Fallen Hero: COL James D “Jack” Wallace


Funeral Home

Welch Funeral Home

201 West Lampkin St., Starkville, MS 39759


Friday, November 3, 2017

9:00-11:00 am

First Presbyterian Church

307 University Drive

Starkville, MS 39759


Friday, November 3, 2017

11:00 am

First Presbyterian Church

307 University Drive

Starkville, MS 39759

Burial to follow Pleasant Ridge Cemetery in Bradley, MS



Our beloved husband, father, and grandfather, Jack Wallace died on October 31, 2017. He was 75 years old. He was the rock and inspiration to our family, and we were so proud of him and the life that he led.
Jack was born in Cliftonville (Noxubee County), Mississippi on November 27, 1941—Thanksgiving Day. His family worked in Oak Ridge during 1942 and then moved back to Longview, Mississippi.

Jack finished the eighth grade at Longview school and graduated from Starkville High School in 1959. He graduated from Mississippi State University in January 1966 with a BS in General Business. He then worked at VanLandingham Lumber Company from April of 1961 until September of 1998.
He worked at Reynolds Insurance and Real Estate while forming a Company, Boardtown Builders, Inc. He was a longtime general contractor building many homes and buildings all over Oktibbeha County and at MSU. In addition he worked as a consultant for many customers including many years for the Starkville Housing Authority.

Jack was always involved in community development and trying to make Oktibbeha County a better place to live.

Jack was a Past President of the Starkville Area Chamber of Commerce, President of the Oktibbeha County Economic Development authority for many years, a member of the board of Directors of the Greater Starkville Development Partnership, A member of the Committee of 100 of the GSDP, A Past President of the Starkville Kiwanis Club, and a member of the Starkville Rotary Club. He received the Volunteer of the year award from the Mississippi Economic Development council along with Community Service Award from the Greater Starkville Development Partnership. He also served as President of the Adaton Water Association for years. Jack was a member of the Advisory Board of Directors of Cadence Bank in Starkville. Also, he was a member of the Bulldog Club for years. Jack was awarded the Outstanding Young Men of America award in 1974.

Jack was a member of First Presbyterian Church since 2008. He was a member of First Baptist Church of Starkville from 1964 until 2008. He loved Southern Gospel Music, playing his piano, and singing.

Jack joined the Mississippi National Guard June 1959, attended training at Fort Jackson ,S.C. and Fort Sill, Oklahoma. In 1963, Jack was a member of the Sixth Company Mississippi Officer Candidate School. He graduated as a 2nd Lt in August 1964. He won the Adjutant General Leadership Trophy and was President of the Sixth Company class. He served many years in the Guard and Reserve retiring as a Colonel in the U. S. Army. Among his decorations were the U. S. Army Commendation Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal.

He was a longtime volunteer with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve ( ESGR) . The Department of Defense awarded Jack the Lifetime Achievement Award for Dedicated Volunteer Service. In addition he served as State Chair of the Mississippi Committee ESGR for six years. While State Chair, he served as Chairman of the National ESGR Outreach Committee.

Jack was a lifetime member of the Military Officer Association of America (MOAA), a lifetime member of the Disabled Veterans of America (DAV), a lifetime member and Past State Secretary of the Reserve Officers Association (ROA). Also, Jack was a Star Boy Scout.

Jack was preceded in death by his parents, Odie Virgil Wallace and Audie Bell Cates Wallace, his brothers; Odie Fred Wallace, Bradley Wallace, his sisters; Francis Gillett, Dot Hall, and Betty Pharr.

Jack had numerous accomplishments however; his wife, children, and grandchildren were the light of his life. The love he displayed for us continually will inspire our family.

Jack is survived by his dear wife of 55 years, Mary Jo Ray Wallace; his Son, David Wallace (Shawna) of Brandon, MS; his daughter Rhonda Wallace Donald, of Brandon, MS. He was also survived by his four grandchildren; Jackson Donald, Madelyn Donald, Elizabeth Wallace, and Andrew Wallace – all of Brandon, MS.

Visitation is scheduled for Friday, November 3, 2017 from 9:00-11:00 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Starkville, MS, with the funeral service following at the church at 11:30 a.m. Burial will be in Pleasant Ridge Cemetery in Bradley.