Renay Adella Ciemiega Wallace was born February 28, 1931 in Illinois and passed away peacefully at her home in Glendale on January 7, 2021 from complications related to Parkinson’s Disease. She was the only child of Adella Victoria Tarczali Ciemiega and Julius Albert Ciemiega. Renay was raised in Chicago and Lyons, Illinois before the family came out to California in 1944. They lived in South Los Angeles, where she attended George Washington High School, before the family settled in Glendale. Renay attended Business College and found a career in the insurance industry, working in Downtown Los Angeles. She met John Burdette Wallace, and they married on February 9, 1957, buying their own home in Glendale.
Renay was proud to become a homemaker while John was the breadwinner. In 1962, Renay gave birth to their only child, Tracy Adele. She and John were married almost 60 years, and remained in the same house together until his death in August 2016. Together they enjoyed getting to know many of the members of the Glendale Masonic Lodge through the years, attending many dinners and social events. Renay enjoyed researching both her family tree, and also John’s family tree and was a regular visitor to local genealogical libraries before computer databases and Ancestry took over. In the last few years, Renay’s daughter worked with her on building the family tree back several generations. In fact, Renay was also President of the Polish-Ukranian Genealogy Society of California for a while.
Renay also served on the Board of the Glenoaks Canyon Homeowners Association (GOCHA) for about 25 years, most notably as Vice President, actively participating in many of the Canyon’s activities like coordinating the annual blood drive for at least five years and joining in the annual canyon clean-up day. She was awarded the group’s Community Recognition Award in 2006. Renay loved German Shepherds, having had several as pets, and also enjoyed supporting dog rescue organizations including the Pasadena Humane Society. She also enjoyed reading murder mysteries and watching the local news, especially the weather. One of her greatest pleasures was eating, and her favorites included watermelon, Mexican food (especially chili rellenos), lemon cake, carrot cake and See’s candy.
She leaves behind her daughter Tracy, son-in-law Bill (William) Gifford Jr., Bill’s brother Sheldon and cousin Barbara Pellegrini and her husband Julius. She was lovingly cared for by her two caregivers Pearl and Bonnie. Renay will be cremated and scattered at sea at a future date, with her husband John’s remains. There will be a virtual memorial (pending) through Valley Funeral Home. The family suggests in lieu of flowers that donations be made in her memory to the Pasadena Humane Society, Pacific Coast Dog Rescue or The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
Memorial Virtual Memorial Service to take place at Valley Funeral Home on March 5, 2021 at 3:00pm.