Carolyn (“Lynn”) Crowell Wallace, of Basking Ridge, NJ, passed peacefully on August 28th, just under a month before her 94th Birthday, at Chatham Hills Sub-acute Center in Chatham.
Lynn was born on September 26th, 1925 in Montclair, the oldest of three sisters, to Stanley and Doris Crowell. An active young lady, she served as a camp counselor and swimming lifeguard, and sometimes in her father’s optical shop, graduating from Glen Ridge High School (1944) before earning her Associates Degree from Lasell Junior College (1946) in Newton, MA. After college, Lynn worked as a receptionist for Cardiologist Gordon Stoddard. While gainfully employed, she met Robert Walker Wallace, by chance, when he saw her walking to work and offered to drive her the rest of the way. They married in June 1952 and resided in Montclair, NJ and began raising a family.
The family moved from New Jersey to Clarence, New York with three children, and the fourth was born while they were there. With a change in Bob’s job, they moved to Basking Ridge in 1961, welcoming their fifth child there and remaining in that home for forty years. Lynn ran this home with style and grace, managing the family finances and largely succeeding at keeping the kids in line.
Lynn had a beautiful soprano voice which made her a key member of the choir of the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church. She was a beloved member of that group, and a recognized icon of that church. Mom passed her love of music—and strict adherence to rehearsal schedules—to all her kids. Everyone knew where to find Lynn Wallace on Thursday night. Lynn also served as a Deacon, a Stephen’s Minister, and on multiple committees through the years. Also active in the community, this spring, her PEO chapter celebrated her 70 years of steady membership in the philanthropic organization.
Lynn was an accomplished cook and her recipes, distributed to her children, are cherished reminders of the way she made all of us welcome and well fed at her table. After the last of their children started school, Lynn began working again. This time she started at Cedar Hill school in the lunchroom, moving to AT&T as a chef in the Executive Dining Room, retiring from there in 1992. Both her warm hospitality for everyone she met and her refusals to allow anyone to overstate their importance in life were her hallmarks. Lynn never met a stranger.
Lynn was devoted to Robert Wallace and her children; “strong family” was the lesson Mom left with us. She was preceded in death by her husband, Bob, her son, James Robert Wallace, and her sister Barbara Ann Estes. Lynn is survived by her sister, Kathryn Crowell, 4 children, their spouses, and a daughter-in-law: David (Janet), Linda Lowe (David), Ralph (Tina), Hugh (Nancy Jean), and Betsy, 8 grandchildren: Matthew (Sara), Nathaniel, Daniel (Jaclyn), Melanie, Jacob (Nicole), William, Christina and Kathleen, and 3 great-grandchildren: Lucas, Reed and Roland.
A memorial service will be held at Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church on September 27 at 11:00 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the music program of the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church.
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