Johnson Norman “JN” Walpole, 91, of Ruston, passed away on May 10 at his home, surrounded by his loving family, keeping his sense of humor until the end. “JN” was born on May 13, 1928, in Choudrant, Louisiana. He graduated from Choudrant High School in 1945 and Louisiana Polytechnic Institute (now Louisiana Tech) in 1949.During his two-year stint in the U.S. Army, he married his beloved wife, Ruth O’Neal, in 1951.
“JN” started Walpole Tire Service in 1956 and served his community by caring for his customers until his retirement in 2014. He built a reputation for genuine service, fairness, and honesty, and created many loyal customers along the way. Many patrons can attest to his generosity in their time of need. The hard work, honesty, and integrity that “JN” displayed in all areas of his life have endeared him to so many in our community, and his legacy of working hard and treating people well are carried on through his children and grandchildren.
JN was also involved in the Ruston community. He was a Jaycee, a Chamber of Commerce member, a Director of Lincoln Bank, a supporter of Louisiana Tech, and a sponsor in Ruston’s Dixie Youth baseball program. His awards include the Chamber’s Robert E. Russ Award, the Louisiana Tech Tower Medallion Award, and the Boys Scouts’ Silver Beaver. Walpole Tire Service was recognized as the Ruston-Lincoln Parish Small Business of the Year, and the Louisiana Tire Dealers’ Association included “JN” in their Hall of Fame. He was also an active member and elder in the Presbyterian Church of Ruston.
One of “JN’s” greatest joys was to be with his family. His selfless spirit was evident in the many hours he spent doing what his family loved to do, whether it was going to Little League games or entertaining his children and grandchildren at the lake. With his light-hearted manner and trademark quick smile, “Pop” was beloved by all generations.
“JN” was preceded in death by his parents, Norman Lee and Jessie Lee Walpole, and his sister, Mary Grace Thompson.
Family left to cherish his memory are his devoted wife of 68 years, Ruth; his children Neal (Anita) Walpole of Ruston, Diane (Bobby) Hennigan of DeRidder, Mike (Pam) Walpole of Ruston, and Steve (Ginger) Walpole of Ruston; grandchildren Amanda (Todd) DeMoss, Brandon Walpole, Danny (Megan) Walpole, Greg (Amber) Hennigan, Melissa (Clint) Wright, J. (Blair) Walpole, Josh (Ashley) Walpole, Jed (Corky) Walpole, Laura (Aaron) Worley, Lindsey (Kyle) O’Neal; and 18 great-grandchildren. “JN’s” grandsons will serve as pallbearers.
The family wishes to express sincere gratitude to Dr. Ben Grigsby, Terry Randle, Brandon White, and Richard Modest for their abundant compassion and care for “JN”.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be given to Presbyterian Church of Ruston or Christian Community Action of Ruston.
There will be a graveside service Friday, May 15, at 10 a.m., at Sibley Cemetery near Choudrant, LA. , under the direction of Kilpatrick Funeral Home. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.kilpatrickfuneralhomes.com.