The family of Horace Maze Walters Sr., will host a private celebration in observance of his 99th birthday.

The family of Horace Maze Walters Sr., will host a private celebration in observance of his 99th birthday.

Walters was born March 22, 1914, at Hensley Island to the late William and Cornelius Williams Walters. His parents later moved to Tulsa, Okla., and later returned back to Arkansas when he was a young boy. They lived on Princeton Pike during that time. After a while, they moved again to Moscow, a small community near Pine Bluff.

As he grew older, he visited neighboring communities and it was during one of those visits that he met his wife, Fedora Elizabeth Burks. They were united in marriage May 12, 1934. They made their home on the Russell Lambert Plantation plowing with mules and later he worked driving tractors. During the winter months he and some of the other men walked several miles to work at McGeorge Sand and Gravel Company on the river up until the spring months.

He was a former member of St. Luke United Methodist Church. He organized and managed a gospel group called the Overtones Five for many years. They traveled and made several recordings until the group disbanded. Walters and Theo Rogers are the only two surviving members of that group. He was later baptized and became a member of the New St. James Baptist Church, where he served as an usher, choir director and a deacon.

He moved his family in December of 1958 to Pine Bluff and has lived here ever since. During the spring of 1965, he and his family united with the Highland Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of the late S.B. Scott. There he served as choir director and deacon. He is still an active member of Highland.

Walters worked part-time jobs to support his families when work was lean. He was later employed at Varco Pruden Steel Company and then several other steel companies up until he retired from the Barge Steel Company at the age of 65. In order to keep busy after retirement, he organized a senior gospel group called the Do-Re-Me Singers and they sang for several years at surrounding churches until the members became ill or died.

Walters and his wife were married 74 years. To this union 14 children were born. Of those 14 children, 11 are still living. He fathered 16 children. He has 51 grandchildren, 74 great-grandchildren, 60 great-great-grandchildren; and one great-great-great-grandchild.

Walters is also the only surviving child out of his 10 siblings born to his parents.

According to a family spokesman, Walters has spent 71 of his years on earth serving God’s people as a deacon.

“To this very day he loves going to church, singing and enjoys his family and friends who stop by regularly to visit. He enjoys life,” the spokesman said.