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Daniel David Walling, age 95, of Grapeland, Texas, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family on Friday, the 2nd day of February 2024. Born on the 20th day of October 1928 to parents Otto and Tommie Walling, Mr. Walling was raised in the heart of Grapeland, Texas, and his journey of lifelong learning and service began with his education at the University of Texas at Austin, where he completed his pharmacy training. His commitment to his country was evident through his valiant service during the Korean War, stationed at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base. It was there that he met the love of his life, his beloved wife, with whom he would share countless adventures and treasured moments.
At the conclusion of his military service, Mr. Walling continued to contribute to his community by working in his father's establishment, Walling’s Drug Store, where he became a familiar and trusted face to all who walked through its doors. His dedication to Grapeland extended into public service as he served on the Grapeland City Council for 44 years, eventually leading the community as its mayor. His leadership and vision were instrumental in shaping the town he so dearly loved.
Mr. Walling's commitment to service was further exemplified by his volunteer work with the Grapeland Volunteer Fire Department and Emergency Medical Service from 1959 to 1995. His selflessness and courage were a beacon of hope and safety to his fellow citizens. A man of faith, he was a devoted member of the Grapeland First United Methodist Church, where he found strength and fellowship.
A lifetime member of the Texas Exes, Mr. Walling's pride in his alma mater was unwavering. He could often be found cheering on the Texas Longhorns and the Dallas Cowboys, his enthusiasm for sports as infectious as his love for classical music and reading. Traveling with his wife brought him immense joy, as they explored new places and created lasting memories together.
Mr. Walling's passion for life was also evident in his love for square dancing. As a member of the Sandy Land Squares, he and his wife glided across dance floors, their movements a testament to their love and partnership. To say that Mr. Walling was wise would be an understatement; his intelligence and loving nature were the cornerstones of his character. He was a mentor to many, a friend to all, and a pillar of the community he served with much distinction. His legacy is one of unwavering commitment to his family, his country, and his community of Grapeland.
He is preceded in death by his parents Otto and Tommie Walling, wife Elaine Tate Walling, and his brothers William E. Walling and Thomas Otto Walling.
Mr. Walling’s memory will continue to inspire and guide, and his impact on Grapeland and beyond will be felt for generations to come. Mr. Walling leaves behind his daughters, Laura Walling and spouse, Judy Leonard, Teresa Bennett and spouse, Allen Bennett, all of Grapeland, Texas; grandchildren, Mollie Martin and husband Tallon, Laura Hernandez and husband Josh; great-grandchildren, Madeline Tate Martin, Russell Sawyer Martin, and one-on-the-way, Oscar David Hernandez; and his sisters-in-law, Mary Ellen Strange, of Indiana, and Glenda Fritz, of Alabama; brothers-in-law, Paul E. Tate, and James B. Tate, of Alabama. Mr. Walling is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, and other family members.
The family greatly appreciates the loving care extended to Mr. Walling during the last year of his life. A special thanks to LaDona Johnson, Pat Lawrie, Brenda Ervin, Wilma Turner, and Faye Ligon, and to LeGail Sheppard, Hayley Pierce, Dee Hickman, and Chaplain Jace Riley of Traditions Hospice.
A funeral service to celebrate Mr. Walling’s life is to be conducted at two o’clock in the afternoon, on Wednesday, the 7th day of February 2024 at Grapeland First Methodist Church with Pastor Wade Harman and Pastor Cindy Doran officiating. Interment with Military Honors will follow in Parker Cemetery.
Friends are invited to visit with the family one hour prior to the start of the service at Grapeland First Methodist Church.
Those honored to serve as pallbearers are Michael Cutshaw, Brandon Bridges, Clete Vickers, Tallon Martin, Danny Rich, and Cannon Vickers. Honorary pallbearers include the Grapeland VFD and EMS.
In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests with gratitude that memorial contributions in Mr. Walling’s honor be directed to the Grapeland VFD and EMS, 117 West Oak St., Grapeland, Texas 75844, or the Grapeland First Methodist Church, 715 U.S. Highway 287 N., Grapeland, Texas 75844.
Funeral services for Daniel David Walling are in care of Rhone Funeral Home, 3900 S. State Highway 19, Palestine, Texas.
We kindly request that you take a moment to express your condolences and share any cherished memories you may have by selecting the "Share a Memory" icon below. Your words of comfort will undoubtedly bring solace to his bereaved family.