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Marion Jackson (M.J.) Walding ,Jr.October 8, 1926 ~ July 9, 2017 (age 90)
Mr. Marion J. Walding, Jr. died Sunday, July 9, 2017, at his home in Ozark. He was 90.
Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 12, 2017, at Ozark Baptist Church with Pastor, Reverend Dr. Eric Fuller officiating. Visitation will be Wednesday at the church from 9 a.m. until time of the service. Burial with Military Honors will be in Westview Memorial Cemetery, Andrews Avenue, Ozark, Holman Funeral Home and Cremations of Ozark directing.
M.J. Walding was born on October 8, 1926 in Ozark, AL to the late Marion and Fannie Walding. He served in World War II and Korea. In World War II he was with the 77th Infantry Division on a ship in the Pacific to be one of the first infantry to invade Japan, but he said Harry Truman saved his life by using the bomb and ending the war before they landed. During the Korean Conflict he was stationed at Ft. Knox, KY. He was the First Sergeant of Headquarters 131st Tank Battalion.
M.J. was in the Dale County High School Class of 1944 and after WWII he finished high school and attended the Veterinary School at Auburn University. Later he came back to Ozark and opened Walding Milling Company next to the Walding family farm. In the late 60’s he traveled and sold insurance, chemicals, work clothes throughout Alabama and Florida. Finally, in the mid 70’s he got tired of traveling and just took care of his beef cattle on the family farm in Ozark. In 1979 he and his wife, Lael Walding, opened a clothing store called The Barn. This store grew and in 1985 they opened a second store in Dothan called The Barn. M. J.’s idea behind the stores was to offer a good quality product at a reasonable price and give good customer service. This was a winning combination for the two stores. They sold the stores in 2007 and both retired. During their retirement they traveled many states in their RV and took tour trips to various places in the USA but also in Italy and England.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Marion Jackson Sr. and Fannie Evelyn Johnson Walding; three brothers, Henry Dan Walding, William Garner Walding, Thomas Franklin Walding.
Survivors include his wife, Lael Springer Walding, two sons: Scott Colin Wiley (Amanda), Dothan; Christopher Shannon Wiley (Katherine), Atlanta; three sisters: Betty Jane Martin, Ozark, Catherine (Charles) Joens, Des Moines, IA; Mary Carolyn Threatt, Charlotte, NC.; one brother: James Robert (Audrey Diane) Walding, Ozark; one brother-in-law: Wallace Franklin Springer, III (Linda), Chanute, KS; two sisters-in-law: Eloise Walding, Bryan, TX; and Lois Walding Pippin, Ozark; five grandsons: William Alex Wiley, Trent Mahlon Wiley, Dylan Scott Wiley of Dothan and Ethan Richard Wiley and Jonathan Gray Wiley of Atlanta. Several nieces and nephews also survive.
Pall bearers are nephews: Dan Walding, Buddy Martin, Greg Threatt, Tom Walding, Bill Walding, and Robert Walding. Honorary pall bears are M.J’s early morning coffee group.
In place of flowers memorials may be given to Ozark Baptist Church, 282 South Union Ave., Ozark, AL 36360 or Westview Memorial Cemetery Assoc., P.O. Box 484, Ozark, AL 36361, or the charity of your choice.