Thomas Eugene “Gene” Wallace, 90, passed away on Monday, April 16, 2018 following a brief illness.
Gene was born on February 28, 1928, to the late Thomas Eli and Ione Goforth Wallace. He was preceded in death by his brother, Howard Wallace of Stanley and sister Judy Yates of Lowell, NC. He was a devoted and loving husband, father of four children and PePaw to eight grandchildren, who he adored.
He was born in Grover, NC. As a teen and while in college, Gene was a talented trumpeter, leading Big Band sounds locally with the Drum and Bugle Corps and at NC State with the band - Gene Wallace and the Statesmen. Following graduation from NC State, he served as a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army during the Korean War earning a Bronze Star. On his 31st birthday, he married Peggy Tate from Belmont. He and Peggy celebrated 56 years of loving marriage before her death in 2015. Gene was the founder and President of Wallace Textiles in Gastonia which served the fabric store industry in the southeast and in recent years offered sewing related products worldwide through internet sales. Affectionately known as “The Button Man”, his button jewelry has been enjoyed by many. He was past President of the Eagles Club in Gastonia, was a member and officer of the Star Dusters Dance Club, was a member of the East Gastonia Rotary Club and was an active member of First United Methodist Church, having served on the Administrative Board.
He is survived by his son Tom Wallace and wife Erika of Gastonia, daughter Lundi Glover and husband Tommy of Cornelius, NC, son Mike Wallace and wife Leslie of Belmont, and daughter Charlotte Rankin and husband Scott of Camden, SC; eight grandchildren Heather and Wesley Glover, Hunter and Parker Rankin, Michael and Rob Wallace, and Jessica and Meredith Wallace.
The family will receive friends at McLean Funeral Directors, Gastonia, on Thursday from 6 to 8 pm. A Memorial Service to celebrate Gene’s life will be held at 3 pm Friday in the Sanctuary of First United Methodist Church in Gastonia with the Revs. David Christy and Juston Smith officiating. Additionally, the family will receive friends following the Memorial Service on Friday. Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to First United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 218, Gastonia, NC 28053 or The Salvation Army, 107 S. Broad St. Gastonia, NC 28052.
Condolence messages may be sent to www.McleanFuneral.com.
McLean Funeral Directors of Gastonia is serving the family of Mr. Wallace.