Robert J. Wallace
January 17, 1929 – September 5, 2019
Robert J. Wallace, age 90, of Aurora, Colorado passed away on Thursday September 5, 2019. Robert was born January 17, 1929.
When Bob’s name is mentioned, depending upon your age, it is usually connected with sports. He was an exceptional athlete, but his time and talents were also utilized unselfishly for his church as well as his community.
Bob was born in Rawlins, Wyoming and lived there until his family moved to Cheyenne. He attended St. Mary’s High School where he was a three sport All-State athlete. Bob received numerous college athletic scholarship offers and decided to play basketball at Regis College in Denver. He played on the famous “Buzz Boys” Regis squads from 1947-1951 and led his team to the school’s only National Title while playing for the legendary coach, Larry Varnell. He was named to the Helms All-American Squad and was selected as well to the N.A.I.A. All-American Team. Bob was also one of eight fellow graduates given the distinction of being listed in Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities and later inducted into the Regis University Basketball Hall of Fame with his 1948-49 team in1993 and again individually in 2006.
His basketball career did not end at Regis, however, He was an AAU All-American while playing with the U.S. Air Force All Stars in 1952 and was the second alternate for the 1952 U.S. Olympic Basketball Team in Helsinki. Later that year he joined and played two years for the Phillps 66 Basketball Team, a power in the highly regarded National Basketball Industrial League.
When Bob’s basketball days were over, he began a 50-year career with Phillips Petroleum. After ten years with the corporation Bob became an independent Phillips 66 distributor in Southeastern Colorado. With Bobbie, his wife, whom he married in 1955, he would spend the next forty years raising his family of five sons and one daughter while providing petroleum products to La Junta and the Arkansas Valley. He served the La Junta community as President of La Junta Economic Development, President of the Chamber of Commerce and President of the Quarterback Club and President of the Colorado Wyoming Petroleum Marketers Association. He received the prestigious La Junta Community Service Award in 1993.
Bob’s faith was the main pillar in his life with his ceaseless dedication to his Lord and his church community. While a member of the La Junta Catholic Parish Bob served as President of the Parish Council, Chairman of the annual fund-raising Bazaar, was on the Parish Finance Committee for over twenty five years, coached the school’s basketball and football teams, taught evening religious education courses and even drove the school bus.
Upon retirement, Bob and Bobbie spent the winter months in Arizona. After several years they moved back to Denver, spending time with their extended family, attending their sports events, school plays and recitals. Bob loved the mountains and, in the summer, would spend a week or more at his favorite spots. From their beginning, even though they never won a pennant, he was a devoted Rockies fan (he’s probably still complaining about their pitching).
Bob’s life was full, happy, and blessed. Our hearts are sad- but full- and we, his family, thank our Blessed Lord for allowing this loving, unselfish man to be such a stalwart influence in our lives.
Bob is survived by his wife of 64 years, Bobbie; children, Rick (Nancy), Tom (Kathy), Jim (Cathy), Dan, Tim, and Mary Pat (Kimmie); nine grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and his brother, Bill (Sharon) Wallace.
Funeral Mass will be held on Sat, Sep 14, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at St. John Francis Regis Chapel, 3333 Regis Blvd, Denver, CO 80221.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.olingerchapelhill.com for the Wallace family.
- Funeral Mass Saturday, September 14, 2019
Robert J. Wallace
September 14, 2019
La Junta truly lost a great couple when Bob and Bobbie left here. Bob was very active in community affairs. He served as president of La Junta Economic Development, working to bring business and industry to La Junta; president of the Chamber of Commerce and the Quarterback Club. Bob was also honored to be the recipient of the La Junta Community Service Award in 1993.
When you have a family like the Wallaces it hurts to lose them. I have very fond memories of them.
I recall one year when city council and other folks had gone to Denver to visit with legislators. While we were eating Mr. Wallace entertained us by falling backwards in his chair. I started laughing. Everyone looked at me like I'd lost my mind. Once we found Bob was okay everyone clapped.
Sincerely and with love,
September 13, 2019
My first memories of Bob were in the Catholic Church. As a child he always took time out to say hi to me and my mom at church. I then got to play basketball against him as he scrimmaged against us as high schoolers. I marveled at his moxie and tried to imagine playing like that the rest of my high school career! My greatest memory of Bob came much later in my life, and changed my life forever! He sold me a liquor store, carried the note, gave me 10 years to pay it off and showed me how it was all going to work on about 3 sheets of notebook paper! (It only took about 61/2 years instead of 10!) For that I will always be indebted to him and the family! He treated me like one of his own! Thank you Bob! God Bless and I will see you again one day!
September 13, 2019
I have such fond memories of him. He was always so kind to me. He liked to joke around with me. I loved going to their house. It was my favorite house in town and I always felt so glamorous there. When I got my first car, l always got gas there and had my car serviced there and he always provided me with great service. I'm so glad l had the pleasure to know him, while growing up in La Junta. Prayers and deepest sympathy. Carol Mullins
September 11, 2019
Dear Wallace Family,
Your husband/father was such a valuable asset to the La Junta community. Please accept my condolences, and know that my thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
- Jeff Masias