Ken Wallace

WallaceKen Wallace, 87, on March 15, 2015, in Fairhope, Ala. Ken was born on December 14, 1927, in the rural community of Stockton, Ala., and was the oldest of seven. His father was a commercial fisherman, and Kenny grew up on the local rivers and Mobile Bay, helping his dad and sharing his dad’s love of the waterways and fishing. His family moved south to Fairhope, Ala., so he could attend high school at the Marietta Johnson School of Organic Education (which celebrated its 100th year of continuous operation in 2007). A teacher/mentor at the Organic School influenced him, and he began a life committed to Quaker values and service, joining Fairhope Meeting.

Though his college studies were interrupted by alternative service, he graduated from Guilford College in 1955 with a degree in sociology. He had begun working as a reporter for a Montgomery, Ala., newspaper before graduation and continued there about five years. In 1955, he married Stella Schwab; their daughter Meg was born in l956.

In 1961 Ken and his family moved to Costa Rica to join the Monteverde Quaker community, founded in 1950 by 40 of the 66 members of Fairhope Meeting after four young Fairhope Friends had served time in federal prison for refusing to register for the draft. Ken and his family bought land there and began a goat and cow dairy farm. After a few years, he began teaching at Monteverde Friends School. Later he managed the Monteverde Dairy Plant, introducing several new cheeses. In the mid-1960s Ken and Stella adopted three children, Lidieth, Marco, and Danilo (Tobi).

In 1979 Ken and Phyllis Rockwell left Costa Rica to return to the United States. They married and lived for a year in Columbia, Mo., before moving to Fairhope, where they lived for 36 years until his death. Ken enjoyed a long career as a cabinet maker/woodworker and left many beautiful examples of his craft and art. He leaves behind his wife, Phyllis Rockwell Wallace; four children, Marco Wallace, Danilo (Tobi) Wallace, Lidieth Wallace Guidon, and Meg Wallace Leval; two brothers, David Wallace and Bob Wallace; three sisters, Delores O’Neill, Dot Parrish, and Rosemary Weisenbach; and friends and family who hold fond memories of his quiet smile and commitment to Quaker beliefs.

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