Estella Delphia Wallace
May 23, 1949 – October 12, 2012

Estella Delphia Wallace went to work in God's garden today.... and to pepper the heavenly theologians with savvy questions.

A vigil for family and friends will begin at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, October 17, 2012, at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Franklin, Texas. A Rosary will be recited at 10 a.m., Thursday morning, October 18, 2012, at the church, with a Mass of Christian Burial to follow. Interment will be in St. Mary's Cemetery in Hearne, Texas.

She was the valiant woman of Proverbs, strong, wise, compassionate, hard -working. She was a character, a tiny dynamine who once chased down her mugger, catching him three times and hitting him trying to get her purse back. He only got away because he pushed her and she sprained her ankle. Everyone in her good graces knew she would always be there, always look after them. Anyone not in her good graces had the good sense to stay as far away from her as possible. She was also the kind of woman who would go up to somebody who was hitting their kid at the grocery store and let them have it! She never put up with wrong doing if she saw it. And she never had any problem making a scene.

She was the Samaritan woman at the well, asking Jesus blunt, skeptical, insightful questions, being then won over completely in the end, bringing many with her. She saw that Gospel story as mirroring her own conversion and wanted it read at her funeral mass.

She lived with ingenuity and determination. Every place she lived, no matter what a dump it was, she made it pretty and cozy and homey in one creative way or another and she could make a good meal out of just about anything or almost nothing. She could make any yard a paradise.

She loved antique roses, tea, Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, Elizabeth Peters, Fleetwood Mac and Joni Mitchell, quilting, gardening, hard work outside, and scrabble. She hated grasshoppers, strong winds, boring conversations, bad grammar, bad manners, lousy cooking, and paying bills. She noticed everything and was interested in most of what she saw and heard about. She was sharp, curious, and opinionated.

She was a Jill of all trades doing everything from grounds maintenance at A & M to selling condos, to working in the rice lab, and forest genetics, to tutoring Aggies in English, to mowing lawns, to being a church secretary. Sometimes she had crazy ideas that didn't work out but she was not afraid to try new things. She was not afraid of much.

She came from Corpus Christi to study horticulture at A&M as a very young mother in 1969 and stayed in College Station for almost 30 years before moving to Calvert and into her dream Victorian farmhouse, which she quickly surrounded with roses.

She was a passionate, powerful personality, a fiercely devoted mother, a grandmother involved in the daily lives of her grandchildren and who was their perpetual go to person and confidant. She was an affectionate, loving wife, a gardener of almost magical talent; someone who was always moving, who got things done.

She acted in and directed plays at Stage Center in the 80s but generally was a one-woman show in real life anyway and eventually that show took up more of her time and interest.

She was a hippie in the 60s and 70s, then a devout convert to Catholicism in her later years who loved to talk theology and taught classes at her church. She was known for her practical wisdom, wit, and strength of character, for her funny, sage and frank remarks, her pithy observations about people, life, relationships and the ways of the world. She was active in AA for many years and helped countless people in their struggle to start a new life.

Her memory is cherished by her family, especially her by her husband of 25 years, Thomas Heck, who was the best thing that ever happened to her; by her daughter, Shawn Chapman; her son, Mark Manning; and her daughters-in-law, Jamie Manning, Shawna Manning, and Cindy Green; her former husband, Tim Manning and his wife Mary Hohl; her stepsons, Chris Heck, Russell Heck and his wife, Kim; her stepdaughters, Nancy Hilliard and Sarah Bean; and her grandchildren, Maire and Roise, Emilie, Augustine, Oliver, Isabel, and Helayna, Sean and Tory, Landon and Tinley, Abigail and Gracie, Cody, Lyndsey and Caitlin; her great-grandchildren, Miley, Ryder and Avery; her cousin, Raymond Premont ""Monty Ray"", who was like a brother to her; and Jacki Spicer, a cousin's child who was like a daughter to her; her in-laws, Frank, Karin, and Hans Pauc and Ann Chapman; her friends, especially Ellen Miller, her dear friend of more than 30 years, and Lily Panella and Liz Alexander, and by her soul friend and spiritual guide, Father Greg Mclaughlin.

Delphia was preceded in death by her parents, Richard and Ruth Wallace of Corpus Christi; and three sons-in-law, Marc Pauc, Robert Chapman, and Greg Hilliard; and her stepson, Gene Heck.

She was her husbands' joy and crown, and "Her children rise up and call her blessed."

She lived through many very hard times and difficult circumstances throughout her life and came through them stronger than ever. She was an example of courage, gratitude, positive thinking, liveliness, and of daring hope all her life.

She was diagnosed with lymphoma and dementia in 2008. No matter what she went through or how confused she became her love was still evident. Even as she declined more and more from dementia she was still teaching us. And now everyone in Heaven had better watch out.

View her Book of Memories™ at

Published by The Bryan-College Station Eagle from Oct. 17 to Oct. 20, 2012.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Add a Message

Not sure what to say?

13 Entries
Forever in our hearts...
Jamie Manning
October 24, 2012
We were both shocked and saddened to learn of Delphia's passing. She was such a wonderful person and know her friends and family will miss her terribly. May God's love and comfort see you all through this somber time. Rest in peace Delphia!!
Rex & Zeni Smith
October 18, 2012
I fondly remember Delphia from growing up best friends with her daughter Shawn. My condolences on her passing go out to her entire family, and all those who's hearts she touched in life... and there are many.
Cheryl Taylor
October 18, 2012
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Rita & Ron Fernandes
October 17, 2012
I did not know her for long but she left a lasting impression in me, one that I will always charish. It was an honor to help take care of her and to be given the opportunity to meet her family. It was obvious that the family was close and dearly loved and helped each other. I just wish I had had the opportunity to know her and her family longer. There was no stranger to enter her house and everyone is treated with love and respect. I learned so much about myself just by meeting and helping this wonderful family. You will always be in my prayers. God bless you all.
Kellye Baggerly
October 17, 2012
I am so sorry to learn of Delphia's passing. She was greatly valued in my lab. May she rest happily in Heaven.
Timothy Hall
October 17, 2012
You will be missed dearly. I will cherish the times I had with you. You always treated everyone around you with such kindness and love. RIP.
Meg Burr
October 17, 2012
Thinking of Russell Heck and Family.
Lisa Tremblay
October 17, 2012
She was a beautiful woman with great spirit ! She accepted me from the moment we met! She will brighten Heaven and be one of Gods best Angels !
James Crabb
October 17, 2012
I was the mother-of-the-bride (Shawna Wingfield) and Delphia was the mother-of-the-groom (Mark Manning).
Our children had selected a garden reception at their home in College Station. Delphia and I had a lot in common. We were both gardeners and decorators. Helping our children with this event was pure pleasure.
Delphia wanted to make all the center pieces for the reception tables. They were a labor of love, each different
and all made of flowers, plants, and twigs from her garden. I lived in Fort Collins, CO so our first meeting was the day or two before the wedding. Delphia had a plan. She wanted Shawna and I to come to her home and have a cup of tea. It was a beautiful spring morning and
the sun flooded the sun porch where Delphia had set a
Victorian tea table just for us. We took a tour of her amazing garden and learned more about plants than I ever
thought was possible and then took the tour of her beloved Victorian farmhouse. It was a memorable morning and I was so happy for Shawna that she had such
a wonderful relationship with Delphia. They shared the passion for gardening and much more. Delphia was a loving and giving women whom I was privileged to know.
Claudia Martin
October 17, 2012
I'm so sorry to hear about Delphia. We had no idea she had been ill, and regret that we had lost touch with ya'll the last few years. I miss working with her so much, and visiting your great place in the country.
Troyce Wilson
October 17, 2012
It has been a great pleasure to get to know Delphia through her children, Shawn and Mark. She lives on in them and in all whose lives she touched.
Ann Chapman
October 17, 2012
I wish I had known her. God bless her family!
October 17, 2012
Showing 1 - 13 of 13 results