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Alaska Retailer George Walton of Gold & Diamond Co. Dies at 71
He built his high-end store in Anchorage by offering top-line customer service and product.
Anchorage, Alaska—George Walton, owner of George Walton’s Gold & Diamond Co. in Anchorage, Alaska, died Jan. 9 after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer.
He was 71 years old.
Walton started his nearly-55-year career in the business working at a small jewelry store in his hometown, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, according to an online obituary.
He eventually gave the West Coast a try, and then moved to Alaska in 1975, opening George Walton’s Gold & Diamond Co. in Anchorage’s Geneva Woods Mall. Eight years later, he moved the store to its current location at Old Seward Highway.
At both locations, Walton and his team gained many longtime customers and helped generations of families pick out their jewels, going out of their way for those near and far.
Every November, the store hosted an anniversary party, bringing jewelry and people together from all over the world and creating a tradition his customers looked forward to every year, the online obituary said.
The store focused on high end goods, benefitting from a local customer base of professionals as well as proximity to the Anchorage airport to bring clients from across the U.S., a 2013 article from The Centurion about Walton and his store said.
He was active in many organizations, serving on the boards of the Alaska Pacific University and Life Alaska Donor Services, the latter for which he had a particular fondness as Walton received an organ donation in 1998.
He also gave generously to many organizations and charities over the years, from the Catholic Charities Ball to the Anchorage Glacier Pilots baseball team.
Walton was preceded in death by his son, Brian; his parents, Jim and Marge Walton; and his sister, Ann Lowder.
He is survived by his son, George Jr., and granddaughter Cybelle of Portland, Oregon; his daughter Marissa (Billy) and granddaughter Ashtyn of Olathe, Kansas; his daughter Monica of Seattle, Washington; his caregiver, Ashley; and his two longtime employees Jill and Cheri.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will not be a service at this time. His family hopes to have a celebration of his life sometime this summer.
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