James H. Wallace

James H. Wallace, 79, of Cresco and formerly of Meservey, passed away on Tuesday, October 1, 2019, at Regional Health Services of Howard County in Cresco.

Services will be held at a later date.

James Harry, son of Harry E. and Mabel J. (Neer) Wallace, was born on September 16, 1940 in Windsor, Illinois. Jim attended high school in Illinois. Mattoon High School his freshman and sophomore years, and Effingham High School his junior and senior years, graduating in 1958 where he was voted “Unhurried, helpful”. While at EHS Jim was on the track team and was a member of FFA. Jim was a Sov. Grand Master of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows until he moved to Iowa in 1968. Jim was implemental in establishing a successful Case dealership in Belmond, Iowa winning several sales awards and exotic trips. He opened his own machinery business, JW Equipment in Belmond, later expanding to Juarez-Ciudad Mexico. Jim Wallace Company was later established in Clear Lake, Iowa for the servicing of mobile homes.

Jim was married to Janet Irene (Fletcher) for 21 years and had four children through this union.

On June 29, 1984, Jim was united in marriage to Beatrice (Bea) Sabelka in Clear Lake, Iowa. For 15 years she supported Jim’s many ventures. They were truly happy being together. They enjoyed spending time together and finishing each other’s sentences. Crossword puzzles, crafting and gardening were a few of their many shared passions. They are true soul mates reunified forever in Heaven, holding hands and making each other laugh.

Jim used to say he was a Jack of all trades, and a master of none. Those who knew him say Jim could sell ice to Eskimos. In Jim’s spare time, he enjoyed restoring classic cars, including a 68 Chevy Camaro; a 72 Chevy Nova; 57 Chevy Bel-Air; a 64 Chevy Impala SS as well as several others. He also enjoyed making floral arrangements and various craft projects; including wine and candle making as well as woodworking. He donated many of his woodwork projects to local church bazaars. He also enjoyed renovating houses.

Christmas time in Jim’s house was spectacular because Jim loved to decorate! He did it for the sheer enjoyment of creating something that would make others feel happy.

Ever the entrepreneur – he was never one to sit still or pay too close attention to the owner manuals ­– as he wanted everything done yesterday, whether completing home improvements or starting new business ventures. Those who knew and loved Jim- especially the members of the local Emergency Room- were not surprised that with every one of his projects, came an injury of some sort; after all he was on a first name basis with the ER doctors and as such found humor in all of his injuries. It takes a strong man to hold his severed digit when all he can say is… “oops”. His family and friends always threatened to purchase Jim rubber saw blades. However, he always put his entire heart and soul- and blood sweat and lots of tears- in everything he did, never doing anything half-way. In his older years, Jim enjoyed traveling and sent his children postcards from all his adventures. One of his most memorable trips was taking the older two great-grandchildren to Disney World in Florida.

Jim is survived by his first wife Janet Irene (Fletcher) McMahon of Montrose, IL; daughter Sandi Wallace of Belmond; son James “Tony” A. (Laura) Wallace of Bloomsburg, PA; three grandchildren Christophe (Tanya) Roberts of Belmond, IA, Travis (Kami) Roberts of Belmond, IA and Audrey Wallace of Bloomsburg, PA; three great-grandchildren Madison Roberts, Cameron Roberts, and Aubrey Roberts; two brothers Bill (Sally) Wallace of Sullivan, Il. and David (Sharon) Wallace of Windsor, Il; two sisters Rosemary Williams of Windsor, IL and Shirley Keigley of Charleston, Il; two sisters-in-law Esther Wallace of Windsor, IL and Rusty Wallace of Watson, Il; and many other family and friends including Isaac Thorton-Determan and Isaiah Betterton-Determan of Mason City, IA. And a very special thank you to Les Peterson of Meservey, IA.

He is preceded in death by his parents; wife Beatrice in 1999; two infant daughters Cheryl and Diane; and two brothers Dean Wallace and Gene Wallace.



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