Albert Franklin Wallace Jr., known affectionately to those who loved him as “Bert,” 83, passed away peacefully with his family by his side Monday after an unexpected yet very brief illness. Bert was born in Houston on March 12, 1930, to Cecil Alte Brown and Albert F. Wallace Sr. He grew up in Houston and spent many summers at the beach on Galveston Island. He graduated from San Jacinto High School in 1948 and went on the join the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M University, graduating in 1953 with a degree in industrial engineering. Entering the service after college, Bert was a member of the U.S. Air Force, serving as a first lieutenant in the 809th Engineering Aviation Battalion. He was stationed in Korea and Guam, from 1953 to 55, designing and constructing airfields. He has always maintained an avid interest in aviation history throughout his life.
He married Barbara Lynn Miller, from McAllen, Texas, in 1957. Bert and Barbara were married 56 wonderful years at the time of his death. They have two children and four grandchildren; a son, Gregg, and his wife, Teresa, their sons, Blake and Brandon; and a daughter, Laura, and her twins, Wallace and Locke, all of Austin, Texas. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Lord and Katie Brown, his parents, Cecil and Albert Wallace, and his cousin, Howard Keir, all of Houston.
After relocating from Houston to Austin in 1969, Bert served as the associate deputy comptroller of revenue administration, under Texas comptrollers Bob Bullock and John Sharp. Upon his retirement from serving the state of Texas, he enjoyed traveling with his wife, Barbara, their friends and family all throughout Europe, Greece, Turkey, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, Bali, Tahiti, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Russia, Skandanavia, Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska and all over the United States. Of all the places in the world Bert has traveled, two of his favorite trips were to Normandy, France, where he truly enjoyed the historical significance of the landing beaches and World War II memorials, and also the Panama Canal, which, due to his industrial engineering background, was fascinating for him to experience in person.
After a trip he and his wife took with the city of Austin to Oita, Japan, he then served as a member on the City of Austin Oita Sister City Committee, under then Mayor Bruce Todd.
Bert and Barbara loved spending time at the lake, and in 1968, they built a lakehouse on Lake LBJ for their family to enjoy. Many years of boating, waterskiing and summer fun were enjoyed by family and friends alike.
Bert and Barbara also loved spending most of their summers in Beaver Creek, where they owned a home. Bert loved snow skiing, hiking, fishing and playing lots of golf, but mostly he enjoyed the company and camaraderie of their many friends and family who came to spend time with them in the mountains and creating lasting memories of great times throughout the years. He could often be found either behind the grill cooking or behind the bar making Irish coffees or pouring wine. When his grandchildren would visit, he would take them fishing for lost golf balls out of the Beaver Creek! They loved doing this with their “Poppy,” as he was called, because it was like hunting for Easter eggs in the creek.
He could also regularly be found on the trail around Lady Bird Lake in Austin with his exercise buddies. He still enjoyed going to the beach, and his favorite music was the golden oldies of the ’50s and ’60s. The last concert he attended was The Beach Boys in Beaver Creek last December. Bert and Barbara also regularly attended UT football games for more than 40 years, tailgating with friends and traveling to numerous away and bowl games. Although Bert was an Aggie, he was married to a Longhorn. During the Thanksgiving holidays, when the two teams traditionally met, the rivalry was lovingly spirited in their “house divided.”
Bert is survived by his wife, Barbara, their two children and four grandchildren, all of Austin, cousin Harry Keir and wife Cynthia, of Houston, and numerous extended family members and many close friends. Bert’s gentle nature and his easygoing personality will be sorely missed by all those who knew and loved him.
Funeral services were held Wednesday at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Austin. Interment was in Austin Memorial Park.
Pallbearers were Ted Edwards, Jim Elliott, Tommy Harmon, Desmond Kidd, Lee Melugin, Willard Teel, all of Austin; Howard Brainin, of Dallas; and Harry Keir, of Houston. Honorary pallbearers were James Brown and Tom Ezell, of Austin; George Hinkle, of Marble Falls; Richmond Clark, of Corpus Christi; and A.C. Burkholder, of Kingwood.
The family wishes to thank the excellent medical team of doctors and nurses at the Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, as well as the wonderful and caring staff at The Girling House Hospice in Round Rock, Texas. Additional thanks also to Father Stuart Brooks Keith III and Deacon Steve Baird, of The Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration in Vail.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The Edwards Interfaith Chapel and Community Center, P.O. Box 1828, Edwards, CO 81632.