George Wallace Denton

July 18, 1928December 24, 2016

George Wallace Denton, 88, passed away Saturday, December 24, 2016.

Wallace was the founding director of the marriage and family doctoral program at Purdue University and served as head of what is now the department of Human Development and Family Studies. He trained many PhD students who went on to become faculty at other universities and assume other positions of leadership. His professional contributions to the profession of family therapy were recognized with multiple awards and honors. He was the author of six books with three being book club selections. After 30 years at Purdue he eventually retired to Athens, GA where he became a member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens. In 2011 he published his memoirs, The Long, Long Winding Road.

Wallace was a multi-talented person with many skills and interests including restoring old cars, woodworking and playing music. He played harmonica with the Athens Folk Society Band at their monthly gigs in area nursing homes. He was a generous person who never met a stranger and was ready to lend a hand to anyone in need.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Juanita Holt Denton; son, Wayne (Pam) Denton; daughter, Susan (Jim Beall) Staley; grandchildren, Owen (Camille) Staley, Amanda (Matt) Manna, Sam (Aeryal) Staley and Aaron Denton; great-grandchildren, Sydney, Fred, Emma and Noah; sisters, Barbara Bettis and Janet Russell, both of Arkansas.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Roberta Denton and brother, Duane Denton.

A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, January 14 at 5 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens at 780 Timothy Road. A BBQ reception will follow. Side dishes would be welcomed.

Donations in Wallace’s memory made be made to the Northeast Georgia Food Bank.

Online condolences may be offered at

Bernstein Funeral Home and Cremation Service is in charge of arrangements.


  • Celebration of Life Saturday, January 14, 2017

George Wallace Denton

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Carolyn Tubbs

February 1, 2017

Your Dad's face was one of the first friendly faces I encountered when I first came to Purdue. His gentle and giving spirit was always a source of encouragement and worthy of a smile. Wallace never wanted for an interesting, colorful anecdote and he taught with his life. If I share half of the joy of learning to my students as your Dad brought to his courses, I will consider myself a great professor.

Again, I am sorry for your family's loss.

Diana Torell

January 14, 2017

I'll always remember our favorite duets. As soon as he joined the band we were all there to have lunch with Wallace. Miss him so.

christopher hampton

January 13, 2017

Becky and I offer our condolences to wallace's wonderful family. he made us feel welcome and as friends the minute we were introduced .Our loss that we didnt know him even longer. god bless you all.

John Amoss

January 9, 2017

Thanks for coming to so many of our shows and I enjoyed our conversations about what makes life great.

Larry Malher

January 9, 2017

I owe my life to this wonderful man. He was such a kind and gentle soul, so insightful and caring of my hurt. I count it a privilege to have known him. - Larry Malher

Chuck Calahan

January 9, 2017

Wallace was my key mentor in graduate school at Purdue and in life during my late twenties. His keen insight, kindness, breadth of learning and his stories were all inspirations. Some of us have opportunity to stand on the shoulders of giants. Wallace was just such a giant of living life to the fullest and being open to new. We will miss him greatly and think of him fondly.

January 9, 2017

so grateful to have spent all those afteroons playing music and having lunch with our daddy d! -brian crum

Walton Harris

January 9, 2017

I am honored to call Wallace a good friend. His kindness and loving nature shines like the stars and provides the warmth of the sun. Peace.

Bernstein Funeral Home

January 8, 2017

Offering our deepest condolences during this difficult time.

Kathleen Lawrence Stueck

January 4, 2017

Susan and family. We have all lost a very special person. One of the things we loved about your Dad was his energy and indominable good nature. We always were pleased to see him and your Mom, so often together. He was an Inspiration to us. His 80th birthday party was unique and memorable. What great fun it was.
With our love and sympathy, Kathleen and Lawrence