July 24, 2013

Feature obituary: Douglas Wallace, 84, paper mill quality manager

By Melanie Creamer mcreamer@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

WESTBROOK – Douglas Wallace, a quality control manager at the former S.D. Warren Co. paper mill in Westbrook, died unexpectedly on Saturday. He was 84.

PASSAGES

Each day the newsroom selects one obituary and seeks to learn more about the life of a person who has lived and worked in Maine. We look for a person who has made a mark on the community or the person's family and friends in lasting ways.

He was remembered by his family this week as a loving husband and father who believed in giving back to the community. He was a volunteer for the Westbrook Fire Department for 22 years and a member of the city's planning board for a decade.

Mr. Wallace, who studied forestry at New York State College at Syracuse, joined the quality control department at S.D. Warren in 1954. His job was to ensure the paper mill produced a high-quality product for its customers.

One of his sons, Douglas Wallace Jr. of Denver, remembered hiking with his father and learning about different types of trees.

"He loved to tell us about the process of cutting down the tree and the various stages of the paper-making process," his son recalled. "It was a great job for him."

He worked for S.D. Warren, now Sappi Fine Paper North America, for 38 years. He retired in 1992.

He and his wife, Greta Wallace, had been married for 54 years. The couple lived in Westbrook, where they raised three children.

The younger Wallace reflected Tuesday on his parents' life together and the love that kept their family so close.

The Wallaces did everything together -- from traveling to gardening and home improvement projects. For the past 18 years, they wintered in Englewood, Fla. They also talked about everything, his son noted.

"They had the greatest respect for each other," he said. "They were inseparable."

Mr. Wallace also cultivated strong relationships with his three sons. The younger Wallace thought back to his years playing baseball and hearing his father cheering from the stands.

"He was an athlete growing up. He instilled in us the good things that come from athletics and team activities. He went to every athletic competition for all three of us that he could possibly make," his son said.

Mr. Wallace felt a calling to serve the community, his son said.

"He was also the most humble man I ever met," the younger Wallace said. "He really enjoyed the activities and the people he worked with on those activities. He gained great enjoyment in helping the community wherever he could."

 

Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at:

mcreamer@pressherald.com

 

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