Thursday, October 10, 2019

In Memoriam: Vince Wallace

Photo: Lance Wheeler
Gossips got word yesterday that Vince Wallace had died, just a few weeks short of his 88th birthday. Vince was familiar to most Hudsonians as the man who drove the Korean War era Jeep in every Memorial Day and Veterans Day parade. Frequent visitors to the cemetery know him as the man who faithfully tended all the sections of the cemetery dedicated to war veterans. It was Vince who, year after year, planted and watered the geraniums in the urns in the plot for Civil War veterans, the section of the cemetery to which he was particularly devoted, and in the urns on the pillars that flank the entrances to the cemetery on Ten Broeck Lane. Many's the time, while walking Joey in the cemetery, I encountered Vince going about his self-assigned duties tending the urns and looking after the graves of those who had served their country in war. 

The best obituary for Vince Wallace may be an interview William Shannon did with him in 2015 and published on Hudson River Zeitgeist: "From the Vantage Point of Major Vince Wallace."

Rest in peace, Major Wallace. Thank you for your service.


  1. wow---I am truly sorry to hear about viinny death,he was a nice man,and he attened ever baraque at the roe-jan boat club and always worked at the clam section,

  2. A terrible loss. Requiescat in pace.

  3. Vince was a champ. I came to work pretty closely with him on local school matters, for which he was widely known as a knee-jerk curmudgeon who always opposed the school budget. In fact, as I got to know him, I realized that Vince was one of the best informed citizens about public education that we had -- a one-man No Child Left Behind before that law was passed. And Vince would routinely come to school board meetings, loaded with facts and figures,large and small, which he delivered in such a soft-spoken and genteel manner that most people didn't notice until it was too late that he was unveiling some injustice or inefficiency. It was Vince who discovered the state law that prohibited teachers and school administrators from advocating for positions or candidates on a school election while on school grounds. It was Vince who came out of a meeting in which a school board member presented PowerPoint pitch for a $30-million building project and was asked if the fellow was telling the truth, to which he responded, "He doesn't know what the truth is." And it was Vince who instigated one of Hudson's most soul-searching recent community discussions about race and racism, some 15 years ago, when he presented academic statistics to the board about other "poor" school districts and asked, "Why do they outperform Hudson?" The question was passed down the table to the then Curriculum Director, who hemmed-and-hawed before saying, "the minorities." Thanks to Lynn Sloneker, then reporting for the Register Star, that comment was front-page the following day and all hell broke loose.... A man of great good heart, intelligence, and courage, Vince will be missed.