Cover photo for Carol  Elizabeth Walter 's Obituary
Carol  Elizabeth Walter  Profile Photo
1934 Carol 2023

Carol Elizabeth Walter

October 10, 1934 — May 18, 2023

Our loving mother, Carol Elizabeth Goethals Walter, ascended to heaven on May 18th, 2023.

Carol was born on October 10, 1934, and was the youngest of three children.

Carol grew up in Mishawaka, Indiana, and graduated from Ball State University (Chi Omega) with a teaching degree in Speech Therapy. While working as a speech therapist she met Richard Lawrence Walter at a church dance in South Bend and soon fell in love. They married on Dec 27, 1958.

They lived in Madison, WI, then moved to Durham, NC in 1962 where Richard had accepted a tenure-track position with Duke University in nuclear physics. Carol assisted numerous young faculty families, especially those from abroad, helping them adjust to Durham and the pressures academia places on families.

She loved to sing in church and in Gilbert and Sullivan musicals, and she shared her love of singing with her children, particularly John Denver songs. She was an active volunteer with Meals on Wheels, delivering hot food to the elderly in Durham, often with one of the children in tow. Carol was also an engaged volunteer for the Brownies, the League of Women voters, Immaculata School, and the North Carolina Boys Choir. She was often behind the wheel of her 1971 Chrysler wagon, ferrying children and their friends to the pool, after-school clubs, and music lessons for 22 years. She was ever-present in her children's lives.

Truly, Carol led with her heart, and she created a home for her husband and children.

When her youngest entered high school, Carol took administrative roles for Duke University in the Botany Department, the University Archives, and her favorite, the Geology Department.

Carol traveled extensively with Richard to include a sabbatical year in Heidelberg, Germany, and trips to Japan, China, and Australia.

She was an avid reader of spy fiction and would often take the children to various Durham libraries in search of the next novel she would consume. She studied in the masters of library science program at NCCU where she developed an unexpected interest in the Code of Hammurabi.

As lifelong Catholics, she and Richard joined Immaculate Conception Catholic Church; it was a source of some of their earliest and dearest friendships. She and Richard retired to Croasdaile Village in 2006; she lived out her final years at the wonderful LiveWell house in Duke Forest.

Carol was a dedicated daughter, devoted wife, and loving Mom and Nana. She is survived by her children Timothy Walter; Susan Walter Walton (Jeff Walton); Matthew Walter (Bynum Parsons Walter), and two grandsons, Nick Walton and Zack Walton (Hannah Simpson Walton). Carol was preceded in death by her parents, George H. and Frances R. Goethals; her husband, Richard Walter; her sister, Joyce Green, and brother, Phillip Goethals.

May Carol rest in peace, forever in God's care and eternal light.

A modest memorial Mass is planned for 2:00PM, June 17th, 2023, at St. Mathews Catholic Church in northern Durham County, where she will be interred next to Richard. 

Memorial donations may be made to Alzheimers Association at

Condolences may be offered via Hall Wynne Funeral Home,

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Carol Elizabeth Walter , please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, June 17, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

St. Matthew Catholic Church

1001 Mason Road, Durham, NC 27712

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St. Matthew Catholic Cemetery

, Durham, NC 27704

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