Walter Thurmond died Thursday, May 3, 2012. I have limited information now, but am informed that
- Visitation will be Monday, May 7, at 6-8pm at Forest Park Westheimer located at 12800 Westheimer right past Dairy Ashford.
- The Memorial service will be Tuesday, May 8, at 11am at the chapel of Houston First Baptist Church located on the south side of the interchange between I-10 and the Loop 610 West. Street address is 7401 Katy Freeway.
Walter Belden Thurmond Long-time Houston resident Walter Belden Thurmond, a great dad, beloved husband, accomplished tax attorney and lover of life, died May 3 of a sudden heart attack. He was 57.
Walter was born in Greenville, South Carolina, but he spent much of his youth in Weslaco, Texas, and on the beaches of South Padre Island. He was affectionately known as "Wat" to family and many friends.
At Baylor University, he started his list of academic credentials with a B.B.A. in accounting. He also met Kathryn Narum, who became his wife and co-Baylor Bear fan for the next 35 years. Without fail they attended games every year in support of their alma mater. The two brightest lights of his life were his children, Elissa Thurmond Arnold and Timothy Gould Thurmond.
When Elissa began violin lessons, it didn't suffice to simply drop her off with the instructor. He bought a violin of his own and took lessons along-side her in support of their shared passion for music. He immersed himself in classical music and would become the Houston Youth Symphony President, a job that included chaperoning the orchestra to New York City's Carnegie Hall.
When his children took up sports, he simultaneously coached both teams. He was described as the "most fun coach" for his novel and involved efforts in the dugout and on the field. His vocal, inspiring and persistent style led both his children's teams to numerous championships.
Always present and a joy to have around during the holidays, Walter's gift-giving prowess was unmatched in creativity and hilarity. It was in his nature to deny the stressors of the holidays and create cherished memories his family will always remember him by.
Walter also was a long-time member of Houston's First Baptist Church.
In his continuing quest for knowledge, he received his Juris Doctorate from South Texas College of Law in 1983, his Masters of Accountancy - Taxation from the University of Houston in 1984 and his LLM in taxation from Southern Methodist University in 1990. He was board certified in tax law, consumer bankruptcy and business bankruptcy by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
He began his 30-plus year career as a CPA with Arthur Andersen. He started his legal career as the "tax man," a trial attorney for the Department of Justice. He later became a bankruptcy specialist at Sheinfeld, Maley and Kay before forming a partnership, Allie & Thurmond. He also wrote textbook chapters about bankruptcy and contributed questions to the state board legal exams.
Currently he was National Tax Practice Coordinator for UHY Advisors TX, LLC., where he was known for his professionalism as well as his laughter that regularly echoed off the walls.
Preceding Walter in death were his father, Dr. Jack A. Thurmond of Kerrville, Texas; grandparents, Walter and Lois Belden, Ebbie Alonzo and Annie Lee Thurmond; sister, Nancy Thurmond Harvey; brothers, Ted McClendon Thurmond and Thomas Edward, who shared Walter's birthday of October 12.
He is survived by his wife, Kathryn Narum Thurmond; daughter and son-in-law, Elissa Thurmond Arnold and Chris Arnold of Rockwall; son Timothy Thurmond; sisters- and brothers-in-law Beverly and Joe Roth of Livingston; Cindy and Ken Kapp; Janis and Jeff Roach of Southlake; Julia Narum and Ralph Davis of Austin. Nieces and nephews include Stephen and Cody Roth, Natalie and Stephen Kapp, Amanda and Ashley Roach, Brandi and Kaidence Privett, Amber and Ryan Davis. Also surviving are many uncles, aunts, cousins and beloved friends.
Others left to cherish Walter's memory are his mother, Lois Belden Thurmond of Kerrville; brother, Benjamin Forte Thurmond, and wife, Jennifer; niece, Jacquelyn Helen Thurmond of Edinburgh, Scotland; sister-in-law, Maureen Frey Thurmond and niece and nephew, Kayla Nancy and Jack Robert Thurmond of Atlanta, Ga.; cousin, Ann Carpenter Marks and husband James of Sheffield, Al. Walter was honored to be the Godfather of his niece, Kayla.
Friends are invited to visit with the family from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at Forest Park Westheimer, 12800 Westheimer Road. The Memorial Service begins at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the Chapel at Houston's First Baptist Church, 7401 Katy Freeway.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Lucky Leash Rescue, (www.luckyleashrescue.petfinder.com) where Walter adopted his close canine companion Gus, or the charity of your choice .