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Wallace Lee Hanes


1953 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Wallace Lee Hanes Obituary
Hanes, Wallace Lee



Wallace Lee Hanes passed away suddenly in Houston, TX, on 4/11/16 after a heart attack. He was an ebullient man who will be missed by all who knew him.

Lee was born on 8/23/53 at Camp Polk, LA, but he didn't remain there long. Just prior to his first birthday, he flew with his family to Japan, where his father was stationed with the U.S. Army Reserve. Between the ages of 1 and about 12, Lee lived in Germany and other locations around Europe during his dad's tours of duty. In 1965 he and his family returned stateside aboard the S.S. United States, an adventure he considered a highlight of his life. The family settled in Albuquerque, NM.

Coming of age in the Sixties profoundly influenced the man Lee became. As a youth, he was a hippie who embraced a psychedelic lifestyle. His views on human existence were shaped by taking LSD and reading the works of Robert Heinlein. Through these experiences, Lee came to believe in the immutability of the human soul and the concept of multiple planes of existence. The defining epigram of his life was: "Thou art god, and I am god. All that groks is god." He also believed strongly in personal liberty, peace and generosity.

In 1971, Lee married Stefani Walker. They made their home first in Albuquerque and then Colorado Springs. They had a daughter, Jeanni, before their marriage ended in divorce in 1980. During this time, Lee also served in the U.S. Naval Reserve.

In September 1982, Lee met the love of his life, Elizabeth Holmes. They went on a single date, after which she returned to his place and literally never left. She moved in the next day, and they married on New Year's Eve 1982 in Colorado Springs. Traveling and antiquing were their favorite activities, and after moving to Albuquerque in 1994 they visited many destinations in the U.S. and Mexico.

Lee's career history included many interesting jobs. He was a rock radio DJ in Albuquerque in the late 60s. He managed a Radio Shack store and provided communications equipment to participants in the first-ever Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta that launched from the Coronado Mall parking lot in 1972. He oversaw operations at all of Albuquerque's drive-in theaters during the mid-1970s. For many years he worked in grounds maintenance at Cheyenne Mountain School District 12 in Colorado Springs. He managed a limousine company. In 2001, he settled into a career in parking management. He managed the Bank of America parking garage in downtown Albuquerque for many years before being transferred to Houston in 2013.

Lee loved acting, the movies and theater. One of his earliest jobs was ushering at The Chief Theater in Colorado Springs as a youth. He acted in stage and film productions from the time he was a teen. He studied theater technical production at the University of New Mexico for two years in the 1990s.

An exceptionally well-read man, Lee conversed knowledgeably about many subjects, including art, antiques, woodworking, science fiction, comic books, superhero universes, space exploration, nature, history, politics, current events, rock music and many other topics. He was rarely seen without his Kindle at hand.

Lee was a jokester and gifted raconteur, but he was also very sensitive - as swift to shed a tear as to smile. He strongly believed humor is our best coping mechanism. He was quick with a quip or a bad pun, and that mischievous smile will be missed by everyone who knew him.

It would be impossible to memorialize Lee without mentioning his handlebar mustache and his ever-present fedora. He wore a mustache and beard his entire life and enjoyed grooming them into various styles as a form of creative expression.

Lee cherished his family above all else. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; daughter Jeanni Sintas; granddaughter Jasmine Salazar; nephew Daryl Hanes and wife Josie and their children Kaleb and Hanah; mother-in-law Joann Holmes; brother-in-law Terry Holmes and wife Linda; sister-in-law Martha Hansher and husband David; nephew Jason Holmes and partner Thy Huynh; niece Leslie Holmes and husband Richard Franklin; and nephew William Hansher.

Lee was preceded in death by his father, Wilfred H. Hanes Sr, mother Birtha Willene Hanes, brothers William Howland and Wilfred H. Hal Hanes Jr, grandson Matthew Sintas and father-in-law Roger Holmes.

Lee was cremated, and his urn resides in the columbarium at Santa Fe National Cemetery.
Published in Albuquerque Journal on May 1, 2016
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