Community Voices

Saying goodbye to beloved retired Parks Junior High Teacher, Craig Kent Wallace

Note from family of Gregg Smith: To all our friends,

Your kind and thoughtful cards, beautiful flowers, and gifts of sympathy are so deeply appreciated!  I wish I could have thanked you appropriately and individually (no addresses).  I believe he had a life well lived and did much to help others have good lives, too.  He will be remembered for his joy, laughter, and care for others.  Thank you for being with us to celebrate his life.

Sincerely, Smith family

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It is with great sorrow that the Wallace family announces the passing of their beloved Craig Wallace on Dec. 7, 2022.

Craig was born September 25, 1942 in Minneapolis, Minnesota to William Lindsay Wallace and Adelphia ”Delphy” Virginia Brackley Wallace.  Growing up, Craig became an Eagle scout and discovered his love and passion for the history of the United States by attending a National Boy Scout Jamboree at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania in 1957.  In 1964, he earned a BA in Social Science from the University of Redlands and went on to earn an MS in Computer Science from Azusa Pacific University.

He married his wife, Alice on August 15, 1964.  Together, they had two children Tami Kittle and Billy Wallace.

Craig spent most of his career as a teacher at Parks Junior High School in Fullerton.  Besides his exceptional teaching in the classroom, Craig spent all of his time outside of the classroom organizing an annual trip for 8th grade students to travel to the east coast visiting historical spots.

From 1974-2009, Craig spent 35 years leading students to Washington DC teaching them first hand what no textbook could offer.  Although this trip happened in the spring, it was a year-round passion for the Fullerton teacher as he helped students earn money for their trips through countless car washes, yard sales, and art shows. He led thousands of students on this trip showing them such sites as Monticello, Mt. Vernon, Williamsburg, Yorktown, Memorials and Government buildings in DC as well as Gettysburg and Philadelphia.  At each place, he taught of the sacrifice and history of our great nation.  After retiring, Craig spent another 9 years leading trips at Rancho-Starbuck Intermediate school in Whittier totaling 44 trips with students and countless other adult tours on his own.

Craig always gave of his time to help others. After retiring, he volunteered at Habitat for Humanity, worked in the Rancho-Starbuck library, substituted at both Parks and Rancho for 5 years, and served as an Elder and Committee Chairman at Fullerton First Christian Church.

He was a cherished husband, father, and soccer coach.

He is survived by a loving family including: his wife Alice, his children Tami and Billy, daughter-in-law Gloria, granddaughters Jordan Lee and Taylor Lindsay, MaryAnn, Janene and Mikey as well as Great-grandchild Lorenzo .

A memorial service was held Saturday, December 17 at Fullerton First Christian Church
109 E Wilshire Ave Fullerton 92832.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations available to Habitat for Humanity.

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16 replies »

  1. As a former fellow teacher at Parks, I remember Craig well– an inspiring teacher with a great depth of knowledge.

  2. An absolutely transformative mentor– and character. I loved his class and had the best time learning (and laughing) with the Panther community. Great banter, especially; and he engendered a real sense that history and government was alive and that we had parts to play. Mr. Wallace was a master at both making you feel free to speak and press, but also implicitly (and wordlessly) demanding respect and decorum– both for him and for each other. His passion was contagious and he helped instill in me a love and care for civic life that has only increased over time. The DC trip was pure gold and our class (’82) had a ball. I have relatives in the area and Mr. Wallace helped engineer a surprise meeting, Got to break away for an hour and go to Georgetown with my uncle (who worked there), my aunt, and cousins. That was fun. He was fun– and a true gift to so many. We will not see his kind again and may God rest Craig Wallace in perfect peace. Well done, good and faithful servant.

    • Yes! He was totally transformative. A great teacher on top of everything he did for the DC trip. I learned so much in his classroom and learned to respect him even after he barked at me a couple times for things other teachers might have let slide (he was right of course).

      Condolences to his family.

  3. Don’t say “oh God” around Mr. Wallace. Wonderful memories of Washington DC and painting his nails on the bus. His class was not my favorite, but I’ll never forget him. RIP Mr. Wallace.

  4. Thank you for being a great teacher and dedicating so much time so that we could all truly experience History.
    Love,
    All the Kuster Kids

  5. I fondly remember his US history class and his passion for the subject. The Washington DC trip was a highlight of junior high and exposed me to the federal government buildings and institutions for the first time. I would later follow that passion and work as a page in the House of Representatives. Thank you Mr Wallace for showing up and bringing passion to the classroom every day.

  6. Mr. Wallace is a legend. He impacted my life and I am forever grateful. Praying for the entire family.

  7. Mr. Wallace is a legend. He impacted my life and I am forever grateful. Praying for the entire family.

  8. Beautiful tribute- you could truly feel how passionate he was for serving others. He was the first teacher who truly captured my attention in class and sparked my interest in History. As someone mentioned earlier, his presence in our lives was truly a blessing. Thank you

  9. I am so sorry to hear of Mr. Wallace passing. I was one of the thousands who went to Washington DC because of Mr. Wallace. He was a great teacher. He made a difference in my education and in my life as well. It all makes sense finding out that he was a eagle scout. We his students were his eagle scout project. He earned his eagle wings and now he’s earned his angel wings. Thank you Mr. Wallace for everything you did for us. You are very missed

    • I’m really sorry to read about his passing. Like many who shared comments here, I was one of his fellow students back in the 90s.

      At this time, we just immigrated from Indonesia and going to DC would be really out of the question. He wasn’t ready to take such a quick defeat. Knowing this, he donated some items from his house so we can sell it at the school’s garage sale, a fundraiser for the trip.

      I couldn’t believe he did this. At the end, we just didn’t raise enough money for me to go. But his passion for US history and his kindness in making sure everyone tried their very best to attend DC trip, was incredible. His action was forever imprinted in my memory.

      Rest in Peace Mr. Wallace!!

  10. Mr. Wallace was teacher, mentor, and could even give some great ski tips (he was an excellent skier). He really wanted you to learn and truly loved teaching US history. The DC trip was everything to him and I had the privilege of going on it in 1977. I’ve been blessed to have had many outstanding teachers and coaches in my life. I was very blessed to have him as my teacher in 7th and 8th grade and no teacher made a greater impression on me than him. You get an A+ Mr. Wallace. RIP.

  11. May his memory be for a blessing. Though Mr Wallace was not my teacher in 8th grade, I did go on the 1975 Parks Junior High School Washington DC trip and remember the experience fondly.

    In fact, about 15 years ago a young girl came up to my parents’ front door while I was down for a visit, earnestly selling magazine subscriptions for the 25th annual Washington DC trip. When I asked her about Mr Wallace, her jaw nearly hit the floor that somebody my age would remember her teacher. I sent my best regards with her

  12. Mr. Wallace was my favorite teacher in 8th grade. I’ll always remember our Washington DC trip. Both my sister and I had him and he always compared the two of us. He will surely be missed by many. Prayers going out to his family

  13. Craig will be missed. He went above and beyond for everyone in his life. He lived to serve others. The DC trips were his specialty. They were a ton of work, but he was always excited to show the kids our nation’s history.

    I’ll miss his sense of humor. He could dish it, and take it as well. (Unless it was bashing UCLA) lol..

    Love you Craig!