Genevieve L. Wallace, 100, passed away on Wednesday, August 16, 2023. Born in Brooklyn, NY on June 28, 1923 to Josefa (nee Koenig) of Gottsche, Austria, and William Lorenz of Bavaria, Germany, Genevieve was the youngest of nine children. Her early years were spent in her Brooklyn neighborhood and then during the Depression, her father, well into his 50s, moved the family up to a farm in Lew Beach, NY, where he could provide food for his wife and children. Living off the land in a remote corner of the Catskills gave Gen a life-long appreciation and love of being in ‘the country’.
Gen married Charles Wallace in 1946 and had a varied career besides being a full-time mother and wife. During the war, she had the honor of working with Dr. Herman Mark, a pre-eminent leader and world-renowned scholar in organic and polymer chemistry at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. Gen recalls corresponding with and welcoming into the office Albert Einstein and Robert Oppenheimer, realizing only years later the significance of such visitors at that time. During her child-rearing years, she worked in a doctor’s office as a secretary and procedural assistant, where she gained rudimentary medical knowledge. When her husband Charlie’s employer offered him a relocation from suburban New Jersey to upstate New York in 1970, she jumped at the chance and spent most of the rest of her life Upstate. While there, she worked as a teacher’s assistant in the local school, and also prepared special needs children in her local diocese for receiving their First Communion. Gen had a deep faith and made her profession to the Third Order of St. Francis, a lifetime commitment. She and Charlie ensured that all their children were well-rooted in their Catholic faith.
Both Gen and Charlie loved classical music and instilled a great appreciation and joy of it in all their children, encouraging each of them to learn to play a musical instrument and sing. Gen always had a love of learning, and after seeing her four children through college, Gen decided to go to college herself. At a time in life when most people are retiring, Gen earned her master’s degree at the age of 65, and then went on to acquire a Certificate of Advanced Studies when she was 71. She graduated with high honors and special recognition by her professors. Following her graduation, she was employed by the Office for the Aging and worked as a case manager.
Always encouraging everyone to be the best they could be and to be compassionate towards others, Gen leaves a legacy of life lessons well-taught and many fond memories. In addition, she leaves her invaluable recipe box, in which may be found priceless and mouth-watering formulas for butterscotch peach and lemon meringue pies among other family favorites.
Genevieve is survived by her two children: Anne (Kevin) Ritzman of Appleton, WI, and Marty (Pat) Wallace of Catskill, NY, nine grandchildren: Greg Wallace, Soundarya Ritzman, Reena Ritzman, Matthew (Diana) Wallace, Mary Wallace, Catherine (Andy) Duncan, Joseph Wallace, Veronica Wallace, and Teresa (Greg) Millard, as well as many nieces, nephews, and friends, all scattered throughout the States.
Genevieve was preceded in death by her parents; her eight siblings; Charles, her husband of 45 years; two sons: Dr. Charles (Chris) Wallace and Robert Wallace; infant daughter Mary Elizabeth; and grandson Eric Wallace, all of whom eagerly awaited her arrival at the Pearly Gates.
Funeral liturgy will be held at 11:00 am, on Saturday, August 26, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 410 W. Lawrence St., Appleton. Visitation will be at the church from 10:00 am until the time of the Mass. Inurnment will take place at Maryrest Cemetery and Mausoleum, Mahwah, NJ. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are appreciated to Alight Center, Hudson, NY, or Vida Medical Clinic and Support Services in Appleton, WI.
We thank all the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity and the staff at St. Paul Home and St. Paul Hospice for their kind and compassionate care of our mother. May God bless you all!