Shawn Walters was known as the lead pastor of Living Word in Eatonville, now called DayBreak Community Church. Such a move was a really long time in coming. Born in Baltimore, and growing up in Southern California, he grew up in a broken home, so there wasn’t a lot of stability in his life.
That’s largely why he joined the military after high school, serving in the Navy at Pearl Harbor. It’s also how he met his wife, Trickett. They didn’t hit it off at first, because he was brash, and also a foot taller, making him intimidating and, to her (and a few others) somewhat obnoxious. However, his heart and newfound love for Jesus eventually overcame those obstacles. In December of 1992, they were married.
They made the call to move to the Evergreen State shortly after their marriage, and so my sister, Zoe, and I were born after he’d already adjusted to the rainy climate. Shawn helped raise his children in this state, renewed his wedding vows here, finished a Master’s degree at Northwest University, became a coffee enthusiast, drove a bus, and renewed his interest in Star Trek, to name a few basic highlights. For the majority of his life he was an Oakland Raiders fan.
Through circumstances good and bad, my Dad was one of those rock-steady types who didn’t get easily bothered. He was an imposing figure, but once you got to know him you’d realize he was more of a teddy than a grizzly. He liked some of the stereotypical man-things — beef, sports, action flicks, but he balanced that with loving animals, cooking, and fashion.
Shawn was deeply passionate about people. To him, the world was an opportunity. Having been saved as a young adult, he wanted everyone to know how much God cares about them. Scripture was his favorite topic, and I mean that literally — most people make small talk about their favorite game, but he thought things like “hypostatic union” were the best kinds of conversation starters. Go ahead. Google it. He’d be proud if you did.
I don’t know if I have ever met anyone who worked as hard as he did in any professional environment. The economy being the way it is, he really didn’t get much time off, but he rarely complained. He never made his family feel like they were a burden. In fact, the free time he did have was generally invested right back into us.
He had big dreams for Eatonville — the church he pastored was, in his mind, on the very edge of a turning point that would bring hope and joy to Pierce County, and then the rest of the state. It hurts that he’s not here to see it — his idealism, inspired by his faith, was one of many reasons he was so loved.
Summarizing a life in a paragraph or two is impossible. I’ve used more than that, and barely brushed the surface. As my mother always said, “Shawn is the second greatest man to walk the Earth.” So if you take away anything from this — Shawn Walters was a good man. He loved God. He loved his family and he loved his friends. And all of us will miss him.

You did good, Dad. See you later.