Walter Burton Altizer Jr.

December 28, 1942February 16, 2021
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Walter “Doc” Burton Altizer, Jr, 78, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, with his wife of 46 years by his side. He was born in Covington, Virginia, on December 28, 1942, the son of Walter Burton and Elizabeth Payne Altizer. In addition to his parents, Doc was preceded in death by three brothers; Garland, Herman “Buzzy,” and infant brother, Wayne Altizer.

He is survived by his wife, Sarah Persinger Altizer of Martinsville, Virginia; children, Sallie Altizer Hinson (Angus) of Raleigh, NC; Whitney Payne Altizer (Lindsay) of Saipan, MP; and Rebecca Altizer Allen (Darrin) of Stokesdale, NC; grandchildren, Walter, Frances Gray, and Rebecca Hinson; Finn and Poppy Altizer; and Jasper, Henry, and Liesel Allen; a sister Doris Altizer and many beloved nieces and nephews.

Doc spent a majority of his accounting career at Tultex Corporation, but also worked for Fieldcrest-Cannon and Bassett Furniture. He was a Sergeant in the United States Army Reserves. He was a dedicated husband, father, brother and friend; a beloved co-worker; a proud member of Covington High School Class of 1960; an Elder and active member of First Presbyterian Church in Eden and Martinsville; founding member of the YMCA Adventure Guides Program in Martinsville; and a tireless and enthusiastic coach to his kids and hundreds of other youth in Gastonia, NC, and Martinsville. He loved hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway with his family and friends, and traveling near and far to watch nieces, nephews and grandchildren pursue their talents. Always quick to offer a smile, lend a helping hand, or map out your next great adventure, Doc will be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.

A rolling visitation is planned for Saturday, February 27, 2021, from 10-3 pm at McKee-Stone Funeral Home - Martinsville, VA. Due to COVID-19 regulations, the family will not be present. A private interment of cremains will be made at Persinger Memorial Cemetery, Potts Creek, Covington, Virginia.

The family extends a heartfelt thank you to the amazing staff and nurses of King’s Grant Retirement Community and to the exceptional nurses, aides, and staff of Mountain Valley Hospice for their loving support and care during the final months of Doc’s life.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial gifts to the following organizations: Piedmont Youth Soccer League, 1000 Irisburg Rd., Axton, VA 24054; this will provide need-based scholarships for kids who otherwise would not be able to play; The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5014, (800) 708-7644, or visit Doc's Tribute page; or a local charitable organization of your choosing.


  • Piedmont Youth Soccer League
  • Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
  • Local charitable organization of your choosing


27 February

A rolling visitation without family being present

10:00 am - 3:00 pm

McKee-Stone Funeral Home

109 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virignia 24112


Walter Burton Altizer Jr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Donna Arrington

February 24, 2021

As I am sending this for my brother, Darrell Crawford, he and Doc, have been friends ever since Doc was growing up on Pocahontas St., Covington, Va. next door to our grandparents. Darrell said to be sure to mention Rivermont Hill as Rivermont School was close to where we all grew up. And, I would hear Doc's name mentioned quite often at home. I imagine that Doc and Darrell had some pretty good times together and Darrell truly thought very highly of Doc. The neighborhood has changed so much but the memories are always there. Darrell and I, Donna Sue, send our deepest heartfelt condolences to you all and we know that he will be greatly missed. May you sense God's presence in the days ahead surrounding you all with His so great a love. Sincerely, Darrell Crawford and Donna Sue C. Arrington.

Debora DeShazo

February 23, 2021

It's been years since I worked with "Doc" as we all knew him at Tultex. A smile ran across my face as I thought of him. Always in good spirits and kept a positive attitude. Doc just could not understand why I was 40 and not married. He was always on the lookout to find me a husband. A prominent business man came to the area and Doc was determined to "hook me up". I told Doc that he was too short for me. (LOL) Doc was looking his income figures. Needless to say I did not marry him and was not attracted to him. Doc was so disappointed that I let him get away. I will always smile when I think of him.

Williemae Harris

February 21, 2021

Mrs. Altizer, Rebecca and the entire family we are so sorry to hear of Mr. Altizer's passing. He was truly a nice gentleman. You have our deepest sympathy and we will keep you all in prayer. Brooks Harris parents. Peter and Willie Mae Harris

Jasper Allen

February 20, 2021

Nano was a great grandfather. I wish I could have spent more time with him in his life. I miss him. :(

-Nanos favorite grandson

Beth Shelton

February 20, 2021

How in the world do we start to share memories with this great guy and the family? When Doc came to Eden as Mom's boss in Fieldcrest Accounting and didn't have family close by, we immediately adopted him and subsequently, Sarah and the kids. What great times we had together, especially on Sunday evenings with Bill's homemade ice cream and Ruby's homemade deserts, while we solved all world problems!! Our Jamaica trip was one for the books and we never stopped relating to it!! At a crossroad in my life, Doc and Sarah invited me to attend 1st Presbyterian in Eden and that made a huge difference in my life. Tim has great memories of playing softball with Doc when he came to Eden and was looking for activities to be involved in. We really hated seeing you guys move to Gastonia, we missed you so! Doc was such a kind, gentle, fun loving soul, there're not enough words to describe him! He left you all with so many wonderful memories, pictures, and thoughts to draw from for the rest of your lives!!Find peace and comfort from this treasure of memories in the coming days and weeks. Much love, prayers, and hugs to you. God bless you all.
Much love,
Tim and Beth Shelton

Mary Mabe

February 20, 2021

Sarah, Sally, Whit and Becca,

So very sorry about Doc. We think about you and family often and think of all the great times we had together. Our memories of Doc and you will live on in our hearts forever. We love you!!

Kenny and Mary

Jeanne Ervin

February 19, 2021

Doc was a very special friend to my husband, Bill Ervin, and he spoke of Doc with such wonderful fond memories of their school days in Covington. I know they will both see each other in heaven. It is so hard losing our loved ones but he will not be forgotten on earth and memories of his goodness will be everlasting. My sympathy and love to the family.

Cathy Carter

February 19, 2021

How blessed to have met you, Doc. We had many great times together. Your love for soccer rubbed off onto my entire family; even teaching Johnny coaching skills. Then Indian Princess, what great father/daughter memories were made. I never had anyone that went so out of their way to accommodate my banking needs, driving backwards through the drive thru, just so I would be on the teller side. Over the last few years, I enjoyed our visits and talks at Kings Grant. Always wanting updates on my family and wanting me to know all your family was doing. I know you will be greatly missed but thankful to know you are now rejoicing in heaven, completely healed.
Sarah, Sallie, Whit and Becca, you all were blessed with a wonderful husband and father. He was so proud of you all. God bless you today and the days ahead.

Ginger Liner

February 19, 2021

Doc was such an amazing person to know. I’m truly blessed that he was a part of my life. He was always so caring and genuine at FPC, from Kirk Nights to youth activities to driving to and from youth activities in the Astro Van, he made it so fun and welcoming! Thoughts and prayers with all the Altizer’s!

Mary Rob Coupland

February 19, 2021

Doc was simply the best. I have never met a more fun- loving, gentle spirited, kind hearted family, and he was the leader of that family, which speaks volumes to the kind of person he was. I was blessed to know him. My heart and many, many prayers goes out to the wonderful Altizer family.