Walter G. “Butch” Wallace • November 20, 2020



Walter G. “Butch” Wallace was a native of Memphis, Tennessee, and a U.S. Navy veteran who retired as the Command Master Chief at Corry Field, Pensacola, after 30 years. His distinguished Navy career included training in Chinese and Arabic, linguistics and cryptanalysis, and duty with the National Security Agency. While at Corry Field, Master Chief Wallace received the Gift of Giving Award from the Pensacola News Journal. He set up the Saturday Scholars Program that enabled Corry Field’s students to mentor underachieving public school students, initiated over 100 programs and events that benefited the Navy and his community, and was instrumental in implementing Corry Field’s Special Olympics program. When he retired, his commanding officer said Master Chief Wallace “wanted to be the best chief there ever was and he is.”

After retirement, Butch continued his lifelong service to his country and community through his many volunteer activities in his adopted hometown of Pensacola. He served as President of the Corry Station Toastmasters Club, Commander of American Legion Post 240, President of the Pensacola Chapter of the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, President of the Pensacola Council of the Navy League and editor of its journal the Bull Horn. He spent many years as a volunteer providing tax assistance to senior citizens. His work with the Pensacola Chapter of the Freedoms Foundation included as president and editor of its journal the Bellringer. He received the Spirit of 76 Award for his lifetime achievements in the U.S. Navy and his many contributions to the Pensacola community. He was a member of too many charitable organizations and the recipient of too many awards to mention here. Suffice it to say, Master Chief Wallace left his mark.

A lover of music and dance, and always the life of the party, he belonged to several dance and social clubs. Master Chief Wallace — or Butch or Daddy, as he was known to those who loved him — was born in 1938 in Memphis, Tennessee, to Marguerite and Clifford Wallace. He had two doting older sisters — Barbara and Wanda — whom he adored. He attended college after graduating from East High School in 1956, but the seas called to him, and, in 1958, he enlisted in the Navy. He found his home in the Navy. He married Marguerite Kensinger in 1963, raised her two daughters, Leslie Graham Hibbard and Lindsay Hibbard Rusak, and had 3 kids of his own, Barbara Wallace Bernstein, Clifford Edward Wallace, and Julie Rebecca Wallace. For many of his years in the Navy, he was a single dad to his 3 kids. His kids’ friends will always remember him as the “cool dad” whose house was the social center of the neighborhood.

After retirement, he met the love of his life, Loretta Micek. He and Loretta started a life together and filled it with travel, adventure, dance, family, love, hospital visits, and lots of critters. Butch loved all creatures great and small. And they loved him back. From goats and ducks as a child, to dogs and birds as an adult, Butch was an accumulator of fauna. And, he was a skilled gardener — he could start a tree from a twig. He spent his last days pulling weeds from his beautiful garden, feeding the wild squirrels, talking to his birds, cuddling with his dogs, all under the watchful eye of Loretta. With Loretta, he gained stepchildren and step grandchildren who adored him like his own 5 grandchildren — Maggie, Shiloh, Max, Tristan, and Leo. They will miss the stories he told them, the sweet birthday cards, and all the love and pride he sent their way. He leaves behind many people and creatures who love him. We will all talk about him every day, and he will live on in each of us.

The funeral will be at Pensacola Memorial Gardens on Wednesday, November 25, 2020, at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to www.FreedomsFoundation.org. Because of Covid-19 precautions, only family and close friends will be in attendance, but the service will be live streamed on the following website starting at 2 p.m.: https://webcasts.lifetributes.com/1103073 The password for viewing this webcast has been set to: 20256. It will not be available till 5 minutes prior to the service and will be available for 90 days after the service.

  1. Rachel Bernstein says:

    Dear Barb and family, I’m so sorry for your loss. And our thoughts will be with all of you ❤️❤️Rachel end family

  2. Inga Bernstein says:

    Sending love to all who loved Butch, especially Loretta, his children and grandchildren! A lovely rememberance. So glad you can share all your memories together as you grieve this sad loss.

  3. Larry Harrington says:

    This was a man who lived life in full and left a legacy of family to carry on that tradition.

  4. Susan Morris says:

    Dear Julie, I’m so sorry for your loss. You told so many great stories of your dad over the years, and though I never met him, it was clear he was one of a kind. My thoughts are with you, Barb, Cliff and the rest of your family. Love, Susan

  5. Daphne duke vescovo says:

    Love and miss you uncle butch . Mom and Barbara are waiting for you ❤️🙏

  6. Sharon Johnson says:

    Wow what a grand man, dad, ,grandpa , uncle and devoted partner to Loretta. He wrote his own eulogy with his life. We wish we could be with each of you during g this time. With our love snd prayers, Sharon and Travis

  7. Anne Ledger says:

    Barb, Cliff, Lindsey & Julie,

    Deepest condolences to all of you on the loss of your father. Many a funny memory of living next door in Rota Spain, of his patience and kindness. His life story is filled with good and giving memories, great memories for all of you to cherish. Sending virtual hugs and prayers for peace and comfort.

    Anne, Joe, John, Roger & Kathleen Chelberg

  8. Ron Furlong says:

    The finest Master Chief I worked with in my 31 years in the Navy. I met Butch early in my Navy career and we were stationed together several times at Rota and Fort Meade and he had a great influence on my Naval career. He became a true mentor, a shipmate and above all else, a great friend. I am honored to have known him and served with him. RIP my friend.

  9. ChuckbBragg says:

    Butch was a greatly respected professional and friend. An ICON of our era. May God bless his family with great memories of a great man!

  10. Dawn Johnson says:

    Butch will be missed. We love you and prayers go out to the family. Lots of hugs…
    Dawn and Glyn Johnson and family

  11. Johanna Wilt says:

    All of our love to Barb, Clifford, Julie, Loretta and the entire Wallace family. ❤️
    Johanna, Ian and Alex Wilt

  12. Dick Nalley says:

    The “Master Chief” of all Master Chiefs. When I arrived at GAFB in 1970 after Vietnam, there he was. He taught me how to be a sailor. He cared for each and everyone of us and was the BEST Master Chief I ever served with. He was the reason I made the Navy a career. Even after I made Master Chief, I still called him Master Chief out of respect because he was the epitome of one. Fair winds and following seas.

  13. Arne Simonsen says:

    Butch was a legend in the NSG. He mentored so many Sailors to be the best professionals they could be. I learned his “Work hard, Play hard” philosophy which I carried on through my career and I have Butch to thank for that. Fair Winds and Following Seas, Master Chief. Your legacy lives on !

  14. James H. Kensinger says:

    Butch married my sister Marguerite Kensinger. I didn’t get to know Butch very well until we started communicating by email 10 or more year ago. His emails were always uplifting and every now and we would talk on the phone. Justed wanted to let everyone know he will be greatly missed by a lot of folks. He was the kind of person that when you talked to him you felt better about yourself. My condolences to his family and friends.

  15. Stan Allsopp says:

    Our deepest condolences to the family. Butch was my Command Master Chief in Rota for part of my tour, but I had known/been stationed with him previously as well. Butch was the epitome of what “the Chief” means to all of us who served in the Navy. He had the total respect of all who served with him, officers and enlisted alike. He was also a good friend, and a mentor as well. I will miss him greatly.

  16. Jame Ratliff says:

    Master Chief Wallace and I go back to the early 70s. Always an influence on me and many others. We would see him annually at the NCVA reunion and will miss him like so many others. We also worked together on the NCVA Scholarship committee. RIP
    Shipmate. God Bless Loretta and all the family.
    James (Don) Ratliff

  17. John Karnitz says:

    “Butch” was the Master Chief that for the rest of my 31 years of service I strove to emulate. I met him at my first duty station NAVFAC Nicosia Cyprus. When I made Master Chief he was one of the first to contact me with congratulations. When I was chosen to be the Command Master Chief for NSGA Ft. Meade I again heard from him. I kept in touch by email and Facebook after my retirement in 1997. Fair Winds and following Seas SHIPMATE. THE SUPREME COMMANDER now has a reliable and steady hand on the tiller.

  18. Andrew T Schorn says:

    I was honored to serve under Master Chief Wallace in Rota in 1979-1980 and learned a great deal from him. He was a tough taskmaster, but a great teacher. Fair Winds and Following Seas Shipmate!

  19. Terry (Nuch) Antonacci says:

    Butch was my mentor, my teacher, and my friend and yet so much more. Not only did he spend hours making me into the successful Senior Chief I became, but we spent numerous hours together at the Rota Mar bar/restaurant teaching me about life. His teaching, caring and willingness to take a weak linguist under his wing and make him a real Sailor is one of the things that made him special. He was a great father and I remember how much love and caring he put into raising Cliff and Julie. I truly loved him and I will miss him dearly. Rest in peace my friend. You have completed the watch. You have been properly relieved. Fair winds and following seas.

  20. Michael Boehm says:

    Sorry for your loss. Served with Butch in Spain. Prayers go out to his family.

  21. Jerry Stephenson MSgt 9NAC) USMC says:

    So sorry to hear of the loss of one of the most squared away sailors I ever met. Rest in peace Butch and prayers to your family

  22. Leonard Veraldi says:

    As fine a man as ever it was my pleasure to have known. The navy and indeed the human race has lost one of the best. He was truly a pleasure to know and enjoy his company. I am truly saddened at his passing 😪🙏and from my heart, my sincerest condolences go out to his family. I will miss him and I know all his critters 😁 will miss him too 😔.
    Rest in Peace shipmate.

  23. Debbie Ridder says:

    My sincere condolences to the Wallace family. My thoughts and prayers are with you for peace and comfort at this time. It’s obvious you have great love and memories of your beloved father. I hope those will sustain you in your mourning.

  24. Richard O. Best (FORCM RET) says:

    Fair winds and following seas old friend. RIP knowing that the men and women you taught and led remember you well. We will certainly miss you.

  25. Sid Hochstein (LT (LDO) USN Retired says:

    RIP Shipmate. Was stationed with Butch in Rota in the late 70″s. He was also a neighbor when we lived in RotaMar. He was the epitome of a “Navy Chief” and a fine gentleman. Our sincere condolences to the Wallace family.

  26. Joe Wallis says:

    Our thoughts and prayers for the Wallace family. May you memorialize the life of a beautiful man. I think of him as a caring and positive leader. Fair winds and following seas Butch.

  27. Connie (Garza) McGowan says:

    My condolences to all the family. Butch was a big support to me in Rota. As a single parent in the military as well, it wasn’t easy, but he was there for me. I will miss him greatly.

  28. RADM Ron Wilgenbusch, USN ret says:

    Master chief Wallace was the command Master chief at Naval communication station Rota, Spain while I was the Commanding Officer and he was certainly a great leader and a good influence on the younger members of the crew. I held him in the highest regard and was very pleased that I had the opportunity to serve with someone of his caliber. His achievements speak for his character and his ability to do the right things. Men like him will be sorely missed.

  29. Stephen W Roberts SR says:

    Butch was a longtime friend and shipmate. His military strength and leadership will live on for many years to come. He touched so many young sailors, marines, army, air force, and Coast Guard personnel. He will be sorely missed by the military and the Pensacola, Community. Fair Winds and Following Seas.

  30. Jim Mozell says:

    Butch Wallace was my DivChief when I arrived in Rota in 1974. He was Command Master Chief when I returned in 1982. Butch was the first Chief to “give me my head” and the opportunity to lead. A friend and shipmate like no other. Fair Winds and Follow Seas Shipmate: We have the Watch.

  31. The Hurleys says:

    We are so sorry for your loss. With great love, The Hurleys

  32. Vicky Lindsay says:

    Our deepest condolences from Vicky, Alex, Higgy, and Beau.
    We are so sorry for your loss.

  33. Eleanor McNally says:

    Loretta, our hearts go out to you in the painful loss of your husband, Butch. We can see him and my brother Mack “High fiving” each other in Heaven as they begin the joy and happiness of eternity! Sisters Ellie and Katie

  34. Swede Larson says:

    Butch was my Command Master Chief and one of the straightest shooters I will ever know – I tried to get out of an awards ceremony once when I was receiving my “gold” hash marks, but he made sure that I couldn’t. He was a great mentor – I’ll never forget him.

  35. Laura Montgomery says:

    Dear Barb and family,
    We are so sorry for the loss of your father. Our deepest condolences go out to you.
    Laura, Mark, Duncan, and Luke

  36. Bob & Irene Lawrence says:

    Dear Loretta and family. Bob and I send our sincere condolences at this sad time and you now have another angel looking down on you. It was an honour to know both of you. It was the mid 80’s when we first met Butch at Saufley club when Freddy Baker was playing Fridays and loved seeing you both at the Elks Lodge. May he Rest in Peace.

  37. Jim Walters, CTTCS(SW) says:

    Fair Winds and following seas, Butch.
    From a shipmate, square dancer, and friend.

  38. Julia Helm says:

    Butch has been a special part of my life for many many years, from the time we met in Spain our friendship has grown and has been very special. I will miss him always and I am thankful for the special friendship we had.

  39. Nancy Stuart says:

    Dear Julie, Barb, Cliff and Loretta. I was so sorry to learn of Butch’s passing. He was always so gracious when I saw him and always had a funny story to tell. I know y’all will miss him.

  40. Chuck Snyder says:

    They say there is no such thing as a perfect Chief. They’re wrong.

  41. Brian Carey says:

    Yes, Mr Wallace was the “cool dad” and was always very welcoming to all of us that were friends of the kids. Everyone I’ve known that knew him holds him in their highest regard. I’ve been proud to have known Butch Wallace.

  42. SABINE LEVY says:

    Dearest Barbara,
    I am so sorry for the loss of your Daddy. My heart goes out to you and your family. My deepest condolences.
    Sabine, Noya, Gill, Daisy and Breeze.

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