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William Joseph “Bill” Wallace passed away Friday, April 5th at his home surrounded by his family and under the care of Hospice of the Red River Valley.
Bill was born July 23, 1934, at St. James Hospital in Perham, MN, to George C. and Mary (Stodolka) Wallace. Bill grew up on a farm in Pine Lake Township where he learned to hunt, fish and trap. After graduating from the eighth grade, he attended high school in Perham, graduating in 1952. On June 23, 1958, Bill married the love of his life, Agnes Geiser, at St. John’s Catholic Church in Bluffton, MN. They were blessed with six children.
Bill began his career at Huebsch Woodcraft in Perham, where he worked until he and Agnes were married; then moved to Vergas, MN, managing a lumber company there, and managing and playing on the local baseball team. They then moved to Waubun, MN, where Bill worked for the Wilcox Lumber Company and was on the volunteer fire department. He also drove bus for the high school sports teams in Waubun, getting paid $2 a trip and a ticket to the game.
In 1967, Bill and Agnes moved to Barnesville, MN, where he managed the J. H. Fish Lumber Company. In 1969, they bought the Coast to Coast store where he and Agnes worked until his retirement. Bill was also a rural mail carrier for the United States Postal Services. He was president of the Chamber of Commerce, president of the Lions Club, and an active member of the Assumption Catholic Church in Barnesville. He was also a firearms safety instructor for 25 years.
In 1991, Bill and Agnes sold their Coast to Coast store and moved to Big Pine Lake in Perham, where Bill was an active member of St. Henry’s Catholic Church serving as a sacristan, Eucharistic minister, usher, gift bearer, and his pride and joy was to be a Mass server with his grandchildren. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus.
Bill loved spending time at the lake with his family, teaching his grandchildren how to fish, telling stories, and a good practical joke. Bill was an avid deer hunter and loved deer camp spending time with his family and friends. He was an enthusiastic card player and went to Butler regularly to play with his card group. He and Agnes spent many quiet hours putting together jigsaw puzzles. He enjoyed woodworking, making crafts with Agnes, and volunteering many hours at the craft store in New York Mills, MN. Each year he would build and donate a picnic table to the St. Henry’s School fundraiser.
Bill is survived by his wife Agnes; children Mary Dreier, Duane (Diane) Wallace, Keith (Jennie) Wallace, Cindy (Mike) Karlen, Kristie (Brad) Todd, and Jody (Brian) Martinson; 16 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; brothers Tom (Ginny) Wallace and Jim (Darla) Wallace; brother-in-law Russ (Judy) Hoffman; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother Don; and grandson Jack Wallace.
Visitation will be from 5:00-8:00 p.m. with a Knights of Columbus Rosary at 6:30 and parish prayers at 7:00 on Friday, April 12 at Schoeneberger Funeral & Cremation Service in Perham. Visitation will resume from 10:00-11:00 a.m. followed by the funeral Mass at 11:00 on Saturday, April 13 at St. Henry’s Catholic Church in Perham. Burial will be in the church cemetery.
Schoeneberger Funeral & Cremation Service, Perham, MN (218) 346-5175 www.schoenebergerfh.com