1953 - 2013
Mary Colette (Hill) Wallace of Bellevue, WA died peacefully at home Thanksgiving Day 11/28/2013 after battling ovarian cancer several months. Born 8/29/1953 in Ft. Smith, AR, eldest daughter, 2nd of five children, grew up in Altus, OK. With an innate talent for art and music, learned to play piano, sang in Jr high, high school and church choirs; a soprano, aspired to be an opera singer. Graduated 1971 from Altus High School with a vocal music scholarship to Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford; also studied French, Italian, German and Latin. 1973, married, attended North Texas State University School of Music in Denton; 1974 divorced and moved to Oklahoma City University continuing her music studies.
Seeking new experiences and to explore her artistic and handcraft talents: sewing, crocheting, knitting, leatherworking, bookbinding, and calligraphy, in 1975 moved to New York City; lived in East Village, East Bronx, Rose Hill/Nomad areas; worked for a coffee distributor, import/export company, retailers, Saks Fifth Avenue. In a partnership, designed and sold handmade knitted-wear. Colette loved NYC; the experience, culture and environs. 1982, injured in an automobile accident, an undiscovered heart condition and a near death experience profoundly changed her. Returned to Altus, received a pacemaker and feeling reborn and energized, embarked on a new life path – a spiritual journey exploring western and eastern beliefs, philosophies and religions, and started a bookbinding business.
1984 moved to Norman to study philosophy at University of Oklahoma, and also took architecture classes. A student aide, she worked in the philosophy department office, assisted with conservation work at OU Library's Western History Collection, worked in College of Architecture office and Architecture Library. 1986, received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and 1989, a Bachelor of Architecture. September 1989, married Clay, an architect, and began her architecture career. 1990 moved to Bellevue, WA, worked for architects and commercial aircraft interior design firm; sang in Overlake Park Presbyterian and later Bellevue Presbyterian Church choirs. 1991, was diagnosed with breast cancer. 1994 taught youth singing at arts academy, and sang Orff's Carmina Burana with Seattle Choral Company. Singing, her first passion, provided her much joy.
1998 started The Wallace Research Group providing architectural research services; wrote articles for Searcher Magazine, reviewed books and manuscripts, self-published (2000 - 2002) The WRG Newsletter online monthly and 2003 - 2013 led an Advanced Bible Study class, and 2010 joined Seattle's University Presbyterian Church. Colette was a member of the American Institute of Architects (Associate), MENSA, UK Design Research Society, Association of Independent Information Professionals; also a Certified Information Privacy Professional, and since 2004 listed in Marquis' Who's Who.
Her mother, Lula Colleen Hill, predeceased Colette.
She is survived by her husband of 24 years, Clay Wallace; father William Page Hill, brothers Richard Hill and Dwight Hill, and sisters Lynnette Kennelly and Janice Weyer. A memorial service is 2 pm, Sunday March 23 at Bellevue Presbyterian Church in Bellevue. In remembrance, consider donating to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, www.ocrf.org, and
, Breast Cancer, www.cancer.org.
Published on NYTimes.com from Mar. 6 to Mar. 7, 2014