Grandpa Zeb Walton is the patriarch of the Walton family. He is John Walton's father and has been married to Esther Walton for over 50 years. As Esther says, he has a gruff exterior, but a soft heart. He works with John in the family timber mill, and has a knack of being able to give good advice to everyone who asks, through the stories he tells. He spends a lot of time up in the mountains, doing a variety of things.
Zeb's personality is that of a child, often laughing at inappropriate things and providing crude/provocative humor. He is a very hard worker, despite his age and health problems, often arguing with his son over his well being. He is the homestead of the family. Zeb can be found around the mountains doing a variety of different things, such as fishing, admiring the scenery, gathering wood, etc. Zebulon has a profound love for the Baldwin Sisters' "recipe", as it makes him feel really good. Zebulon will always stand up for what is right, specially when it comes to his family and the mountains. He is definitely hard-headed and stubborn, but he only does this out of love for his family. Zebulon told stories about Spanish-American War where he charged San Juan Hill with Theodore Roosevelt but they turned out to be highly exaggerated.
Death & Legacy
Will 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. Since his death, the show continued to air new episodes some of which have featured some flashbacks/voice clips of Will Geer as Zebulon.