CARBONDALE -- After 61 years of loving and helping people, the Rev. Kenneth Leslie Wallace went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Dec. 28, 2012.
He was the son of the late Helen Stafford Wallace and Orlen Herman Wallace of Carbondale. Born Oct. 4, 1951, Kenneth passed peacefully with his family surrounding him at his home in Carbondale.
Kenneth is survived by his loving wife of 20 years, Dr. Mary Kathleen Cook-Wallace, of whom he lovingly referred to as Kat. He also is survived by his son, Jeremiah K. Wallace; daughter, Rachel Elizabeth Tsiganos (his sugar-coated muffin cake); and son-in-law, Taso G. Tsiganos of Rockford; and daughter, Jaime M. McLean of Olympia, Wash. Other children include Benjamin T. Mace and Christopher B. Butts of Carbondale, and Air Force Flight Lieutenant T. Brooke Butts of Salt Lake City, Utah; six grandchildren, Nicholas, Braelyn, Alex, Taylor, Brooklynn and Boston; oldest brother, Robert Orlen Wallace and his wife, Phyllis; and younger brother, Phillip "Bruce" Wallace and son, Adam. Other family relatives include Jack and Virginia Reno, Sharon Hudson, Mike Reno, Nancy Reno, and Terry, Larry, Mary Beth, and Gary Wallace; many nieces and nephews; and sisters-in-law, Sally Crain and Charlotte Dawson.
A graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University, Kenneth held the Master of Divinity degree with honors from Drew University, Madison, N.J., and completed graduate work at Oxford University in England, the University of Tuebingen in Germany, and the Drew University Graduate School. As an ordained United Methodist minister, Kenneth pastored at the United Methodist in New Jersey; Albion Illinois Methodist Church; First Baptist Church and University Baptist Church of Carbondale. He was director of the Wesley Foundation on the Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIU) campus for seven years.
He had the distinction since 2000 of being one of only nine certified business process and system coaches for General Motors worldwide. As a member of the National Speakers Association since 1989, Kenneth was a professional speaker, consultant and executive coach specializing in personal and organizational development. He was certified by the Mediation Training Institute International as a global mediation trainer and consultant and had taught at SIU Carbondale.
Ken's devotion to helping people was unparalleled. His mentor, Zig Zigler, embraced enthusiastically Ken's request to speak with Scott, a 32-year old mentee of Ken's who was "dying of cancer." After an hour long phone conversation with Zig, Scott said, "It was one of the best days of my life! I'm a happy camper." Author of a book entitled, "Your Better Self, A Simple Guide to Where You Want to Be," Ken laid the foundation for his consultant and executive coaching business. Ken's clients included MCA, Universal, Connected International Meeting Professionals Association, General Motors, Equitable Life, Ford Motor Company, Safeco Insurance, Daimler-Chrysler Corporation, Northwestern Mutual Life, Toyota, Mass Mutual Life, U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce, Hyundai Corporation, Nissan, ADP Corporation, BMG Music, GS Metals, Quick and Reilly Brokerage, Missouri Society of Association Executives, St. Louis Society of Association Executives, St. Louis Fire Academy, Air Couriers Conference of America International, SIU, the State of Illinois, the New York Press Association, McGraw-Hill Companies, General Physics, SIU Credit Union, Touch of Nature, American Family Insurance, Leadership Development Incorporated, Silkworm, Inc., WCIL-FM, WTAO-FM, The Women's Center, McBride Construction, St. Louis, Southern Illinois Health Services, Hotel Builders of America and Rand Diversified.
He was featured as an expert in a movie entitled, "The Keeper of the Keys: Taking the 'Hell' Out of Self-Help," written and produced by Robin Jay and Scott Cervine. He hosted radio and television programs on personal and business development topics and authored numerous professional articles and contributed to numerous books and educational materials. Ken was also a musician who composed customized music for his clients' corporate gatherings and special events. In many of his programs, he incorporated guitar, banjo and singing music to punctuate the points he made.
Ken often used the phrase 'worthy aspirations', and once said, "Your worthy aspirations are never free-floating, unrealistic ideals. They are always tethered to the truth of your everyday experience; they are more than mere day dreams and passing fantasies; and they demand to be realized for a reason."
Services will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 3, in First United Methodist Church in Carbondale with the Rev. Alan R. Rhein officiating. Interment will be in Oakland Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2, at Walker Funeral Home, 112 S. Poplar St., in Carbondale.
Contributions to the Helen Wallace First United Methodist Church Library,
, and VNA Tip Hospice are wel-come.
Walker Funeral Home may be reached at 618-529-3100.
Published in The Southern Illinoisan from Dec. 29, 2012 to Jan. 1, 2013
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