Hilda Carolyn McConnell Wallace
Longtime teacher and Greenfield community leader Hilda McConnell Wallace passed away Thursday, August 1, in hospice care at Mercy Hospital in Springfield. She was 94.
Hilda Carolyn McConnell was born November 4, 1918, in the Seybert community north of Greenfield, the eldest daughter of Guy Byron and Minnie Montgomery McConnell. A graduate of Greenfield High School (1935) and Missouri State Teachers College (1941), she began her teaching career in a one-room school near Golden City.
Teaching took her to Willard High School and later to North Kansas City High School before she met the love of her life one summer day in 1955 at the Dade County Library. Hilda and newspaperman James Franklin Wallace were married Sept. 9, 1955, at Hilltop Farm, her parent's home east of Greenfield.
Together, Hilda and Jim owned and operated The Greenfield Advertiser, "Dade County's Leading Newspaper," until its sale in 1981. The couple also briefly owned and operated The Ash Grove Commonwealth.
In addition to working beside her husband, Hilda was a teacher in the Greenfield Schools from 1966-1980. Her great love was the students in her social studies and math classes and heroic tales of Wildcat sports victories.
With Jim's passing on July 31, 1993, Hilda became even more active in the community. She was a loyal a member of Greenfield First Christian Church, where she taught an adult Sunday School class and served as church historian for many years.
Always learning, always reading, Hilda devoted time and energy to the Dade County Library. She also was a member of the Dade County Historical Society, the Dade County Democrat Club, Delta Kappa Gamma teachers' sorority and served on the Greenfield Cemetery Association board.
In 1999, she was elected to the Greenfield City Council by write-in vote; shortly after she was asked to serve as Acting Mayor due to the mayor's health issues. She ran voluntarily for Mayor in 2000 and was re-elected in 2002.
Hilda was preceded in death by her sister, Jenell, in 1986, and sister, Elouise, in 1999.
She is survived by her daughter and favorite son-in-law Jenell and Michael Loschke, Kansas City, Mo.; niece Derace Robertson of Encinitas, Calif.,; nephew William Stretch, New York City; and a host of Wallace-family nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 4, 2013 in Greenfield Funeral Chapel with Pastor Mary Kay Glunt officiating. Burial will follow in Greenfield Cemetery. The family will receive friends on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. until service time in the funeral chapel. Memorial contributions may be made to the Dade County Library or to the Greenfield First Christian Church. Services are under the care of Greenfield Funeral Chapel.
Published in the News-Leader on Aug. 3, 2013