George (“Hey-Hey”) Roberts Wallis, 87, died of kidney failure on Feb. 18, 2019, surrounded with love, peace, and family.
Son of Philip Wallis and Miriam Clark Wallis, he was born with a twinkling, impish smile on May 16, 1931, in Philadelphia, where he and his three brothers grew up with many Philadelphia Clark and Roberts cousins. He loved nature, sailing, tennis, reading, and the joie de vivre of France and Italy; he was both intrigued by, and cared sincerely for, his fellow man. George graduated from Mill Brook School in 1949, went on to study at Princeton, and earned a B.S. from Carnegie Mellon in 1953. He then went on to serve in the U.S. Army in Rochefort, France, until 1955.
Curious George aptly describes George’s temperament. He loved learning, solving problems big and small, and giving back. And he loved telling stories and teasing everyone along the way! He launched his career in New York City, solving problems for others in corporate America while at McKinsey and Co. Deciding that owning the problem was better than advising, he moved on to be general manager at Exide Batteries, Duracell, and then his own venture, Westerly Management.
He courted the love of his life and soulmate, Alice Potts, and joyously won her hand. They married on a typically humid Philadelphia summer day, July 20, 1957, and soon bore three children, Philip, Nancy, and David, as they moved back and forth from Philadelphia to Bedford, N.Y. They ultimately settled in Freeport, on the coast of Maine, the site of many of George’s summer joys. Their final years were spent at Oceanview in Falmouth, Maine.
Family and friends were always paramount for George (or Hey-Hey to many) — followed closely by gardening, reading, backyard birding, and his recently treasured double-scoop chocolate ice cream cones. His inquisitive nature and desire to help and mentor others was both earnest and uncanny. He oversaw the Angel Tree gifts for children at St. Bartholomew’s Church, advocated for recovering alcoholics securing housing through Oxford House, served on the board of trustees of the Maine College of Art, raised a succession of beloved Welsh corgis, and lovingly tended his gardens of dahlias and freesias. George’s focus was on all creatures great and small. We will miss him deeply and remember him with great love as he moves on to be with Allie in their “new home.”
He is survived by his children, Philip S. Wallis and wife Carolyn of Vineyard Haven; Nancy W. Kittredge and husband Chris of Falmouth, Maine; and David P. Wallis and wife Brenda of Oak Bluffs; his grandchildren, Elizabeth (Liza) W. Damm, Anne W. Anderson, Alice W. Kittredge, Martha Jane (Marcy) Kittredge, Nevin G. Wallis, and Timothy (Tim) C. Wallis; his brother, Robert C. Wallis, and wife Margaret of Philadelphia; and his sister-in-laws, Charlotte B. Wallis, Nancy P. Masland, and Karen Potts Reynolds. He was predeceased by his brothers James T. Wallis and John Wallis.
The funeral service will be held at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, 396 Gilman Rd., Yarmouth, Maine, on Saturday, March 16, at 11 am.
In lieu of flowers, donations may made in George’s memory to Oxford House, Inc., 1010 Wayne Ave. Silver Spring, MD 20910.
Please visit lindquistfuneralhome.com to sign George’s online guestbook.
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