Cover photo for Walter R. "Sonny" Lupton's Obituary
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Walter R. "Sonny" Lupton

February 8, 1943 — January 29, 2024


Walter R. "Sonny" Lupton

Walter R. “Sonny” Lupton, 80, of Shallowater, was lifted into heaven on Monday evening, January 29, 2024.  Sonny was born on February 8, 1943, in Lubbock, to the late John Henry Walter Lupton and Edna (Greener) Lupton.

A life-long member of the Shallowater community, he attended Shallowater schools and graduated from high school in 1961.   He went on and furthered his education by attending Texas Tech University, obtaining his Bachelor’s Degree in 1966.

In 1971, he married Kathee Smith in Modesto, California, and out of this union he had two daughters and a son.  Later, he married Jan Rowe on August 14, 1991, in Lubbock.

He enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1967 and served faithfully in the Vietnam War. He underwent many training courses and was designated as a C-123 & KC-135 Captain.  He was awarded the Vietnam Distinguished Flying Cross medal and twice received The Air Medal for meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight. He was a proficient pilot with numerous different aircrafts. 

Upon his honorable discharge in 1972, he returned home to Shallowater to take over his father’s second-generation family farm with his brother. He primarily farmed cotton and raised cattle until his retirement in 2008. He was a member of the Cotton Gin Board and served as their President.  He also served on the Cotton Compress Board, and the Farmers Co-Op Board, as well as being involved in the Experimental Aircraft Association.  He was a long-time member and volunteer of St. Philip Benizi Catholic Church in Shallowater, and the Knights of Columbus.  

Sonny’s passion for flying started at a young age. He learned to fly before he received his driver’s license. For the last 33 years, he has enjoyed living at Biggin Hill, a small residential airport neighborhood, where he was a part of their private pilot community. While living there he enjoyed flying his Bonanza and his Piper Cub. A close second passion for flying was hunting. He was a skilled bow hunter and always enjoyed dove season. 

One of the most admirable qualities about Sonny was his kind heart. He thought of others often and liked to lend a helping hand whenever he could. He never knew a stranger and always enjoyed getting to know everyone he came across. He had a warm smile and loved telling his collection of jokes to anyone willing to listen. He often called his kids to tell them that he loved them and true to his farming roots, he always enjoyed providing them with the local weather report. 

Those left to honor and cherish his memory include his wife, Jan; two daughters, Mimi Gilliland and husband Grant of Dallas and Paige Lupton of San Francisco, California; one son, Ryan Lupton and wife Donna of Danville, California, and step-daughter Lisa Kuehne of Dallas, one brother, Pat Lupton and wife Janice of Shallowater; five sisters:  Ann McGinty of New Braunfels, Kay Licona of Santa Teresa, NM, Christy Christian and husband Lewis of Jacksboro, Bunny Payne and husband Bob of Buffalo Springs and Gracie Simmons of Lubbock; four grandchildren:   Connor Gilliland, Nicole Gilliland, Emma Lupton, Reid Lupton and step-grandson Mason Kuehne. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Harry James Lupton, brother-in-laws Kenneth McGinty, Memo Licona and Brad Simmons, and his stepson Leslie Sherman.

Mass will be held at 1 PM on Saturday, February 10, 2024, at St. Philip Benizi Catholic Church, 910 Avenue J, Shallowater, TX 79363.  Father George Poonely will be the Celebrant. Final rites and interment will be at Resthaven Memorial Park under the personal care and direction of Combest Family Funeral Home. Following the burial there will be a gathering at the Overton Hotel in the Horizon Room from 3:30-5:30pm. Everyone is welcome.  In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Sonny’s memory to: St. Philip Benizi Catholic Church, 910 Avenue J, Shallowater, TX 79363.  

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Walter R. "Sonny" Lupton, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Saturday, February 10, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

St. Philip Benizi Catholic Church

908 Avenue J, Shallowater, TX 79363

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