F. Dan Wallace, 89, of Williamsburg

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WILLIAMSBURG — F. Dan Wallace, 89, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, October 12, 2021, at Riverside Doctors’ Hospital in Williamsburg, VA. He spent his last days surrounded by his loving wife, daughter, and son. Dan is preceded in death by his mother and father, Fred D. Wallace, and Drusilla Owings Wallace of Norfolk, VA.

He is survived by his loving wife of 67 years, Bettye Ann Nairne Wallace of Williamsburg, VA; daughter, Donna Wallace Edwards (Samuel W. Edwards III) of Surry, VA; and son Dan W. Wallace of Fredericksburg, VA (fiancé Susan Sherman). Adoringly known as Granddaddy to his grandchildren, he leaves behind Stephanie E. Sutton (Tom), Samuel W. Edwards IV, Loren W. Maravetz (Grant), Leigh A. Wallace, and Madison H. Wallace. He had three great-grandchildren, Sawyer Sutton, Charlotte Sutton, and Laine Maravetz.

Born March 27, 1932, Dan spent his early childhood in Laurens, SC. He and his parents later moved to Norfolk, VA, during the depression. Spending much of his childhood on the beaches of Ocean View, he was known as one of the tough “Ocean View Boys,” pulling fishing boats from the water. He met his sweetheart, Bettye Ann, a Norfolk native when they were only 13 years old. They both attended Granby High School (class of 1950), where Dan was known as an outstanding athlete who excelled in football as team captain and in wrestling. He was named wrestling AAU champion and Virginia State Champion. As a wrestler, his team was known for originating the “Granby Roll.” Dan spent summers as a lifeguard on the beaches of Ocean View and saved several swimmers; he was also known to do a backflip or two off of his guard stand.

Dan attended Clemson University, majoring in English and History, and graduated in 1954. After graduation, Dan and Bettye married in Norfolk, VA, on June 5, 1954. As Newlyweds, he served two years as an Army Officer in Germany and Austria belonging to the 57th Tank Battalion and 2nd Armored Division, “Hell on Wheels.” After leaving active duty, he continued to serve in the Army Reserves. Dan was honorably discharged from the Army in 1968. An honorable discharge was also given for his service to the Navy; as the story goes, he was asked to join the Navy during the summer of 1953 as a recruit for their baseball team.

Dan & Bettye moved back to Norfolk, VA, after being stationed overseas. He began working for C&P Phone Company, starting as the Norfolk District Traffic Supervisor in 1956. The position also took him to Richmond and then Virginia Beach, spending several years in the accounting and engineering departments. His leadership role led him to Fredericksburg, VA, in 1966, where he was the area manager and awarded the Business Office Performance Award.

Deciding to make Fredericksburg their permanent home, Dan entered the food industry as the Vice President of Tolley Cookie Company-Archway in 1978. After leaving Archway, he went on to become a franchise owner of Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips restaurant. Dan opened his first Arby’s franchise in 1982 under his business, Dan Wallace Enterprises LTD. The company is still family-owned and operated by his son and granddaughter, which presently operates Arby’s restaurants in the Fredericksburg area.

Dan was committed to serving his community through many organizations and received many commendations for his leadership contributions. He was a member of Masons of the Commonwealth of Virginia for 50 years; Fredericksburg Rotary Club for 55 years serving as a Board Member and receiving the Paul Harris Fellow Award; Campaign chairman of the Fredericksburg Cancer Crusade in 1967; VFW Outstanding Citizen Award in 1968; Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce, Chairman, and Board of Directors; George Washington Birthday Festival Committee Chairman; Fredericksburg United Way President; Rappahannock District Chairman of Boy Scouts of America; Sponsor for foreign students training at Quantico Marine Corps; Awarded boss of the year by the Fredericksburg Jaycees in 1971.

Dan and Bettye started traveling to Aruba in 1987 and soon found themselves making some of their best friends and fondest memories at the Playa Linda Resort. Mayor of Chickee Hut 34, he was also Governor of the bocce tournament. The Aruba Ministry of Tourism honored Dan and Bettye as distinguished visitors of the island in 2007 to recognize their loyalty and appreciation of their love for Aruba. They spent 33 consecutive years vacationing on the happy island and enjoyed having their family along for many trips.

In the 90’s Dan began searching for his youth, as he would say, and took on the hobby of restoring a replica of his first car, a two-door hard top 1951 Chevrolet. After many car shows and a lot of trophies, he had all the fun he could handle. All in all, it was a great adventure that he said he never wanted to do again.

In 2015 Dan fully retired and moved to the Williamsburg Landing with his wife. He enjoyed the many new friendships he developed there. During football season, they rooted for their favorite teams, the Clemson Tigers and the Washington Redskins. The happiness of Dan’s family meant the world to him. He was most proud of his grandchildren and their accomplishments. Dan was a friend to all and well known for being “fan-damn-tastic” when asked how he was doing.

He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, October 23, from 3-5 PM in the auditorium of the Williamsburg Landing, located at 5700 Williamsburg Landing Drive. Donations in his memory can be made to the Fredericksburg Rotary Club Scholarship Fund P.O. Box 8175, Fredericksburg, VA 22404-8175 or to the Veterans of Foreign Wars USA, by visiting heroes.vfw.org.

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