1957 – 2016
Adjunct professor Rick Walton passed away Oct. 7 after a prolonged illness. Rick received his bachelor’s degree in Spanish and minor in Portuguese from Brigham Young University in 1980 and his master’s degree in English in 1999. He received elementary education certification from BYU. Rick taught ENGL 320, Writing for Children and Adolescents, in the English Department for fifteen years. Many Utah children’s book authors claim Walton as teacher, mentor, and/or cheerleader.
Rick was the author of over sixty books for children. His works include joke books, picture books, a collection of poetry, activity books, mini-mysteries, and educational software. He loved to read, travel, play the guitar, study foreign languages, and write.
“I became a children’s writer because after trying almost every other career in the book I realized that writing for kids was one of the few things that I both enjoyed and I was good at,” he said. Rick’s books have been featured on the IRA Children’s Choice list, on Reading Rainbow, and on CBS This Morning.
His first published work was a quote in Murphy’s Laws Book III: “A fool and his money are soon elected.” (Let’s hope he was not being prophetic.)
Rick is survived by five children and a community of students and writers.
Ann Cannon: A legacy of inspiration, remembering Utah children’s book author extraordinaire Rick Walton
Interview with Rick Walton by David Layton – August 2009