Sept. 17, 1970 - Oct. 21, 2018
On Sunday, October 21, 2018, Eugene “Buzz” William Walton, II, lost his life in a tragic hunting accident. He is survived by his wife of 15 years Leslie (Varhol), and two incredible daughters, Emma, 13 and Taylor, 10. He is preceded in death by his father, Eugene W. Walton, and is survived by his mother Rose (Carrollton, GA), older brother Matt (Laura) of Alpharetta, GA, older sisters Dana Reeve (Tee) of Carrollton, GA, Kayleen Anderson (George) of Greensboro, NC, Kathy Brabham (Casey) of Charleston, SC and younger brother Michael of Carrollton, GA. He was the fun-loving uncle to 15 nieces and nephews, and 1 great-niece.
Born in San Diego, CA in 1970, Buzz was raised in Atlanta, GA, where he attended Dunwoody High School. He went on to study at the University of Georgia, and graduated with a degree in history. A skiing injury sparked his interest in medicine. In 2000, he met the love of his life, Leslie, (at the finish line of a half ironman triathlon!), and with her steadfast encouragement, his dream to become a physician began in 2001. He attended St. Matthews University School of Medicine, in Belize and Grand Cayman. Medical school took them to Barnsley England for a year, where he and Leslie had many memorable adventures, highlighted by attending the Tour De France. After medical school, Buzz landed at Mercer University in Macon, GA, where he completed his residency in Family Medicine, and was nominated by his peers as Chief Resident. During this time, Buzz and Leslie trained and completed Ironman Canada and were married in 2002.
His love for sports led him to pursue a career in Sports Medicine. In August of 2012, he and his family moved to Billings, MT where he completed a sports medicine fellowship with River Stone Health and Ortho Montana. He and his family fell in love with beautiful Montana, and were thrilled with the opportunity to move to Helena to work at Performance Injury and Sports Medicine. They quickly took advantage of all that Helena has to offer. When he wasn’t sharing his passion for health through the healing of his patients, you could find him hiking with his family, trail running on Mt. Helena with his dogs, Lewey and Tank, mountain biking all over the South Hills, teaching his girls to ski at Great Divide, learning to skate ski at Bill Roberts Golf Course, vacationing at our beautiful National Parks and spending many memorable weekends camping with friends. He loved his community in Helena and was frequently seen volunteering his time, talent and love of sports on the sidelines of high school football games. He was a founding member and Board President of Save the Brain Helena, a non-profit organization promoting concussion awareness. He wanted everyone to live a healthy active life to its fullest, and he was willing to help others achieve that goal. A life-long and avid Georgia Bullldog Football fan, his home was easily recognizable in the Helena community. Every Friday before a game, he made sure the GA flag was flying high before he left for work. He and Leslie road tripped to Pasadena in January to see the Bulldogs beat Oklahoma in double overtime in the Rose Bowl. He was over the moon.
Buzz had many athletic accomplishments – marathons, triathlons, trail races and mountain bike races. His mantra as he raced: “every mile is magical”. The love he had for his family was over flowing, and had no boundaries. He would do anything for his girls…including an appearance on stage in Queen City Ballet’s annual production of the Nutcracker dressed in drag as Mother Ginger.
Buzz, as husband and father were his crowning achievements. He was also a son, brother, an uncle, a friend, a neighbor, a colleague, a teacher, a teammate, a training partner and life partner to Leslie.
Buzz was not a man of many words, but his heart spoke louder than most voices. He was generous with his time, talent, love and laughter. He was loved by many, and will be missed by more.
A Celebration of his life will take place at 4:00 p.m. Saturday, October 27, 2018 at the Gateway Center, 1710 National Ave. Light refreshments will immediately follow at the Gateway Center. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made at Valley Bank in support of Buzz’s family: Leslie, Emma & Taylor Walton. Please visit www.aswfuneralhome.com to offer a condolence to the family or share a memory of Buzz.