Grandpa Zeb Walton is the patriarch of the Walton family. He is John Walton's father and is husband to Esther Walton . He works with John in the family timber mill, and has a knack distilling his decades of wisdom & dispensing it to them as need it as avuncular good advice, through the stories he tells.
Zeb's personality is good humoured & even tempered. He is a very hard worker, despite his age and health problems, to the point of arguing with his son over his well being. Zeb can be found around the mountains doing a variety of different things, such as fishing, admiring the scenery, gathering wood & hunting. At home Grandpa is the acknowledged expert on smoking meats.
Zebulon has an appreciation & fondness for the Baldwin Sisters' "recipe". Zebulon will always stand up for what is right, especially when it comes to his family and the mountains. He is hard-headed and stubborn, but not irrational or unreasonable & only does so out of love for his family.
Death & LegacyWill Geer died on April 22, 1978, due to respiratory failure. His character's death was also written into the show, no replacements were ever made. The cast was no-doubt heartbroken. The actors who played the children often referred to him being a real "grandfather" to them. After his death, the show continued to air new episodes some of which featured some flashbacks/voice clips of Will Geer as Zebulon.