Stuart Alan Wallace
Stuart Alan Wallace
  • July 17, 1937 - August 2, 2017
  • Raleigh, North Carolina

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Stuart Alan Wallace died August 2, 2017 after a full life of seeking, searching and exploring the natural world and striving to make the communities he touched more aware of achievable social justice. He was a rare combination -- a humble and noble soul.
Born in Evanston, IL and raised in Glencoe, IL on the North Shore of Lake Michigan, he received his formal education at New Trier High School (1955), a BA in American History and Literature from Williams College (1959), an MA in History from Teachers College, Columbia University (1966),and an EdD in Adult Education from NC State University (1985).
In his career as an educator, he was known as an old-style "school man" -- there to open doors before dawn and the last to leave post-dusk. Stuart taught history, geography and politics, served as a department chair, college counselor, Upper School Director and coach (football and track). He taught at Mercersburg Academy (PA), where he founded a Summer Sports Camp; Durham Academy (NC), where he introduced an experiential education program with Senior Challenge Outdoor Ed that has expanded to serve all four years of high school and is still operating today. The last decade of his career was spent at Durham Tech. Community College, where he found satisfaction helping older students re-enter the system to pursue college degrees.
Stuart ached to have more than twenty-four hours in a day. There was never enough time to pacify his need to stay active in his retirement. He took and taught many classes in NC State's continuing ed. program (OLLI), supported WakeUp Wake and the Central and Eastern NC Food Bank, and joined Wake County Senior Democrats. He served two years as President of WC Senior Dems and was awarded the Wake County Senior Democrat of the Year award in 2016. Their watchword was the same as his personal credo: " Forward together; not one step back!"
Early adult experiences with NC Outward Bound made him a passionate participant in the natural world --gardening, hiking, canoeing and travel. No one loved God's creation -- and everything in it -- more than he. Always on his knees with his hands in the dirt, planting beautiful gardens to enjoy from every window in the house. Walking the greenways alone was his meditation time. He followed the changes in the trees from season to season. He loved hiking creeks and paddling down rivers. Climbing mountain peaks and surveying the earth from great heights made him happy. He was always at peace in the natural world. (People were another story.) As he aged, he had to slow down his routine, but never his enthusiasm. Hikes became walks. Climbing evolved into watching sunsets and sunrises over Grandfather Mountain.
The formation of early friendships at New Trier HS and Williams College served him well his whole life. The best tonic in tough times was hearing the voice of a friend from any corner of the country. Reunions --formal and informal -- fed his soul. "Good friends are like quilts -- they age with you, yet never lose their warmth."
Stuart is survived by his wife of 37 years, Jennie Harris Wallace; nephew William D. Wallace (and son Dylan) and niece Katharine Wallace Wheeler (and husband Mark and their three children: Kyle, Lili, and Jack), sister-n-law Diana Wallace. He was preceded in death by his parents, Alan Lockhart Wallace and Esther Henby Wallace; brother, David B. Wallace and nephew, DB Wallace.
Memorial service and interment are private. To honor his memory, read widely in what interests and inspires you, plant flowers or trees and nurture them, stop to reflect on your experiences instead of letting them fade away.
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Stuart Alan Wallace