William "Bill" Walden, 77, of Walden Mountain Road, Morganton, NC died Tuesday, April 5, 2011 following an extended illness. Born in Hazard, KY on February 9, 1934, he was the son of the late Floyd Victor McCanless, Jr. and Mary Elizabeth Darby McCanless. At the age of 14 Floyd and Libby McCanless opened their home to him and at his age of 65 they adopted him.He graduated from Warren Wilson Junior College and then North Carolina State University. He later worked as an ATF agent for over 10 years until injuries sustained on the job forced him to retire early. After his retirement he spent his time raising his family, working on the farm, and running a tree nursery business. He was a member of Oak Hill United Methodist Church.Bill is survived by his wife, Mary Sue "Susie" Anderson Walden of the home; children, William Walden and wife, Christie, Karl Walden and wife, Gayle, and Elizabeth Witt and husband, Dudley; grandchildren, Blair Walden, Daniel Walden, Jason Teng, Jake Walden, Amanda Walden, Mallie Witt, and Colin Witt; brothers, Jim McCanless and wife, Marcia and Stuart McCanless and wife, Alice; and a host of nieces and nephews.In addition to his parents, Bill was preceded in death by a brother, "Skip" McCanless and a sister, Bettie Lee McCanless.A celebration of Bill’s life will be held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, April 8, 2011 at Oak Hill United Methodist Church with Rev. Jim Scott officiating. The family will receive friends in the church fellowship hall following the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690 or to the Oak Hill United Methodist Church Building Fund, 2239 NC 181, Morganton, NC 28655. Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center is assisting the family with the arrangements.

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