James H. Wallace, 79, Cresco and formerly of Meservey, died Oct. 1, 2019 at Regional Health Services of Howard County in Cresco. Memorial services will be held at a later date.
James Harry, son of Harry E. and Mabel J. (Neer) Wallace, was born Sept. 16, 1940 in Windsor, IL. He attended Mattoon High School his freshman and sophomore years, and Effingham High School his junior and senior years, graduating in 1958 and was voted “Unhurried, helpful”. While at EHS Jim was on the track team and a member of FFA.
Jim was a Sov. Grand Master of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows until he moved to Iowa in 1970. Jim was implemental in establishing a successful Case dealership in Belmond, winning several sales awards and exotic trips. He opened his own business, JW Equipment in Belmond, later expanding to Juarez-Ciudad Mexico. Jim Wallace Company was later established in Clear Lake for the servicing of mobile homes.
Jim was married to Janet Irene (Fletcher) for 21 years and had four children through this union.
On June 29, 1984 Jim married Beatrice (Bea) Sabelka in Clear Lake. For 15 years she supported his many ventures, and they were truly happy together. They enjoyed finishing each other’s sentences, crossword puzzles, crafting and gardening. They are true soul mates, reunified forever in Heaven, holding hands and making each other laugh.
Jim used to say he was a Jack of all trades, and a master of none. Those who knew him say Jim could sell ice to Eskimos. In his spare time he enjoyed restoring classic cars, including a ‘68 Camaro, ‘72 Nova, ‘57 Bel-Air, ‘64 Impala, and several others. He also enjoyed floral arranging, wine and candle making, and woodworking. He donated many of his wood projects to church bazaars. He also enjoyed renovating houses.
Christmas in Jim’s house was spectacular because he loved to decorate! He did it for the enjoyment of creating something that would make others happy.
Ever the entrepreneur -- he was never one to sit still -- he wanted everything done yesterday, whether completing home improvements or starting new business ventures. Those who knew Jim -- especially folks in the emergency room -- were not surprised that with every one of his projects came an injury of some sort. He was on a first name basis with the ER doctors and found humor in all of his injuries. It takes a strong man to hold his severed digit and say “oops”. His family and friends threatened to purchase rubber saw blades. He always put his entire heart, soul, blood, sweat and lots of tears in everything he did, never doing anything half-way. In later years he enjoyed traveling and sending his children postcards. One of his most memorable trips was taking his older two great-grandchildren to Disney World in Florida.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife Beatrice (1999); infant daughters Cheryl and Diane; and brothers Dean and Gene Wallace.
Jim is survived by his first wife Janet Irene McMahon of Montrose, IL; daughter Sandi Wallace of Belmond; son James “Tony” A. (Laura) Wallace of Bloomsburg, PA; grandchildren Christophe (Tanya) Roberts of Belmond, Travis (Kami) Roberts of Belmond, and Audrey Wallace of Bloomsburg; great-grandchildren Madison, Cameron and Aubrey Roberts; brothers Bill (Sally) Wallace of Sullivan, IL and David (Sharon) Wallace of Windsor; sisters Rosemary Williams of Windsor and Shirley Keigley of Charleston, IL; sisters-in-law Esther Wallace of Windsor and Rusty Wallace of Watson, IL; and many other family and friends including Isaac Thorton-Determan and Isaiah Betterton-Determan of Mason City, and Les Peterson of Meservey.