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Faribault County has some outstanding seniors

Deanne Wallace honored for bringing people together

August 18, 2019
Kevin Mertens - Register Staff Writer ( , Faribault County Register

It was less than a month ago when Deanne Wallace was honored at the Faribault County Fair as the Female Senior Citizen of the Year. Now, on Aug. 29, she will travel to St. Paul as a representative of Faribault County at the Minnesota State Fair in the Senior Citizen of the Year contest.

Both Deanne, and her husband Lloyd, had been nominated at the local level by their oldest daughter, Denise Schuster.

"I have some pretty awesome parents who do a lot for the community," Schuster says. "I thought it would be neat for them to be recognized."

Article Photos

Lloyd and Deanne Wallace stand outside their home west of Delavan. The couple may be retired but they still stay active in the community. Deanne was honored at the Faribault County fair this year as the 2019 Outstanding Female Citizen. She has flower gardens which she takes care of among her other activities.

In truth, Schuster says she was not even aware of the award but learned about it from some friends who felt her parents were deserving of the honor.

"My mom is an organizer, she is friendly and so good at bringing people together whether it is for a family function or a community get-together event," Wallace adds.

Deanne Wallace was born Deanne Weise and grew up on a farm south of Delavan.

"I went to Delavan school except for three months in the sixth grade," Wallace comments. "My parents moved during the school year and I attended a country school for three months."

She learned there were some differences between the school in Delavan and the country school.

"I had to wear a dress when I went to the school in town," she says. "But at the country school we could wear jeans and go outside and play ball."

There was another thing which made the country school special.

"I believe it was the only country school in the area that had an indoor bathroom at the time," she remarks.

Wallace did return to the school in town and graduated from Delavan High School in 1957.

"I went to what they called a commercial college in Mankato beginning in the fall of 1957," Wallace says. "I took bookkeeping, typing and shorthand classes."

In April of 1958, Lloyd was discharged from the Army and Deanne and Lloyd were married on August 2, 1958.

"I was a 'Weise' woman until I married a Wallace," Deanne Wallace jokes.

With her education complete in Mankato, she went to work for Stokely-Van Kamp in Winnebago.

"I earned enough money to buy our first snowmobile, a Skiroule," she comments.

Lloyd and Deanne's first child, Denise, was born in 1959.

"I became a mom and a housewife," she says.

Their second child, Melanie, was born in 1962, and their youngest child, Sheldon, was born in 1967.

"Denise is married to Mike Schuster and they live in Easton. She is a Registered Nurse who works in Mankato," Wallace explains. "Melanie is married to Mike Staloch and they live in Columbia, Missouri, where Melanie currently does volunteer work for the Columbia Historical Society. Sheldon is single and on the road trucking but still calls Delavan home."

It was in 1969 when Al Heppner, who owned the Delavan Farmers State Bank, approached Wallace and asked, "Do you think you could put away your sewing and come work at the bank?"

Wallace accepted the invitation and worked at the bank for 36 years before retiring in October of 2005.

"I did a little bit of everything," Wallace explains. "I was a teller, a typist and could even make small loans. It did not take as much paper work back then."

She worked at the bank long enough to witness some major changes.

"One of the biggest changes was when I had to learn to do things on a computer," she says.

She may have retired but she did not slow down.

One look at the landscaping around the Wallace acreage west of Delavan and it is not hard to figure out how she stays busy.

"I love my flower gardens," Wallace comments as she surveys the many different flower areas on their farm.

She is an active volunteer. She is the president of DHS Inc. in Delavan. Besides monthly meetings, she stays busy renting out rooms for different functions, including wedding receptions, Pheasants Forever banquets, the Deer Hunter's Association, and Fireman's suppers, just to name a few.

"We would like to see another community play in Delavan," she states, "It is costly and a lot of work but it might happen again in the future."

She also helps run the gift shop at the former school and is president of the Delavan Flower and Garden Club.

"It is a great way to learn from each other. We do garden tours and get a lot of enjoyment from sharing with each other," she says, speaking about the garden club.

She once had the opportunity to combine her love of volunteering with her love of gardening.

"There was a lady who lived in a town who had to enter a care facility," Wallace explains. "I was able to go to her former residence and tend to her flower garden and she was able to take trips from the care facility and see her flower garden had been taken care of. It meant a lot to me because I know it meant so much to her."

Like many retired people, Wallace feels as though she does not have enough time to get everything done.

As her husband Lloyd jokes, "I can wake up with nothing to do and get only half of it done."

Though she stays busy, she always has time for her family.

"We have been blessed with four grandchildren, three step-grandchildren and two great grandchildren," Wallace says.

Lloyd and Deanne do not travel south for the winter but they usually make a trip to visit Melanie's family in Missouri.

Perhaps growing up in a small rural community outside the city of Delavan helped shape the friendly, get-to-know-you attitude Wallace possesses.

"If you want to live in a town or rural community, get out and get to know your neighbor," Wallace says.



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