Message from daughter Doreen Thawley
August 6th, 2015
It is with sadness that I inform you of the passing of my father, Gordon Matthew Wallace.
Following is his obituary:
Gordon Matthew Wallace
December 1, 1924 – August 2, 2015
Resident of Morgan Hill
Gordon Matthew Wallace, 90, passed away peacefully at his home on August 2, 2015.
Gordon was born in Forks, Washington to William Matthew Wallace and Una Benner Wallace.
Gordon’s love for life was tremendous. Through good times and bad he always had that upbeat attitude. He never complained, well except if the Giants lost a game, or the US President made a bad decision. Even during the last days of his life, if you asked him how he was doing… he’d always say “I’m fine” and then he’d flash that smile.
Gordon and his sister Goldie were raised in Forks, Washington. Before going to school every morning, Gordon’s chore was to milk the cows Sally and Bossie. Gordon attended and played football at Forks High-school. He was also a prize fighter in the smokers. At age 17 he joined the Navy. Taking a train from Seattle, WA to San Diego, CA where he boarded a ship to Hawaii where he then boarded the USS Salt Lake City. He was a Pharmacist mate on board the ship for four years. Being a typical sailor back in the day, tattoos appeared on his arms and a pierced ear. In fact, he pierced quite a few sailors’ ears while on board. He was very proud to be a WWII Vet.
During the war, while on leave from the USS Salt Lake City that was docked in San Francisco, he met his “future bride” Doris Riley. They spent every minute they could together during the one week they had. They wrote letters and Doris sent Gordon cookies during the year they were apart. They were married one year later upon Gordon’s departure from the Navy. After the war, in Seattle, WA Gordon worked in a sawmill and also painted houses for a living. He moved to California in 1947 and worked for Associated Oil Company. In 1955 Gordon joined the San Jose Fire Department, and after 25 years, in 1980, he retired as Captain. During this time he and Doris raised three sons, Daniel, James and Craig and one daughter, Doreen, and cherished the time spent with their seven grandchildren. Doris and Gordon were married for 57 years until Doris’ death in February, 2003.
Gordon loved retired life. One of his memories was hiking Mt. Lassen at age 65 with his daughter and her family. This traditional will be carried on by his daughter who plans to hike this mountain at age 65 with her family in tow as well. Gordon enjoyed spending time with his grandkids, gardening, visiting friends and family, road trips, camping, fishing and most of all “building”. Gordon and Doris built and fixed up 12 houses, and he lived in each of them. The homes were located in Ben Lomond, Scotts Valley, Grass Valley, Lincoln, Santa Rosa, Kelseyville, Aptos, Paradise and Magalia.
After Doris’ demise, Gordon and his son James, moved to Morgan Hill to be closer to his daughter and son Daniel. Shortly after moving into his new home in the Woodland Estates park he met Patricia Nigh, a widow. They had so much fun together. They traveled, they danced, they sang… they just had fun! They were married at the park among family and friends in October, 2004. Patricia’s two sons and three daughters extended Gordon’s family. Life was good!
Gordon had seven grand-children and 13 great-grandchildren. Between he and Patricia that number grew to 19 grand-children and 24 great-grandchildren.
Gordon’s goal was to live at least until 2018. That would have been 200 years since the birth of his grandfather Hugh Berry Wallace who was born in South Carolina in 1818. Well, he almost made it.
Gordon was predeceased by numerous loved ones, including his parents, his first wife, his sister, half-sisters, half-brothers, his in-laws, and two of his sons, and numerous good friends. He leaves behind, his loving wife Patricia, son Daniel, daughter Doreen, step-daughters Ruth, Debbie and Gail, and step-sons Tim and Tom, along with all his grandchildren, and great grandchildren, and a multitude of friends.
Gordon’s ashes will remain with his family until he is put to rest at the Central Coast Veterans Cemetery in Monterey.
There will be a celebration of his life in the coming month.