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GENE ELLIS "GINGER" WALLACE

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GENE ELLIS "GINGER" WALLACE Obituary
WALLACE, GENE 'GINGER' ELLIS As a blizzard blew into the Bear Lake valley, Ginger peacefully left this life in the arms of her husband on November 23, 2010. Ginger was born on New Year's Eve in 1924 establishing from birth the celebration of life. The setting was Ogden and the proud parents were Gene B. and Wallace H. Ellis. Throughout her youth, summers in Fish Haven, Idaho, were filled with family, friends, practical jokes, the pier, the Bear Lake monster and perhaps the occasional water fight. Time added lemon ice cream, her ever present movie camera, sitting on the porch with Mom and spectacularly themed and costumed Anniversary parties. She attended Ogden High, the University of Utah and the Art Institute of Chicago where she received a BFA and MFA. She continued her graduate studies at Northwestern University; Chicago Institute of Design; University of Chicago; Utah State University; and studied jewelry with Los Castillos in Taxco, Mexico. While in Chicago she operated The 750 Studio where many local and national artists exhibited. Exuding creative energy from the very beginning, art was the center of her life. Painting both abstract and realist, portraiture, photography, ceramics, sculpture, water colors, colored pencil, enamels, jewelry making and film. Ginger exhibited locally, nationally and internationally in juried shows. She loved all media. Robert Wallace won her heart and hand and in 1957 they married and moved to San Diego. As time went on Ginger juggled three children and their many friends with humor, style, soap candy and lots of color. Community service was an important part of Ginger's life. She founded the Klee Wyk Society in 1962 and was a dedicated board member of the Museum of Man. She was a charter board member of the Committee of 100 dedicated to preserving the Spanish Colonial architecture in Balboa Park. Passionate about the mission of the San Diego Art Institute, Ginger was instrumental in establishing the Art Institute in its current home. The "Ginger Award" given annually by SDAI was named for her, and honors outstanding community volunteers. In 2007 the Friends of Balboa Park honored Ginger and Robert with the Millennium Award for fifty years of dedicated service to the park. These along with many other non-profit organizations in San Diego, Utah and Idaho benefited from her lifelong belief in giving back to her communities. She used her time and talent to create everything from newsletters and invitations for a multitude of organizations, to hosting totally classy garden tea parties and, the occasional play and movies for, and starring the Wednesday Club members. A signature event each year was to receive her mile long star studded Christmas card. Ginger's humor and talent live on in her published books "Extraordinary People Plus Unique and Above Average Children" and "Birds I Have Known That Are Very Extinct and Never Existed" which was her swan song. Her famous Brownie recipe is left with her husband, Bob; children, Janet; Matt; Sally (Scott Browning) and her grandchildren Eliza, James and Robert Browning and Jack Wallace. Siblings Elizabeth (Ted) Schmidt; Hague (Sue) Ellis; assorted nieces, nephews and suspect cousins. Last but not least her faithful companion Sam, her doted upon oversized long haired chihuahua. Preceded in death by her parents and her brother Matthew B. Ellis. Graveside services were held at the Ogden, Utah City Cemetery on Saturday, December 4th, at 10:00 a.m. with a Celebration of Life to be held later. In lieu of flowers, please donate to a charity of your choice as long as it is one Ginger would approve of . . . Funeral arrangements entrusted to Lindquist's Ogden Mortuary, 3408 Washington Blvd., Ogden, UT. Email condolences to the family at: www.lindquistmortuary.com

Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on Dec. 12, 2010
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