacefully on January 27, 2018, from complications of pneumonia. Walter was born on December 28, 1939, to the late Walter Alexander Boone and Thelma Helms Boone. He grew up in Clarksdale, Mississippi and graduated from high school there.

Walter continued to the University of Mississippi where he finished in 1961. During this time he met his future wife, Helen Barber, at the wedding of friends. They married in 1962 and had just celebrated fifty-five years of marriage. Walter graduated from University of Mississippi Medical School in 1965 and interned in Baltimore, Maryland, at Union Memorial Hospital. Upon their return to Jackson, he completed an Internal Medicine residency at UMMC in 1969 as Chief Resident from 1967-1969.

He joined the Air Force in early 1970 with an assignment to Utapao AFB, Thailand, and continued with another tour at Lakenheath AFB in England. Walter and Catherine were born during their time in Mississippi, and the family of four cherished every minute of the opportunities to travel and enjoy other cultures. Walter accepted a Gastroenterology Fellowship at Yale University Medical School under Howard Spiro, M.D. Their third child, Allison, was born during their time in New Haven. With a growing family, it was not a difficult decision to return to Jackson to practice Gastroenterology at a time when there were few board certified gastroenterologists in the entire state. Barber, their fourth child, was born soon after they settled in Mississippi near family in Gulfport and Clarksdale.

Walter always wanted to be a doctor, and he was the kind of doctor all of us would want. He loved patient care; no call went unanswered and no amount of time was too much to spend. He was rewarded with gifts of tomatoes, pepper sauce, venison, and even moonshine on one occasion. After practicing at St. Dominic's Hospital for twenty-five years, he moved his practice to UMMC where he enjoyed sharing his passion for medicine with the fellows and residents in the GI Department. He left a hole in the medical community when he retired in 2011.

Outside of medicine, Walter loved Fondren Presbyterian Church where he served in many capacities through the years. His faith instructed his everyday living. When the International Ballet Competition first began in Jackson, a medical colleague asked him to help set up a medical support system for the dancers. For many years he enjoyed being part of this volunteer effort. He and Helen were staunch supporters of the public schools where all four children were educated. He wanted to make the world a better place in every way he could.

Walter was something of a Renaissance man, always learning a new skill or taking up a new hobby. He took classical guitar for many years, studied Shakespeare, worked on French and Spanish language skills, took up gardening, and learned to make pasta from scratch. Decades on the tennis courts provided an athletic outlet and long friendships. Among their friends, Walter was often the one who organized the parties and enjoyed them the most.

Because he grew up as an only child and only grandchild, Walter loved family more than anything. He relished being a part of Helen's extended family where he was a favorite uncle, brother-in-law, and friend. In addition to his wife Helen, he leaves behind his children: Walter (Jennifer), Cathy, Allison, and Barber (Elizabeth) and grandchildren: McLean and Emerson Boone; Ainsley, Ella, and Reese Ruhl; Jacob and Ford Boone. And, of course, dogs were always part of his family plan; Chelle mourns him already.

Walter was a loving husband and father, a committed physician, a dedicated member of the Jackson community, and a friend to many. He will be missed.

Visitation will be Monday, January 29, 2018 from 5:00-7:00 PM at Fondren Presbyterian Church and on Tuesday, January 30, 2018, at 10:00 AM before memorial service at 11:00 AM at the church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Fondren Presbyterian Church, 3220 Old Canton Road, Jackson MS, 39216 or the Mississippi Animal Rescue League, 5221 Greenway Drive Ext., Jackson MS 39204.