Humor Against Adversity
Nancy Wallace remembers Robert, her husband of 21 years, for his wacky sense of humor and the way he took every little car breakdown in stride. And there were many. "We put three engines in it, and two trannies," she said of the family's Jeep Wagoneer. "Half the time we didn't make it to where we were going."
She remembers him trudging through the snow to buy baby aspirin when the family was stuck in a snowstorm in the early 1980's. And she remembered how after those babies had turned into teenagers, the whole family — their four children and a nephew — slept in the broken-down Wagoneer on the highway because nearby hotels were full.
Lieutenant Wallace, 43, followed his father into firefighting, and was known for pointing at the sky above Engine 205 in Brooklyn Heights, just to get people to look up, too. "My family used to tease him," Mrs. Wallace recalled, "and he'd say, 'No, I'm going off to fight fires and save the people of New York.' "We'd say, 'Oh, get outta here,' and he'd say, 'I'm going to go fight fires and save the people of New York.' "
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 30, 2001.
WALLACE-Robert F. Lt. FDNY. Engine 205 Ladder 118 of Woodhaven, NY formerly of Brooklyn, NY in his 43rd year heroically in the line of duty while helping others at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. A member of the FDNY for 21 years. Beloved husband of Nancy, a loving and devoted father of Jeanine, Bobby, Daniel and Alex. Devoted son of Elizabeth and Eugene (ret. Lt. FDNY). Loving brother of Gene, Liza and John. Cherished son and brother-in-law to many. Survived by many loving nieces, nephews and cousins. A memorial mass to celebrate Bob's life will be held on Saturday, October 27, 2001 11:00 AM at St. Thomas the Apostle, 8719 88th Ave., Woodhaven, Queens. Following the memorial mass there will be a gathering of all his friends and family in the school cafeteria. In lieu of flowers, a donation in Bob's name would be appreciated to the NYC Fire Department Burn Center Foundation, 21 Asch Loop, Bronx, NY 10475.
Paid notice published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 25, 2001.