Requiescat In Pacem, Esther Wallace

 

As many readers know, Esther Wallace, one of Anaheim’s community pillars passed away last week. Ms. Wallace’s devotion to improving West Anaheim reached down to her bones. She was the animating force behind the West Anaheim Neighborhood Development Council (WAND) and was a long-standing member of the Magnolia School District Board of Education.

This past Tuesday, Mayor Pro Tem Steve Faessel adjourned the council meeting in her memory, and had this to say in tribute:

[Councilmembers Jordan Brandman and Denise Barnes] have already given a great tribute to her. I guess I got to know her in the late 90s , and again, as has already been mentioned by both of you she was a great mentor to us all – and she was very definitive about what she liked and didn’t like, and I think we were all on the receiving end of that from time to time. May she rest in peace. She’s a great woman – and a huge loss to the city.”

District 2 Councilman Jordan Brandman paid tribute to her at the council meeting and on his Facebook page:

Anaheim lost one of its greatest citizens when Esther Wallace passed away yesterday at the age of 92. A dear friend and fearless champion for West Anaheim, my love and respect for Esther has no bounds.

Her leadership as a Trustee for Magnolia School District and Chair of the West Anaheim Neighborhood Development Council made West Anaheim a proud and quality community in which to live and raise a family.

Esther worked to serve her neighbors up to the very end, and together we did what she loved most – providing for the quality education of students and advocating for her neighbors’ interests.

Moreover, she was a role model and mentor to many, including myself. I will always remember fondly every conversation I ever had with her, including those where she and I had different perspectives. Through my many tears, while writing this, I am comforted in knowing she will continue to watch over us all in West Anaheim.

Please join me in expressing warmest thoughts and prayers to the Wallace and Magnolia School District families.

Mayor Harry Sidhu also paid tribute to her memory and accomplishments:

You know, Esther Wallace, she was a special person. Very kind. Very personable. And she really meant to take care of the community – especially West Anaheim. Very passionate. 

I got to know her in the summer of 2002, and ever since we’ve been good friends. We shared a lot, especially on the homeless issue, when the homeless issue was going on. And I promised her, that’s the first thing I’m going to look into as soon as I get elected. I told her I will do that, cause it was a major issue in District 1 and District 2. 

In her memory, Esther Wallace – we remember you. Anaheim remembers you. All the community remembers you, and they’ll remember you for years to come, for the work that you have done.

In your memory, Esther Wallace, we close tonight.

District 1 Councilwoman Denise Barnes expressed her gratitude to Wallace, and requested a future agenda item to consider renaming the West Anaheim Community Center in Wallace’s honor.

Cities and communities are stronger and better the more Esther Wallaces they have. Requiescat in Pacem.

4 comments

  1. Esther was a big inspiration to me, from the moment i found out that she knew my grandmother. I asked her family to whisper in her ear that I promise to keep fighting for west Anaheim. Although she was the true pioneer. She did so much for our city, people dont even realize she fought for larger lots with driveways in new developments before they even bought them. She really cared about our parks, tirelessly organizing the bbq every year, as well as fighting to keep park lands for families, clean and safe.

    May she rest peacefully embraced in the wings of angels.

    Thank you Esther for everything.

  2. When I started getting involved in this city, not yet councilwoman Eastman told me “you’ve got to meet Esther Wallace.” What a powerhouse that woman was. She never, ever quit working to improve West Anaheim and the city as a whole, and I learned so much from her. She will sorely be missed and has left some awfully big shoes to fill.

  3. I knew of Esther through working in the Magnolia School District for 23 years. Never met her until I attended my first WAND meeting in the spring of 2018. Talked with her after the meeting, and I was hooked on her and what she did. I’ve never met such an active, determined, feisty, intelligent, and kind elder. It’s so amazing to me that ANYONE could do all the things she did let alone do them with such passion and competence. She puts so many of us younger folks to absolute shame. I was honored when she called ME last year to see about taking her to a medical appointment, after which I volunteered to take her to ALL of her appointments in the future. I took her to the WAND meetings for over a year as well. She was a delight to be with, and I had SO looked forward to spending some few years more with her, enjoying her knowledge and company. West Anaheim has lost a true hero, champion, and legend. All of us “Westies” are grateful to Esther for all she did, and there are those of us who will try our best to continue some of her works. May God rest your soul, my dear friend.

  4. David Michael Klawe

    There will be a Celebration of Life event held Friday, February 7th from 5 to 9 PM at the Brookhurst Community Center.

    All are welcome.

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