Cover photo for William H. Wallace's Obituary
William H. Wallace Profile Photo
1937 Bill 2023

William H. Wallace

October 29, 1937 — November 27, 2023

Morehead City

Willam H. Wallace, 86, of Morehead City, North Carolina passed away peacefully on November 27th at Carteret Hospital with his loving and devoted wife of 64 years, Hazel C. Wallace (née Collier), by his side.

William, known as Bill or Billy by family and friends, was born on October 29, 1937, in Clarkton, NC to William and Ethel Wallace (née Tucker), the second of three children.

A proud graduate of East Carolina University (Class of 1960) and charter member of Theta Chi fraternity, Bill went on to an incredibly successful career as an executive in the men’s clothing industry, which led to living throughout the US and traveling the world.

His career started with Hart Schaffner Marx as a regional salesman in Chicago, where Bill and Hazel’s first daughter Maria Lynn was born. His success with the company soon took him to Seatle, where his second daughter Karen Collier was born. Upon leaving Hart Schaffner Marx after four years, he returned to North Carolina. There, Bill and Hazel built a home in Rocky Mount, where they welcomed their third daughter, Katherine Tucker. With Hazel by his side, he went on to open four successful stores in the fledgling Tarrytown Mall: CH Tucker, Wallace Menswear, Towne Terrace, and Formal Fashions. For many years, he enjoyed summers with his family and friends in Nags Head and captaining his aptly named sailboat, Threads.

After selling his stores, Bill relocated his family to Westfield, New Jersey, where he took on a role with Racquet Club Clothing in New York City as its President and Managing Director, overseeing the Wimbledon clothing line and creating the Saturday Jacket.

Always impeccably dressed, regardless of the occasion, Bill could often be spotted in his yard in Westfield mowing his beautifully manicured lawn in dress clothes after a long commute home from New York City.

After a brief stint at Franco’s Fine Clothier in Richmond, Virginia, as Chief Operating Officer, he returned to his much-loved Westfield, becoming Executive Vice President of Hickey Freeman in New York City. Bill helped curate the company’s iconic suit lines for close to a decade, until his partial retirement in 2000 to Morehead City, NC. It was there that he started Wallace Associates, which advised some of the world's finest and most sought-after fabric mills.

Bill never forgot his roots and was proud of his North Carolina upbringing. He was equally at home on his pecan farm in Bladen County as he was dining with luminaries from the fashion world – even the British royal family. Likewise for his culinary tastes. Not only was Bill a connoisseur of North Carolina’s finest pecans, sausages, collard greens, and grits, but he also enjoyed the finest of wines and was an avid collector of Macallan Single Malt Scotch.

Bill spent countless hours poolside and in his yard in Morehead City, enjoying his grandchildren playing, swinging on the wood swing, undertaking afternoon expeditions in search of frogs or Fred the Turtle, or relishing ice cream cones with his grandchildren after a day on the beach.

Aside from his creative work in the men’s fashion industry, Bill also indulged his creativity in composing poems, including memorable works for the passing of a family pet; in pen and ink drawings on Ginkgo leaves; and in epic storytelling for his cherished children and grandchildren. A true renaissance man, Bill could spin a yarn literally and figuratively.

Bill’s legacy and spirit will live on through his beloved wife Hazel; daughters Maria Harris (Ed), Karen Speight (Jeff), and Katherine Conway (Colin); grandchildren Sarah Piazza (Mike), Ambler and Fields Speight, James and Caroline Conway – who knew him as GiGi and PaPa; and great-grandchild Ruby Piazza.

Bill is also survived by his brother, Dr. Stephen Wallace (Margaret). He was predeceased by his sister Betty Priest (Layton). He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.

A funeral service is scheduled for Clarkton Presbyterian Church, 10433 N. College Street, Clarkton, NC 28433, on December 3rd at 1:30 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to First Presbyterian Church in Morehead City, NC.

Family and friends are welcome to submit online condolences at www.mundenfuneralhome.net.

Arrangements by Munden Funeral Home & Crematory in Morehead City, NC.

To order memorial trees in memory of William H. Wallace, please visit our tree store.

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Sunday, December 3, 2023

Starts at 1:30 pm (Eastern time)

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