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Well-known chamber ambassador Jeanne Wallace remembered for kindness, willingness to help

Well-known chamber ambassador Jeanne Wallace remembered for kindness, willingness to help
Jeanne Wallace, shown at center with Harriet Hammons, left, and Mary Gant in a Jan. 28, 2016 file photo, was a longtime ambassador with the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce, receiving "Ambassador of the Year" eight times. Wallace passed away May 4. She was 87. (File photo)

Jeanne Wallace, a former travel agent and well-known volunteer ambassador for the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce, died Friday afternoon after a stroke. She was 87.

Daughter Karen Young said Tuesday her mother suffered a stroke in January of last year but had recovered and was doing well until she experienced a second stroke on April 29.

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Just one week earlier, Wallace and husband Jim had celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary and the baptism of great-grandson Rory at La Cañada Presbyterian Church before attending a family celebration at Oakmont Country Club in Glendale.

The couple met as teenagers attending the same high school in Tennessee in 1950, Young said. In 1968, they relocated to La Cañada Flintridge from Los Altos in Santa Clara County to accommodate Jim's position as associate general counsel for Times Mirror Company.

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Wallace worked part-time for the Berkshire Travel Centre in La Crescenta, continuing to serve a handful of clients for years afterward, her daughter said. On Monday, Young remembered her mother as always helpful and supportive to those she knew.

"She was always interested in others," Young said. "She put everybody's needs above herself, her family especially."

Wallace was involved, often alongside her husband, in La Cañada Presbyterian's efforts to build houses in Tutwiler, Miss., through Habitat for Humanity as well as the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce. The couple also supported the La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Assn. and the Salvation Army of Los Angeles County's red kettle luncheons. Jeanne Wallace was also a member of the local Professional Women's Networking Group (PWNG).

Pat Anderson, president and chief executive of the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce and fellow PWNG member, called Wallace's passing a personal loss. In 2013, Wallace became a charter member of the group's ambassador program, which keeps area businesses in touch on events and information relevant to the business community.

"In her role as chamber ambassador she achieved the distinction of 'Ambassador of the Year' eight times," Anderson said Monday in an email interview. "She personally recruited several businesses and attended many city council meetings to keep up on what was going on in town — she was amazing and will be deeply missed."

Wallace is survived by husband Jim, daughter Karen Young (Scott) and son Mike Wallace (Laura), grandchildren Vanessa Burnett (Ryan), Monica Skeehan (Mark), Matt Wallace, Eric Wallace and Andy Wallace, and four great-grandchildren.

A service at La Cañada Presbyterian Church is being planned for sometime in June.

Twitter: @SaraCardine

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