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James H. Wallace

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MONTPELIER - James Herbert Wallace, 74, died May 8, 2012, at Westchester Medical Center, Valhalla, N.Y., attended by his family. He was born Sept. 14, 1937, in White Plains, N.Y., where he grew up. He began his education by walking to a one-room schoolhouse down the road from his home. From there, he went on to attend private schools, first the Harvey School and then Middlesex Prep School in Concord, Mass., on a full scholarship. Jim attended Williams College, also on a full scholarship, graduating magna cum laude, with a major in English literature. He spent a year in Norway on a Fulbright, and then attended Yale University.

In the early 1960s, Jim received a diploma in education from London University and joined Teachers for East Africa, teaching English as a second language in Kampala, Uganda, for three years. Later, Jim was senior editor at McGraw-Hill in New York City for six years, then acquisitions editor for an additional two years.

In the early '70s, he moved to Vermont, where he worked variously as a freelance editor, disc jockey and car mechanic. In the late 1980s, he lived in Japan for three years with his wife, Kate, where they taught English as a second language and wrote and edited English language textbooks. In 2007, Jim returned to East Africa with his son, Iain; the two lived in Kigali, Rwanda, for nearly a year, where Jim taught English and HIV awareness to Rwandans.

Jim was a man of broad interests and talents. He was an avid runner and hiker and hiked the Long Trail end to end; he enjoyed motorcycles and rode them around East Africa and Great Britain; he was masterful with languages, knew Latin well and was fluent in Norwegian; he was a lover of literature and poetry and wrote several children's books; he loved music, was knowledgeable of both classical music and rock and roll and was fascinated by sound systems; and Jim liked nothing better than venturing into the woods with his chain saw to cut firewood for his woodstove. A big love of Jim's was photography; he took many beautiful black-and-white nude photos, which were exhibited in Vermont.

In recent years, Jim became involved in local theater, returned to disc jockeying and continued to take photographs. A major part of Jim's personality was his love of and heartfelt interest in people. Jim lived large and liked to take risks.

He is survived by his son, Iain Wallace; his sister Gail Wallace; his partner, Joanne Payne; and his former wife, Kate Mueller. Jim will be remembered for his warmth, wit, lively intelligence and kindly nature. He was a loyal friend to many and will be deeply missed by his family and friends. A memorial service will be held May 27, 2012, at 11 a.m. at his house at 122 Ward Brook Road, Montpelier.
Published in Times Argus on May 17, 2012
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