Joe's Story

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Dr. Joe Kenneth Wallace Sr., DPH, MD went to be with the Lord on June 5, 2016. He was born in Sweetwater, TN, on Dec. 12, 1922, to Pearlie Atkins and Nannie Stooke Wallace.
He graduated from Sweetwater High School in 1940 having been the president of his sophomore and senior classes. During his teen years he worked in drug stores, a hardware store and in a general merchandise store and eventually at the American Textile Woolen Mills in Sweetwater where the company was doing defense work for the United States Army during WWII. From there he entered the United States Navy and was honorably discharged July 26, 1942 and became eligible for the G.I. Bill of Rights enabling him to enter college.
He did his undergraduate work at Hiwassee College and Tennessee Wesleyan College before entering Alabama Polytechnic Institute (Auburn University) Auburn, AL. While he was there he was president of the Student Body of the American Pharmaceutical Association, other honors received were member of Rho Chi, Phi Kappa Phi, and Alpha Epsilon Delta honor societies before graduating in December 1949 with a Bachelor of Pharmacy Degree. In 1985 he was grandfathered into the Tennessee Pharmaceutical Association as a Doctor of Pharmacy by the Tennessee Legislature.
After graduating from Auburn he returned to Sweetwater and bought the old Britton Drug Store where he had worked as a boy. He renamed it Wallace Pharmacy and kept it for five years, sold it and entered UT Medical School in Memphis, TN, where he graduated as a medical doctor and as treasurer of his class. His required one year's internship was done at the UT Medical Hospital in Knoxville, TN. In 1959 he returned to his hometown in Sweetwater, TN, where he practiced general medicine for the next eight years.
In May 1967, he moved his family to Crossville, TN, and joined a newly formed Crossville Medical Group, PA and became a member of the Cumberland Medical Center hospital. During his practice he took advanced courses and National Board Exams to qualify him to become a life member as a fellow and diplomate of the American Academy of Family Practice.
In 1988 he had acute cardiovascular problems necessitating his retirement from his office practice, but he continued to satisfy all Tennessee State Requirements to practice limited medicine. Eventually on June 14, 2013, he retired his medical license after 53 years.
He was a lifelong, active member of the United Methodist Church. During his life in Crossville, he and his family joined the First United Methodist Church. After he and his wife, Shirley, returned from the Holy Land in 1990, he began a 14 year certified Lay Speaking Mission for the Cookeville District of the Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Church.
He was a Master Mason, a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason and a Shriner. He was a member of the Tennessee Medical Association, American Medical Association, WWII Navy Veteran and the American Legion.
After retirement he and Shirley enjoyed boating, RVing and being with family and the extended family of Dr. John and Dot Mooney of Statesboro, GA, who were founders of the Willingway Hospital for Addiction to Alcohol and Drugs.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two young siblings, Edith and Mac; brothers and wives, Jim (Myrtle), Ernest (Dorothy), A.J. (Ernestine), Ben (Be a); and his twin brother, Jack (Edith). Additionally he was preceded in death by his sisters-in-law, Susie Whited and Karen Wilson.
He is survived by his devoted wife, Shirley Wilson Wallace; four children, Ann Lamon (Howard), Dr. Joe K. Wallace Jr. (Nancy), Jeffery Edwin Wallace and Rev. Jerry K. Wallace (Jamie); six grandchildren; and eight great grandchildren. He is also survived by his special caregiver and sister-in-law, Faye Bearden (Chuck), who brought love and laughter to his home; sister-in-law, Mary Jo Randolph (Don); and brother-in-law, Kenneth Wilson (Melinda). His extended family members, Dr. John and Dot Mooney's children and their spouses, the Debbie and Bob Wilson Family, and the JP Padilla family. Also many special nieces and nephews and a host of many dear friends and former patients.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, June 9, 2016, at 3 p.m. at First United Methodist Church with Rev. Drew Shelley, Rev. Jerry Mayo and Jerry Wallace officiating. Burial will follow in Green Acres Memory Gardens. Visitation will be prior to the service from noon to 3 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of Cumberland County, 30 East Adams St., Crossville, TN 38555 or at www.cumberlandhospice.com or to Crossville First United Methodist Church, 100 Braun St, Crossville, TN 38555.
Bilbrey Funeral Home, Inc. (www.bilbreyfh.com) was in charge of the arrangements.
Published on June 7, 2016
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