Kenneth W. Walters, former Clearwater High School basketball coach and "Mr. Clearwater," died Thursday (Feb. 13, 1992) in Hudson. He was 69.
Mr. Walters suffered a heart attack Thursday morning while he and his wife, Jacquelyn, were driving on U.S. 19 to meet friends for lunch, said son Kenneth W. Walters Jr. of Palm Harbor. He said his father was recovering from surgery performed three weeks ago for a blocked artery. Mrs. Walters was driving, he said. The couple had moved from Clearwater in 1980 and were living in Homossassa Springs.
A native of Millsville, Ohio, Mr. Walters was an All-American basketball player at Ohio University. He played professional basketball for several years, including a year with the Boston Celtics, before moving to Clearwater in 1950.
He guided the Clearwater High Tornadoes to five state tournament berths during his eight years (1952-1960) as coach. He also taught government and American history at the school.
In 1959, he was named "Mr. Clearwater" by the city's Chamber of Commerce and received the Clearwater Sertoma Club's "Service to Mankind" award. In 1961, he was appointed to the Clearwater City Commission to fill another member's unfinished term.
After leaving Clearwater High, he worked in the insurance business and started a plastics manufacturing plant, Florida Products, in Odessa. In 1989, he was inducted into the Clearwater High School Basketball Hall of Fame.
He was an Army Air Forces veteran of World War II and a member of St. Cecelia Catholic Church, Clearwater, and Phi Delta Theta.
In addition to his wife and son, survivors include a daughter, Stephanie Waddell, Rome, Ga.; a brother, Bob Maxwell, Titusville; a sister, Kay Walters, Citrus Heights, Calif.; and three grandchildren.
Visitation is 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. today at Moss-Feaster Funeral Homes, Belcher Road Chapel, 693 S Belcher Road, Clearwater. Funeral service is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday at the chapel. Memorials should be sent to the Diabetes Memorial Foundation, 3627 University Blvd., Jacksonville 32216.