Firstie: Cliff Fralen and Bob Wallis
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Robert LeRoy Wallis(March 12, 1929 - November 19, 2019)
Robert LeRoy Wallis was born in Racine, WI on March 12, 1929, and died in Roscoe, IL on Nov 19, 2019 (age 90) of natural causes.
Robert (Bob) Wallis was the middle child of five children. His father (LeRoy) was a bus driver and his mother (Eleanor) was a homemaker. Bob excelled in school and won high school math competitions. He had a job as a newspaper delivery boy and he was active in Boy Scouts, earning the distinguished rank of Eagle Scout.
After high school, he joined the army and was subsequently admitted to the United States Military Academy at West Point. He loved this institution and for the rest of his life, he was proud to call himself a “West Pointer.” Bob sang in the West Point Glee Club (He was known for his baritone voice and he loved to sing.) and appeared with them on the Ed Sullivan Show in the early 1950s. He was an excellent bridge player and taught it at West Point. He graduated in 1955 with a Degree in Engineering and his diploma was presented to him by then President Dwight Eisenhower. Shortly after his graduation, he earned his pilot’s license, and purchased a small, four seat Cessna. He had a life-long passion for airplanes and he loved to fly.
While at West Point, he met Priscilla Peterson, the love of his life, an occupational therapist and U.S. Army Lieutenant. They married right after his graduation in June 1955. They had three daughters and a son and they were happily married for 48 years until her death in 2003. Bob accepted a position with Consolidated Paper Company as an engineer and they lived in Priscilla’s home town of Wisconsin Rapids, WI for several years. Then he accepted a new position with Beloit Corporation (At the time, the largest manufacturer of paper machines in the world) and they relocated to West Chester, PA for ten years. Eventually, they moved back to Wisconsin and made Beloit their home. He held several patents for equipment that he invented while he was with Beloit Corporation, and he retired from there in 1991.
In 2004, he met and married Geraldine (Geri) Perkins, also the love of his life. (As he liked to say “Lightning struck twice.”) They spent many happy winters together at their beachside condo in South Padre Island, Texas with numerous good friends and their beloved dog, Oreo. They were happily married for 15 years until his death.
He served the Beloit Community in many ways, including The Chair of the Beloit Cable Commission and Deacon of his church, where he also sang in the choir.
He was a member of Beloit Rotary and the Beloit Country Club, where he played golf regularly for many years.
He is survived by his wife: Geraldine Perkins Wallis, children: Janet (Joe) Kobylka, Linda (Don) Striegel, Nancy (Doug) Newsom, and Steven (Stacey) Wallis; grandchildren: Keith (Synthia), Jeffrey, John (Brittany), Kevin, Kyle, Jennifer, Jessica, Alicia (Patrick), Tyler, Alex, and Evan; great-grandchildren: Ben and Lincoln, and stepsons: John (Rachel) Perkins, and Kree (Charlene) Perkins.
He will be cremated and interred at the West Point cemetery, a national historic landmark, in West Point, NY. His West Point ring will be melted down and turned into new rings for future graduates, a continuation of the long grey line.
The family would like to thank the staff at North Pointe Terrace Assisted Living and Beloit Regional Hospice for providing Bob with exceptional care at the end of his life.
A memorial service will be held to honor his life at First Congregational Church in Beloit, WI at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 8, 2019. Inurnment will take place at West Point in Spring 2020. Visitation of remembrance will be from 1:30 p.m. until the time of service Sunday in the church. Daley Murphy Wisch & Associates Funeral Home and Crematorium, 2355 Cranston Road, assisted the family with arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Bob’s name to the Beloit Regional Hospice 655 Third Street Beloit, WI and the First Congregational Church 801 Bushnell Street, Beloit, WI.
DEC 8. 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM (CST)
DEC 8. 3:00 PM (CST)
First Congregational Church
801 Bushnell Street