Joseph A. Walton, Jr., MD, FACC was born September 24th, 1934 in Crescent City, Florida. He was the son of Joseph A. Walton, Sr. and Johnny Greene Walton. He entered the University of Florida in 1952 as a freshman and in 1960 graduated in the first UF medical class. Shands Hospital was then known as the Teaching Hospital of the J. Hillis Miller Health Center.
Dr. Walton married his college sweetheart Doris Ann Madden (from Daytona Beach) in 1956 and they had two children, Sonja Ann and Joseph, III. Dr. Walton completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at UF before joining the Air Force where he served as a Captain and Flight Surgeon. After completing his service he moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan and pursued another year of residency followed by a Cardiology Fellowship at the University of Michigan Health Center. He then stayed on the faculty for the next 28 years.
In 1978, Dr. Walton was chosen to travel to Zurich, Switzerland and train in the first Angiography clinic under the renowned Andreas Gruentzig, MD thus becoming the first Cardiologist to bring the procedure of Angioplasty to the University of Michigan.
While in Ann Arbor he was sent by the University of Michigan to China, Singapore and Malaysia to teach Angioplasty at hospitals there including the University of Beijing.
In 1993, Dr. Walton was recruited to Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee. He was hired to bring Angioplasty to the Medical School there and remained on the staff in Cardiology until 1998 when he took an early retirement. He then joined a clinic in Flint, Michigan for 3 years as a private practitioner in Cardiology and did numerous Locums for several years. He remains Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan.
Dr. Walton was dedicated to serving underserved patients. He spent many summers sharing his medical expertise on Native American reservations and made numerous mission trips to Central and South America, once floating down the Amazon River in Brazil on a medical mission boat.
Throughout his medical career he was an inspiration to medical students and house staff. Teaching was his love and academic medicine his calling.
Dr. Walton’s antique medical collection was started when he was in medical school at UF when Edward White Ford, MD, the doctor who delivered him, gave him some old instruments. Over the years he added anything “old” related to medicine that he saw at garage sales or second hand shops. He would be so happy to know that the University of Florida Medical Library has these on display in his name. Being in the first medical class was always an important part of his life and he loved his Gators throughout life.
Dr. Walton retired in 2003 and loved spending time with his four grand-children, Joe, IV, Maggie, Anabel and Jonathan. He passed away after a long illness on September 12, 2011.