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Joe Henry Wallace, Jr.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019
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Colonel Joe Henry Wallace, Jr. (USAFRRet.) passed away on June 17, 2019, after a courageous and hardfought battle with cancer. At the time of his death, Joe Henry resided in Azle, Texas with his adoring wife, Elizabeth Taylor Wallace, and their cocker spaniels, Nadia and Jase.

Joe Henry was born on Oct. 10, 1953 in Ruston, Louisiana to the late Joe Henry Wallace, Sr. and Bette Heard Wallace. He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Liz Wallace. He is also survived by his brother and only sibling, Samuel Glenn Wallace and wife, Linda Garrett Wallace, of Ruston, Louisiana, and many nieces and nephews.

Joe Henry was a 1971 graduate of Ruston High School and a 1975 journalism graduate of Louisiana Tech University. As a member of the Tech Talk editorial staff, Joe Henry did everything including taking photographs, developing film, writing articles, composing the pages, and setting the type.

After graduating from Louisiana Tech, he went to work at the Ruston Daily Leader, as City Editor and later became State and City Editor for the Shreveport Times.

While doing a news article for the Times on the local A-10 Air Force Reserve squadron at Barksdale AFB, he fell in love with flying. This led to his leaving the newspaper business and joining the Air Force Reserves in 1980.

After his commissioning as an officer, he was sent to Reese AFB in Lubbock, Texas for pilot training and Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, AZ, for A-10 training. He became a very accomplished A-10 pilot and quickly upgraded to become an A-10 instructor pilot. Joe Henry was hired as a fulltime instructor pilot for the 47th Fighter Squadron at Barksdale AFB and became the Chief of Scheduling for all the squadrons flying and ground training operations.

He attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel while at Barksdale, but his supervisors saw Joe’s potential and offered him a job at the Headquarters for the 10th Air Force at Carswell AFB, Ft. Worth, TX.

The 10th Air Force oversaw all the operations for fighter, bomber, and rescue operations for the Air Force Reserves. Joe Henry transferred to the 10th Air Force in 2001.

He was given the critically important job of Director of Plans and Programs and promoted to the rank of Colonel. He retired in 2010 as the Assistant Vice Commander of the 10th Air Force.

Joe and Liz loved living on Eagle Mountain Lake, so after retirement they decided to stay there with their dogs. He spent many hours enjoying his life on the lake. He also maintained an interest in local, national, and world news and kept abreast of what was going on all around the world.

Having grown-up in Ruston working in the Wallace family’s Lincoln Mercury Dealership, he became a very talented mechanic. Years later this translated into a favorite retirement passion — a love of auto racing of all kinds. He spent much of his retirement studying the sport and going to the professional races in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He even got his mother, Bette Wallace, hooked on watching the races on TV. The two of them would spend hours on the phone comparing racing notes with each other.

Everyone laughed at the idea that he talked his 80-year-old mom into becoming a car racing enthusiast.

Family and friends are invited to Joe Henry’s graveside service in Ruston at 2 p.m. Friday, June 28 at Greenwood Cemetery under the direction of Kilpatrick’s Funeral Home.

Before his death, Joe Henry requested that any memorials be made to the Bette Heard Wallace Endowment Fund at the Louisiana Tech University Alumni Foundation in Ruston, Louisiana or the DFW Cocker Spaniel Rescue in Dallas/Fort Worth.

Online condolences may be made to the family at