Doris Jean Wallace, 89, passed away quietly from this life on March 20, 2017 at the Hospice Unit at St. Lukes Hospital in Cedar Rapids. Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 pm Friday at the Egelhof, Siegert and Casper Westview Funeral Home and Crematory, 2659 Kennedy Road. Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday at First Congregational United Church of Christ where visitation will also be held Saturday from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. Burial will be in Dubuque Memorial Gardens.
DJ, as she preferred to be known, will be best remembered for her extraordinarily strong volunteer spirit. After her retirement from teaching in 1989, DJ continued to provide assistance with bulletin boards and displays - but her most outstanding performances were as Dubuque's Story Lady, dressing in costumes ranging from Pilgrims to Santa's sister, and reading to generations of children. In addition to story telling, DJ volunteered at the Dubuque Arboretum and at The Finley Hospital, and served in various positions for the DI Chapter of the National T.T.T. Society, Lambda Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma for Women Educators, a member of the Dubuque Education Association, the Dubuque's Retired Teachers Association and Chapter OI of P.E.O. Outgoing and friendly, DJ was always ready with a kind word, an entertaining story, or a spare piece of paper and scissors which she wielded to great effect, producing intricate snow flakes and other silhouettes for the children she encountered. A member of Immanuel Congregational UCC for many years, she most recently had been a member of the First Congregational Church, where she loved playing in the bell choir, and will be remembered for the numerous poems written by DJ which were published in weekly bulletins even after failing health prompted her to move closer to family.
DJ was born on July 28, 1927, the second daughter of Rev. William Hiram and Jessie Ella (Barber) Hill. During her childhood and youth, DJ could be found at the Congregational churches where her father was minister, assisting with numerous activities. After graduation from Dubuque Senior High in 1945, DJ continued her studies at Iowa State Teacher's College and graduated in 1949. She taught for a few years until she met and married Gerald (Jerry) Wallace, who preceded her in death in 1991. Together they raised three children, all of whom survive their parents - Dave (Cedar Rapids), Ann (James) O'Malley, and Marsha Paige Wallace (Kerstan Williams). She is also survived by a granddaughter, Gretchen Wallace, her elder sister Lorna Putnam, and nephews Lonnie (Judy) Putnam, Devaney 'Dee' (Catherine) Putnam, and Thomas (Susan) Putnam all of the North Carolina/Georgia area.