Wallace Leo Emory, 86, died September 13, 2013 from complications of Alzheimer's disease. Born April 10, 1927, Bronte, Texas, to Robert and Agnes Emory, he grew up on the farm in the care of his maternal grandparents and mother until he was of school age. At that time, he and his mother moved to San Angelo, TX. Wallace worked from the age of 12 to pay for his first bicycle and first car. His interest in aviation also began at an early age. At 16, he earned his Airman Flight Certificate.
He enlisted in the Navy in March 1945 and was discharged in August 1946 as Aerial Gunner Seaman 1stC. Wallace returned to San Angelo, attended San Angelo Junior College and worked as Manager of the North Concho Airport. Upon graduation from San Angelo College, and after a short stint as an oil field roughneck and a fireman on the Santa Fe Railroad, he reentered the military in 1949 as an aviation cadet at Randolph Field, Texas, known as the West Point of the Air, graduating 2nd in his class. This led to a 22 year Air Force career during which he rose to the rank of Lt. Colonel.
Throughout his Air Force career, Wallace was posted at duty stations around the world: during the Korean Conflict he was stationed in Japan; during the Cuban Crisis he flew out of Ardmore AFB, OK; and he then served as Personnel Officer for MATS in Prestwick Scotland. He also flew embassy runs throughout the world from Travis AFB, CA; served as USAF personnel advisor to the Royal Saudi Air Force; served as Assistant Chief of the Aircrew BR, AF Eastern Test Range; and also served as a Command Pilot and Chief Pilot in C-135 aircraft at Patrick AFB, FL. At Patrick AFB he flew NASA support for the Project Apollo 11 space missions. He retired from the USAF in 1970.
Under an Air Force program he attended Oklahoma University where he graduated with a BA degree in 1958.
In 1971 Wallace began his 25 year career with the Federal Aviation Administration in Los Angeles, CA as an Aviation Safety Inspector. During his FAA career he served as Principal Operations Inspector for Eastern Airlines, Continental Airlines, Western Airlines, Flying Tigers, and Air California. From 1981 to 1987 he served as Manager of the FAA International Field Office in Frankfurt, Germany. Upon returning to the US, Wallace completed his career with the FAA in Oklahoma City as Manager of the division charged with writing all airmen tests. He was an Airline Transport Pilot, with ratings in the B-707,720, 727, 737, CE500, and Lear Jet. During both of his careers he received many honors and awards, national and international.
He is survived by his wife, LaVaughn of 39 years; son Neil (Maria), daughters Sandra Lawrence (Jack), Krista Morrison (Stuart), stepson Steven Harris (Kathy) and stepdaughter Cynthia Harris. Grandchildren Joshua VanValkenburg (Jenny), Lucas, Sage and Vincent Morrison; and brother Tommy Joe Walter (LaJan)
Wallace was not all work. He was an avid golfer, playing at some of the most famous courses worldwide. He also enjoyed flying his Beach Bonanza, tennis, skiing, cruising, music, and most of all loved to dance.
Services with full military honors will be at the Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, CA, Oct 9. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to Alzheimer's disease research.