Edwin J. Wallin
1928 - 2019
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Edwin J. Wallin

Edwin J. Wallin, born March 13, 1928, to immigrant parents, Gunnar and Mary LowneyWallin in Brooklyn, NY, was raised in Manhatttan, NY. He went from Wall Street to the Catholic priesthood, ordained in NYC as a member of the Paulist Fathers in 1956.

Assigned to St. Lawrence parish in Minneapolis, MN from 1956-62, he was sent after six years to St. Patrick's Church in Memphis. He also became Chaplain of the Neuman Center at the Memphis State Uni and UT Medical School from 1962-66.

As a member of the Catholic Human Relations Council, he was instrumental in integrating restaurants around the university campus with the help of President Cecil Humphreys, and also helped with the integrating of St. Joseph hospital.

He joined the USAF Reserves at their request on Democrat Rd. in 1963.

Since he was active in the Civil Rights Movement, he marched with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King on Hwy. 51 to Jackson, MS, in June 1966.

At the request of his religious order he became a Chaplain to the troops in Vietnam.

He joined the Army 101st Airborne Division at Ft. Campbell and attended Jump School at the age of 39. He survived 19 months in Vietnam, having escaped numerous "close calls."

As a result of his combat experience, he made a vow to help serve veterans for the rest of his life, and enrolled at Fordham University where he earned a degree in Psychiatric Social Work (MSW) in 1972.

Ed was offered a postion at the VA in Memphis and worked in the Psychiatric Unit for 33 years, assessing and treating combat vets with PTSD and other war related disorders. He also worked part-time with the Navy in Millington, supervising Navy counselors from 2001-2004.

In 1987 he co-founded Alpha Omega Veterans Services providing shelter for homeless vets.

He was President of the TN Coalition of the Homeless from 1990-'92.

In 1973 he married Shirley Bienvenu, and after 33 years lost her to brain cancer in 2005.

In 2007 he married Janice Vanderhaar.

Ed was a lector at Church of the Holy Spirit, and also served on the Career Transition Team providing counseling for adults who had lost jobs in the coorporate world.

He was active in Pax Christi Memphis, the International Catholic Peace Movement, a lifetime member of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Veterans for Peace and was Vice-President of the West TN Veterans' Home.

He leaves behind his beloved wife of 12 years, Janice; a brother, Dennis Wallin (Betty); nieces Lisa Crockett (Pierce), Mary Patterson (Kevin) and Marita Engel (Pete) as well as a number of great nieces and nephews.

Visitation is at 10 am, Saturday, Dec. 14 at the Church of the Holy Spirit, 2300 Hickory Crest Dr. in Memphis. A funeral mass celebrating Ed's life will begin at 11 am.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Alpha Omega Veterans Services, 1193 Madison Av. 38104 or Paulist Missions, 415 W. 59th St., NewYork, NY 11019, Manna House, 1268 Jefferson, Memphis, TN 38141 or a charity of the donor's choice.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Commercial Appeal from Dec. 11 to Dec. 12, 2019.
Funeral Mass
11:00 AM
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4 entries
December 22, 2019
Dennis and Family.

So sorry to hear of Ed's passing. I've admired him since I was a little girl and attended his ordination when I was six years old. He and my Dad are probably exchanging stories related to their paratrooper days.

Jo Ann (Velk) and Bill Durand
Jo Ann Durand
December 14, 2019
As I write this Ed's funeral will service will soon begin. I now live back in Minnesota and will not be able to attend the service. Ed Wallin became the Vet Center Team Leader in January 1980. The Vet Center was a program that provided "Help Without Hassles" for Vietnam Veterans. I met Ed on a Wednesday for my employment interview and was hired by him on Friday. On Sunday, Ed, Bill Brewi, Ken McCann and myself traveled to Park City, Utah for a national Vet Center training where we traveled up the mountain in a snowstorm and were snowed in for the week. Upon return to Memphis we went to work locating an office in the community and setting up the Vet Center. In May we opened our doors in offices on the ground floor of the Sterick Building at 3rd and Madison in downtown Memphis. Ed was always ready to greet Veterans with a warm handshake and to offer them the help they needed . The program was very successful and we saw 100 new Veterans each month. We had some interesting and wild adventures, including a time when Ed and I went into the community to help a Veteran in crisis. At one point the Veteran starting throwing bullets from the back seat of the car as we were transporting him to the hospital. In approximately 1992, he returned to work at the VA Hospital where he continued to serve Veterans. Ed was a kind and thoughtful man. He always kept cards in his desk and sent countless numbers of them for birthdays, funerals and other occasions. I try to follow his lead on this. Ed lived a long and full life filled with love and caring. He will be missed by so many. I will miss and remember him. I will keep him in my heart and offer prayers for Ed and his family.
Claire Garcia
December 13, 2019
Much admired. Loved & respected. Will always remember you standing on top of Lucy Reap's VW calming the riot that followed back to the Newman Center the marchers working to integrate the Normal Tea Room by MSU. So sorry my health prevents from attending services. My condolences to your family, Gerry Fleming Millaway
Geraldine Millaway
December 12, 2019
Mr. Ed Wallin, rest in piece my friend. I will always treasure the times we worked together for the betterment of the Veterans lives we touched.
Melverdine Young Smith
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