ODESSA - Helen Eva Unruh Wallace, of Odessa, passed away peacefully at her residence on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010. She was 89. She was born on Aug. 10, 1921, in Warwick, Md, to the late Harry R. and Ethel May Reed Unruh. She was preceded in death by her husband, Raymond B. Wallace; and a brother, Carl R. Unruh. She is survived by her two daughters, Diane W. Ennis and son-in-law Bruce C. Ennis, and Barbara R. Hetzell and son-in-law Carlton L. Hetzell, all of Dover; and by her granddaughters, Heather D. Ennis of Dover, and Terri L. Lloyd and Rita A. Fry, both of Smyrna. She is also survived by five great-grandchildren, along with numerous nieces and nephews. Her survivors include a sister, Jeanette U. Reed and a brother, Jerome N. Unruh and his wife Helen C. Unruh, all of Odessa. Mrs. Wallace lived in Odessa most of her life and was an active community volunteer and leader. She was a founding member and President of the Odessa Women's Club, where she was instrumental in the restoration of Old St. Paul's Church, as the organization's clubhouse. She was hostess at Old St. Paul's at Christmas In Odessa for over thirty years. She served as state President of the Delaware State Federation of Women's Clubs and later served on the board of the General Federation of Women's Clubs (GFWC), as International News Editor. She served on the Kent Home Health Care Board, and for 14 years served on the Veterans Advisory Board, as a representative of the General Federation of Women's Clubs. Also in Odessa, she was the first woman elected to serve on the Odessa Town Council; she also served as Chairman of the Odessa Town Planning and Zoning Commission and as the Odessa Zoning Administrator. She was an advocate in the preservation of historic Odessa. She was President of the Parent-Teacher's Association for the Odessa Elementary School. She served as an officer in the Ladies Auxiliary of the Odessa Fire Company. For many years, she and her husband at Christmas time on their own took Christmas food packages to impoverished families in the Odessa area. Mrs. Wallace served as President of the Lower New Castle Republican Women's Club and on the board for the State Republican Women. She was a devoted Republican her entire adult life. She participated in legislation at Legislative Hall in Dover that was beneficial to the inhabitants of the State of Delaware. For her work on behalf of Republican candidates, she was honored by a reception in the Blue Room of the White House by First Lady Betty Ford. A noted artist who studied under Howard Schroder, she showed her paintings throughout the region. For fourteen years, she taught private oil painting lessons to youth in the Odessa area, and at one time took her class on a field trip to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. She was a Lutheran and member of the Order of St. Luke. She was one of 500 women listed in "Legacy of Delaware Women." She was a graduate of Middletown High School and Delaware State College of Cosmetology. At one time she operated two successful beauty shops, one in Odessa and the other in Delaware City. She toured throughout Europe and the United States, including the Hawaiian Islands. For many years, Mrs. Wallace and her husband were summer residents of Pickering Beach, DE, where she enjoyed entertaining her family. She was a devoted, generous and loving wife, mother, grandmother and aunt. Funeral services will be 2 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 16, 2010, in the Faries Funeral Chapel located on 29 S. Main St., Smyrna, where friends may call from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday evening. The internment will be at Old Drawyer's Cemetery near Odessa. Letters of condolence may be sent by visiting www.fariesfuneralhome.com.
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Published in NewsZapDE on Oct. 12, 2010