Byron Joseph Wallace, 75, of Cape Coral died gently Dec. 27, 2012, surrounded by family and friends. He was born Aug. 13, 1937, in Clifton, Ill., to Byron J. Wallace and Beulah Beland Wallace.
He graduated from Clifton Central High School, excelling in academics and sports. He went on to complete his undergraduate degree at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., and graduated from Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Mass. He also served as a lieutenant in the United States Army.
Mr. Wallace practiced law in Chicago, as well as in Kankakee, Ill., where he partnered with former Gov. Sam Shapiro. Driven by the need for public service, he taught at Kankakee Community College and Thornton Community College, chartered a Montessori school and a legal aid society and served on several different boards. He was the former president of the Kankakee County School Board, executive director of the Kankakee County Planning Department and Community Development Director of the city of Richfield, Minn., where he was instrumental in creating the infrastructure for the Mall of America.
Byron J. Wallace
Since retiring in Florida, he pursued his passionate research in Irish and French genealogy (yes, we are all related). He served as president and board member of the Lee County Genealogical Society and was a proud member of the Cape Coral Irish-American Club. As such, he enjoyed teaching classes and was known and respected as an expert speaker. He served and chaired many Lee County Library boards and, as president of the Friends of the Fort Myers Library, spent endless hours advocating for the new library currently under construction in downtown Fort Myers.
He is survived by his wife, Kaye; sons, Byron (Darcy) Wallace of Watseka, Ill., Neil (Trish) Wallace of Bourbonnais, Ill., Lyle (Maricel) Wallace of Philomath, Ore., and Jeff Suiter of Cape Coral; daughter, Katherine Suiter of Fort Myers; and 5 grandchildren.
Friends are invited to an Irish celebration of life Jan. 12 from 2-4 p.m. at Whiskey Creek Country Club in Fort Myers.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Friends of the Fort Myers Library, 2050 Central Avenue, Fort Myers, FL 33901.