Jeanne Mary Ellen (Newlin) Wallace was born in Asheville, North Carolina, on June 2, 1930, and died at the Huntington Hospital in Pasadena on May 4, 2018. A memorial service to remember and celebrate Jeanne’s life will be held on Saturday, June 9, at 11 a.m. at the La Cañada Presbyterian Church.
Jeanne moved with her family in 1933 from Asheville to Anderson County, Tennessee, where her father supervised the building of the waterworks for the town of Norris, which housed the headquarters of the Tennessee Valley Authority. Jeanne grew up with her beloved younger brother and sister, Jerry and Judy, in that little town, which had a population of about 1,500. Following her graduation from Norris High School, she enrolled in the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, later transferring to East Tennessee State College.
In 1950, Jeanne married Jim Wallace, who had lived on a farm about two miles from Norris and attended Norris High School with her. Together they toured the mainland United States selling subscriptions to business and professional organizations to enhance advertising revenue from such organizations.
Jeanne and Jim moved to San Antonio, Texas, for Jim’s basic training after Jim enlisted in the United States Air Force later in 1950. Following basic training, Jeanne and Jim moved to Syracuse, New York. Jeanne was employed by the General Electric Co. while Jim completed the USAF Russian language training course at Syracuse University.
One day, without Jeanne’s knowledge or consent, a fellow worker submitted her name as a candidate for the honor of Diamond Queen of Syracuse. Several weeks later Jeanne was crowned as Diamond Queen and wore a million dollars’ worth of diamonds at the ceremony.
Jeanne and Jim next moved to Germany, where Jim served as a USAF Russian language interpreter in Darmstadt. After about a year in Germany, Jeanne and Jim traveled to the Army General Hospital in Frankfurt where their daughter, Karen, was born on February 27, 1955.
Jeanne, Jim and Karen then returned to Tennessee where Jim enrolled and was graduated from the Law School at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Recalling a vacation in beautiful Santa Barbara with Jeanne’s mother, Jeanne and Jim decided to move their small family to California after Jim’s law school graduation. After moving to California, Jeanne and Jim’s son, Michael, was born in Santa Monica in 1959.
Jim took and passed the California Bar Exam and Jeanne, Jim, Karen and Mike lived in various California communities near Jim’s offices in Santa Monica, Palo Alto, Glendale, Pasadena and Los Angeles. Jeanne and Jim’s final move was to La Cañada in 1968, after which Jim joined the Law Department of the Times Mirror Co. in downtown Los Angeles until his retirement.
Once Jeanne finished raising her children, and determined to earn her college degree, she enrolled in and graduated from Cal State Northridge with her bachelor of arts degree in psychology. Completing her degree after raising her two children, and while continuing her other responsibilities, was emblematic of Jeanne’s determination and perseverance.
Jeanne and Jim loved to travel and visited every continent except Antarctica. Jeanne’s love of travel led her to become a travel agent, and she specialized in ocean cruise vacations. Jeanne never stopped working as a travel agent, and her voicemail greeting still asks the caller if they are inquiring about a cruise!
Jeanne loved La Cañada Flintridge, where she lived from 1968 until her death on May 4, 2018. Jeanne was an active member of the La Cañada Presbyterian Church for 50 years, where she served as deacon. She was also an award-winning ambassador with the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce, a repeat Mississippi home-builder with Habitat for Humanity, a consummate travel agent, and she served her community in many other ways.
Jeanne and Jim’s daughter, Karen Young, and Karen’s husband, Scott, reside in La Cañada Flintridge. Jeanne and Jim’s granddaughters (Karen and Scott’s children) Vanessa Burnett (husband Ryan) and Monica Skeehan (husband Mark), and their great-grandchildren Andrew, Taylor, Owen and Rory live in Glendale.
Mike and his wife, Laura, live in Palos Verdes. Jeanne and Jim’s grandsons (Mike and Laura’s children) Matthew, Eric and Andrew live and work in Los Angeles.
Jeanne will be dearly missed but never forgotten by Jim, Jeanne’s constant companion for 70 years and husband of 68 years, by her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and by her many other family members and friends whom she deeply loved.