Robert M. Wallace

PORTLAND — Robert Morse Wallace of Portland passed away peacefully on July 2, 2011, two weeks short of his 93rd birthday.

Bob was the father of seven children, and the loving grandfather, great and great-great-grandfather of scores more.

Born in Deering to Elbert L. and Eleanor Morse Wallace in 1918, he was one of seven children all of whom lived into their 80s and beyond. His father was a painter and paperhanger, who used to take his family into the countryside each summer by trading repair work or painting for the use of a house. The family would garden, put up food and explore the area. He shared many stories of those times and the inventiveness of both his parents. His mother kept the family together after losing her husband by playing and teaching the organ.

Bob lived through the Great Depression, worked in the CCC and was in the Air Force during WWII. During this time he met a “Rosie the Riveter” named Blanche Giguere. They married and raised a daughter and six sons in Westbrook.

Always able to provide a stable home which at one point numbered 10 with the inclusion of Memere, he fed his family by working at SD Warren until he retired after 40 years.

To feed his soul he gardened (what gardens!), was a consummate woodsman hunting and fishing right up until this past year, went smelting, carved, made baskets, played cards with friends, spent time at the camp (later the “house”) on Panther Pond, snowmobiled with his dog “Tilly” on the back, enjoyed “pulling a Wallace” (gently pulling an unsuspecting person’s leg with a twinkle in his eye and a wry grin), and kept a daily journal almost every day for 50 years.

He passed down to his descendants his love of the outdoors and his self-reliance (he could figure out how to fix almost anything) and gardening. His gardens were abundant with food and a visual tapestry of flowers and that lives on in memories.

He was predeceased by his wife Blanche in 2001; and his daughter Deana Dubay.

Bob is survived by his sons and their families: Duane (Bucky) Wallace of Skowhegan, Peter Wallace of Live Oak, Fla., Michael Wallace of San Diego, Calif., Paul Wallace of Gray, Jim Wallace of Scarborough and Jeffrey Wallace of Sebago.

There will be a celebration of Bob’s life at Blais Funeral Home, 35 Church Street, Westbrook, (854-2341), on Sunday, July 17, (Bob’s birthday) at 2 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to the Autism Research Institute at autism.com

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