Rachel Lee Walton was born on April 26, 1952 in Sullivan, Wisconsin and passed away at Agrace Hospice on April 9, 2020 with her children by her side.
Rachel grew up a tough cookie with three brothers. She shared fond childhood memories of putting on "circuses" for the neighborhood, getting a mail-order alligator, sledding onto a frozen Rome pond, riding horses, and playing pinball downtown for a dime.
Her joys in life were her family. She was a loving and generous mom and grandma. She made every effort to be present and encourage her family. Even with chronic illness, she had a smile on her face and looked to how she could encourage those around her. She made sure her grandchildren knew she "loved them to the moon and back." She was her family's biggest cheerleader.
Rachel loved traveling and music. Summers with her small kids usually involved a camping trip to up north Wisconsin. She fondly remembers going shopping in Boulder Junction with her kids buying stickers and mailing postcards to the grandparents. She also took trips with her close friends to Colorado, the Dakotas, Washington D.C., and to sunny places like Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Roatán, Honduras. There were many road trips to see her favorite singer and friend, Cliff Eberhardt, over the years. For her 50th birthday, she flew to Las Vegas with her friends and stole a kiss from Wayne Newton.
Rachel worked with individuals with disabilities and loved them dearly - advocating for people who could not advocate for themselves. She started this journey operating a group home in downtown Madison from 1975 to 1978. She took a break from this work when she became a mom for the first time in 1981 with her son Justin, and then had her daughter Stephanie in 1982. Rachel continued her career with individuals with disabilities at the Central Wisconsin Center until her retirement.
Rachel's parents, Pete and Marion (Northey) Walton, and her brother Gene Walton preceded her in death. She is survived by her children, Justin Gruchow and Stephanie (Kevin) Wippermann; 3 beloved grandkids Theo, Selah and Sylvan Wippermann; and her siblings Dale (Bonnie) Walton, Lynn Walton, Betty Walton.
Friends and family may gather from 11-3:00 PM on Saturday, October 2, 2021 at the Eagle's Club, 2109 Bartillon Dr, Madison, WI 53704 for a celebration of Rachel's life with a time of sharing to begin at 1:30 PM. She will be brought to her final place of rest in the town of Sullivan.
Rachel requested that you all treat yourself to some Cliff Eberhardt music in her honor, preferably directly from Cliff at cliffeberhardt.net. She would love that.
"There are the ones you call friends
There are the ones you call late at night
There are the ones who sweep away your past
With one wave of the hand
There are the ones you call family
There are the ones you hold close to your heart...
Somehow, I feel you are here
You are waiting in that dream
Somewhere down this road we will awake
And be at the start again
I can hear your voice in the wind
Are you calling to me? Down the long road
Do you really think that there's an end?
I have lived my whole life, down the long road."
~ Cliff Eberhardt
Informed Choice Funeral & Cremation Alternative
3325 E. Washington Ave.
Madison, WI 53704