Rachel Lee Walton was born on April 26, 1952 in Sullivan, Wisconsin and passed away at Agrace Hospice on April 9, 2020 with her children by her side.
Rachel grew up a tough cookie with three brothers. She shared fond childhood memories of putting on "circuses" for the neighborhood, getting a mail-order alligator, sledding onto a frozen Rome pond, riding horses, and playing pinball downtown for a dime.
Her joys in life were her family. She was a loving and generous mom and grandma. She made every effort to be present and encourage her family. Even with chronic illness, she had a smile on her face and looked to how she could encourage those around her. She made sure her grandchildren knew she "loved them to the moon and back." She was her family's biggest cheerleader.
Rachel loved traveling and music. Summers with her small kids usually involved a camping trip to up north Wisconsin. She fondly remembers going shopping in Boulder Junction with her kids buying stickers and mailing postcards to the grandparents. She also took trips with her close friends to Colorado, the Dakotas, Washington D.C., and to sunny places like Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Roatán, Honduras. There were many road trips to see her favorite singer and friend, Cliff Eberhardt, over the years. For her 50th birthday, she flew to Las Vegas with her friends and stole a kiss from Wayne Newton.
Rachel worked with individuals with disabilities and loved them dearly - advocating for people who could not advocate for themselves. She started this journey operating a group home in downtown Madison from 1975 to 1978. She took a break from this work when she became a mom for the first time in 1981 with her son Justin, and then had her daughter Stephanie in 1982. Rachel continued her career with individuals with disabilities at the Central Wisconsin Center until her retirement.
Rachel's parents, Pete and Marion (Northey) Walton, and her brother Gene Walton preceded her in death. She is survived by her children, Justin Gruchow and Stephanie (Kevin) Wippermann; 3 beloved grandkids Theo, Selah and Sylvan Wippermann; and her siblings Dale (Bonnie) Walton, Lynn Walton, Betty Walton.
A Memorial Service for Rachel is currently pending.
Rachel requested that you all treat yourself to some Cliff Eberhardt music in her honor, preferably directly from Cliff at cliffeberhardt.net. She would love that.
"There are the ones you call friends
There are the ones you call late at night
There are the ones who sweep away your past
With one wave of the hand
There are the ones you call family
There are the ones you hold close to your heart...
Somehow, I feel you are here
You are waiting in that dream
Somewhere down this road we will awake
And be at the start again
I can hear your voice in the wind
Are you calling to me? Down the long road
Do you really think that there's an end?
I have lived my whole life, down the long road."
~ Cliff Eberhardt
Informed Choice Funeral & Cremation Alternative
3325 E. Washington Ave.
Madison, WI 53704
I worked with Rachel many years ago. Her radiant smile and kind heart will never be forgotten. Now she is free of the body full of illness and her soul can soar. Rest In Peace
Rachel was a beloved coworker for many years. I will never forget her sweet smile and gentle presence.
We are so sorry to hear of Rachel's passing. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful tribute to her. What a caring and loving life she lived! Three of my children and myself just recently met Rachel at Prairie Gardens. Until the recent lockdown, we had come each Tuesday morning since the fall to play games with the residents. Whenever Rachel could be there, she was, with a smile on her face and so generously offering to help other residents have a fun time. She always was so sweet to us and always took interest in the kids, asking us questions about our family, and sharing about hers, especially her grandchildren, whom it was obvious she loved so much. We always looked so forward to seeing Rachel on Tuesdays. We will miss her dearly. Thank you for sharing her with us...she certainly blessed our lives!
Justin & Stephanie,
So sorry to hear of your Mother's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We have fond memories
of your family deer hunting at our farm. Terry & Peggy Lamb
So sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute. Sending Love.
Stephanie and family, we are so sorry to hear about your Mother’s passing. We will keep you lifted in prayer at this difficult time. Much love, The Toal family.
I'll miss you dear friend. I treasure our friendship and all the wonderful times and trips we made. Rest in peace.
It is so sad to hear of Rachel's passing. I have fond memories of her and the Walton family always so gracious inviting a bunch of Rome kids into their home, especially in the winter for ice skating. I always liked Rachel. She was a good and nice person. May God bless you with fond memories and the comfort of family and friends. Tom Pinnow
A very sweet lady..... Judi sweers
I remember Rachel talking about Cliff when we worked together. She was such a fun, happy person. I just loved her friendship, her beautiful laugh and her great sense of humor. May she rest in eternal peace. Much sympathy to you all.
RIP Rachel, loved working with her. She had a beautiful heart ❤️
Stephanie, I'm so very sorry to hear of the loss of your Mom. She was always so fun to talk with and it was easy to see how kind and loving a person she was. She will be sadly missed by many. Your family has my deepest sympathy. Billie
May Rachel's beautiful soul rest in peace
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