THEARTIS "THEA" WALLACE ~ Class of 1963
March 15, 1945 - March 24, 2011
Theartis Wallace, 66, of Richland, WA, passed away March 24, 2011 at his home. He was born on March 15, 1945 in Kildare, TX to Wealthy and Dessie Wallace.
Thea was a life long resident of the Richland area. He was an all state basketball player at Columbia High School and Columbia Basin College. He was inducted into the Richland High School Hall of Fame in 1962. He was the only Northwest player named to the 1969 NAIA All American Team roster and voted honorary team captain by his teammates. He signed a two year contract with the Seattle Supersonics after being picked in the eighth round of the National Basketball Association draft in 1969. He was also an avid tennis player and played many tournaments in the Pacific Northwest and was ranked in the USTA.
Theartis worked for the Nuclear Weapons Industry as Electrician Foreman and belonged to the local IBEW-International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
He is survived by his son, David Wallace of Richland; daughter, Pamela Cousar (Corey) of Dallas, GA; grandsons, Steven Ponce of Pasco, and Daryon Wallace of Richland, WA; granddaughter, Kendra Wallace of Richland; father, Wealthy Wallace, Jr., Richland God Children, Ciara Green of Las Vegas, NV, Rodney Green, De'Vauna Green and Ja'Lani Green all of West Richland; four brothers, Maurice ('62) Wallace (Janice) of Los Angeles, CA, Bruce Wallace (Teresa), Orlando Wallace, both of Richland, Edward Wallace (Jacci) of Kennewick; four sisters, Wilma Woods (Frank) of Seattle, Verneice Skinner (Jerome) of Richland, JoNell Wallace of Renton, WA and Treva Miller (Napoleon) of Pasco. Theartis is also survived by his Special Love, Robin Boasen ('77), and children Raine Fisher (Steffany) and Danielle Fisher all of Richland and a host of nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Dessie Mae Wallace and brother, Duane Wallace.
Visitation was held at Einan's Funeral Home on Friday, April 1, 2011. The funeral service was held at Memories at Sunset Event Center in Richland on Saturday, April 2, 2011 followed by the graveside services at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Richland.
Donations may be made to his daughter, Pamela Cousar, 231 Branch Valley Dr., Dallas, GA 30132
NOTES FROM BOMBERS: Email me (Maren) and I'll add your "Thea Story" here
Thea was a kind and gentle man and will be greatly missed by Robin Boasen ('77) and the rest of [the Boasen] family.
I am so sorry to hear of Thea has left us at such an early age. We were buddies in study hall, sitting next to each other ... boy do I have some great stories ...
-Jeanie WALSH (Gold Medal Class of '63)
The fundraiser is still being held for Robin, but the organizers havenít had time to plan how they are going to handle additional contributions. They will let me know as soon as they figure it out.
My heart is broken. Thea was a great guy. He sat next to
me in study hall. I learned to respect and admire him for
who he was and not just for this basketball prowess. I
saw him and talked to him just before we moved here to
Florida. I ran into him at the Richland Health Food
store. We had a nice visit. I was just so glad to have
had that chance meeting. Good-bye my dear friend and
rest in peace. We shall meet again at that big Bomber
gathering in heaven one day soon. Loved you, my friend.
-Rosalie LANSING Haag ('63)
The Gold Medal Class of 1963 has lost a number of Stars over the last few years. I guess it comes with the territory. For some we have managed to catch them before their light on earth burned itself out but for many we have only been able to say: God bless you, dear friend. Thea Wallace was one of those Bombers that every one knew whether members of the Class or not. My earliest memories of Thea, since I was a Chief Jo kid, were of my Dad and his best friend, Joe Carroll (Richland Bell Furniture) talking about Thea on the basketball court. My dad was about as much a sports fan as I am, but the awe and excitement in Joe's voice was unmistakable when he spoke about the thrill of going to see "The Artist" on this night or that. I was swept in and the thrill was mine, if only for a short while, as I entered Col-Hi as a lowly Soph. and grew into my adopted Class. Thea's very special friend has exhausted all her vacation and sick time caring for her beloved man. The bills have piled high and she is put in the unenviable position of returning to work with little or no time to grieve or to get his affairs in order. Though I am not a Family Law lawyer, I know that unless he designated her his beneficiary, she is going to have a ruff row to hoe as his "next of kin" I know we don't always get involved this way, but Jimbeaux and others have asked how they could help. I put this info in the sandstorm and will repeat it here. I have asked Linda Boehning (actually she asked me) to pass this to the Gold Medal Class, to help Robin with the costs. If you are inclined to help, Donations may be sent in the name of Robin Boasen to:
Suzanne D. Young
Construction and Commissioning Document Control
Washington River Protection Solutions
P.O. Box 850 MSIN: S7-68
Richland, WA 99352
-David RIVERS ('65) The little kid at the big kids' table.
Thea and I shared a locker in Mac hall; I was a grubby sophomore and Thea was a senior and a basketball star, and all that that implies, but he very kindly took me under his wing and shared a little of his world with me, and he became my friend. I'd follow him around at lunch time with a guy named Potts, when we'd ride over to that bakery off Goethals and I'd go into the side door and snatch a bag of day-old pastry from their shelf and dash back to the car. The ladies in there knew what we were up to, I'm now convinced, but they let us get away with it. Every day. All year long. Thea and me and Potts.
Lord, how proud it made me to be in that car with those two during the 40 minute limbo that lunch time often amounted to. They were seniors, and that was The art is Wallace, my friend. Forever, as it turned out, because we never lost track of one another, never stopped being friends, and I'll never forget his kind and generous nature.
What a splendid, wonderful friend you were, Theartis. I am grateful still.
-Terry DAVIS ('65), aka Terence Knox
Editorial section of the 4/8/11 Tri-City Herald about Thea.
-Maren SMYTH ('63 & '64)