James Douglas Walden, 94, passed away on Saturday, Nov. 16 at IU Health Bloomington Hospital. Jim was born on Oct. 11, 1925 in Mauston, Wisc. He was the son of Heath B. and Margaret V. Walden. Jim was the oldest of four children.
He was preceded in death by an infant sister, Pricilla Jane in 1931, his mother in 1967, his father in 1969, his wife of almost 54 years, Leola Evelyn V. Young in 2004, and brother Ryan Bruce in 2010. He is survived by his two sisters, Marilyn Mae Walden and Helen Heath Wheeler, and several nieces. Jim and Leola had two children, Laurene (Laurie) Pellerite (Mark) of Woodbury, Minn. and Jay (Sharon) Walden of Grayville, Ill. Laurie and Mark have two children, Caitlin Elizabeth Lucci (Craig) and Trevor James.
He served in the Navy from 1943 until 1946, ultimately stationed on a WWII LST which shipped out of New Orleans. The vessel was on its way to Japan, when the bomb was dropped and the transport’s mission ended. After his discharge from the Navy, he pursued his B.S. through the GI Bill at Wisconsin State University, LaCrosse. His career as an educator began in Melrose, WI, where he both taught and served as principal. While there, he met Leola, and they married on June 3, 1950. His education career spanned a full range, from teacher in a one-room schoolhouse, to principal, superintendent, and ultimately, teaching at the college level. He left Wisconsin in 1961 after 14 years there as an educator, to pursue his doctoral degree at University of Illinois, Champaign (Ed.D.’63).
Jim joined the faculty of Indiana University School of Education in September of 1963, specializing in Language Arts. He retired after an active and involved career, on January 1, 1987. Since December of 2003, Jim has been a resident of Meadowood Retirement Community.
A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 25 at Allen Funeral Home and Crematory, 4155 S. Old State Road 37, Bloomington. Burial will follow at Clear Creek Cemetery. Family will receive friends from 11 a.m. until the time of service. Memorials to the Employee Appreciation Fund, for the terrific staff of Meadowood, suggested in lieu of flowers.
Online condolences, photos and memories may be shared with family and friends at www.allencares.com.