It seems like just yesterday, but it has been over 8 years ago. I was new to the sport of CAS, and was fortunate to meet some very fine pards right from the start. I sort of migrated to a group of older fellers. Sgt. Bob, Sgt. Jack, Valdez, Ace Hullum are a few of the names I remember from the very first. The only one I ever see anymore is Ace. Sergeant Jack passed away on January 1st, 2000 on his way to shoot in Breckenridge. Sergeant Bob has quit shooting; I believe that health issues have forced him to retirement. And it is with a heavy heart that I report the passing of Valdez, aka Bill Wallace.
Anyone who ever came into contact with Valdez knows that they have met someone special. A fine wit accompanied by a friendly demeanor ensured that people would take a liking to him. Chief of Scouts for a Frontier Army in our fantasy game, he was a real live Marine who fought in WW2. He was quiet about this service, but would speak proudly of his prowess with the GI 45. This 'Greatest Generation' knew the job they had done was essential, but unsavory. They had been asked collectively to literally save the world. This they had accomplished, then retired back to civilian life.
You could see the military discipline and training when he shot Cowboy, always one handed, slow and steady, never missing. I can't recall ever seeing him miss a pistol shot in a match. He was fond of those pistols, 7 1/2 inch 44/40 SAA's. The rifle, a 92 also in 44WCF, had been rebarreled by his son Bo, and was a tack driver, especially with him doing the hammering. Topping off his favorite match guns was a Berretta mule eared SxS. As I said, I can't recall seeing him miss more than 3 targets, TOTAL, in the years we shot together.
Several years ago he had some serious health setbacks. While he was able to come out and visit with us one more time about 9 months ago, it was just too hard a battle to fight. He passed away Sunday, November 25th, 2007. All who knew him will miss him. Especially this wet behind the ear cowboy shooter wannabe who learned a great deal from him and his cronies.
The little world that was sad yesterday is much sadder today.
Vaya con Dios, my friend.
William Lafayette "Valdez" Wallace, 78, passed away Sunday, Nov. 25, 2007.
Memorial service: 11:30 a.m. Friday in Greenwood Chapel.
Bill was born April 23, 1928, in Amarillo to Homer Loyd Wallace and Vermo Lucille Vermillion. He was a longtime resident of Benbrook, moving here in 1954. He married Glenna Dean Peters on Aug. 21, 1949, and enjoyed 57 years of marriage. Bill retired from General Dynamics after 40 years working as a test engineer. He was an avid outdoorsman and a man of many hobbies, including painting, leather working, SASS, knitting, crossword puzzles and square dancing. Bill was a devoted husband and father, and he will be missed by his family.
Bill was preceded in death by his wife, Glenna; and brother, Homer Loyd Wallace Jr.
Survivors: Son, William L. "Bo" Wallace and friend, Margaret Brown; daughter, Kathy Wallace; grandchildren, Taylor Ford, Anna Jackson, Charles Brown and Julie Brown; great-granddaughter, Kayla Grover; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Published in the Star-Telegram on 11/28/2007.