Margaret Elaine Keeler Wallace, 96, of Fayetteville died Sept. 10, 2017, at her home. She was born in Albany to Daniel J. Keeler and Kathryn Lyons Keeler on Jan. 10, 1921, and grew up in Bennington, VT, where she graduated from St. Francis de Sales Academy and Bennington High School.
Following her freshman year at Smith College, Margaret toured northern Europe in the weeks prior to World War II. When Great Britain and France declared war following the commencement of hostilities, she was stranded in Britain. After several weeks, she obtained passage back to the United States where she resumed her studies. During this time, she also served as an air raid warden in Northampton, Mass. Following her graduation from Smith in 1942, she attended the Katharine Gibbs School in Boston and began a war production job at Angier Products in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
In 1944, Margaret joined the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis Inc., serving in various capacities in its Boston regional office before becoming special assistant to the director of chapters in its New York National Headquarters. As special assistant, she traveled to Appalachia, the deep South and the Midwest working with local and state health departments and local foundation chapters to establish polio clinics and vaccination sites in areas where the polio epidemic was wide spread. In addition, she traveled the country, coordinating national and local Mother’s March of Dimes fundraising efforts.
In 1956, Margaret left the national foundation to marry the late Spencer M. Wallace, Jr. In 1961, she and her family moved to Fayetteville, where she was active in many organizations, including The Weighlock Guild, Smith College Club of Syracuse, The Tuesday Book Club and the Green Thumb Garden Club. She was a communicant at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Fayetteville.
An avid golfer, bowler and tennis player, Margaret was a member of Mt. Anthony Country Club, Nottingham Knolls Country Club and Onondaga Golf and Country Club. In October 1984, she shot a hole-in-one on the 100-yard sixth hole at Onondaga, earning the “prestigious” Johnnie Walker International Hole-In-One Award. She enjoyed playing bridge and writing rhymes and poetry that exhibited her sense of humor.
She is survived by her son, Daniel of Maitland, Fla., and a cousin, Frank Keeler of Mobile, Ala. She was pre-deceased by Spencer Wallace, her husband of nearly 60 years, a sister, Eleanor Keeler Murnighan, and two infant sisters.
Family and friends may call from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14, at Eaton-Tubbs Fayetteville Chapel, 7191 E. Genesee St., Fayetteville. The funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 15, at Immaculate Conception Church, 400 Salt Springs St., Fayetteville.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to Fayetteville Firemen’s Association, 425 E. Genesee St., Fayetteville, NY 13066, or to Hospice Foundation of Central New York, 990 Seventh North St., Liverpool, NY 13088.
For a guest book, please visit scheppfamily.com.