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Wallace, Bruce
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Wallace, Bruce

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Wallace, Bruce

Dr. Bruce Wallace, University Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Virginia Tech, and Professor of Genetics, Emeritus, Cornell University, died on Monday, January 12, 2015 in Blacksburg, Va. at the age of 94.Born and raised in McKean, Pa., he graduated from McKean High School then attended Columbia University where he received his Bachelor's degree in Zoology in 1941. His Ph.D study under Th. Dobzhansky at Columbia was interrupted by World War II, during which he served as Statistical Control Officer under Robert McNamara. After 4 years in the army he returned to Columbia and received his Ph.D in 1949.He took a position at, and later was Assistant Director of, the prestigious Biological Laboratory at Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y. In 1958, he joined Cornell University, where he was a professor of genetics until retiring in 1981 to take a position at the Biology Department at Virginia Tech. He became a University Distinguished Professor of Biology and was active until he retired in 1994.After retirement he turned his attention from genetics to complex environmental, and associated societal issues. In 1970 he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and served as President of the Genetics Society of America, the American Society of Naturalists, the Society of the Study of Evolution, and the American Genetics Association, as well as an editor of Evolutionary Biology.He authored over 100 research articles, mostly in the field of population genetics using Drosophila as a genetic model. He also wrote more than 15 books, many translated into other languages.He loved to travel and did so extensively as a visiting scientist and scholar, teaching and working at various universities and academic institutions worldwide. Devoted to his family, he frequently travelled with his wife and two children. Later, although macular degeneration diminished his eyesight, he continued to enjoy listening to music, playing harmonica, and as a nature lover, watching the antics of the wildlife that populated his backyard.He recently published two small books of fictional tales set in Blacksburg. He was predeceased by his wife, Miriam, and is survived by his children, David B. Wallace, of Blacksburg, Va., and Roberta Wallace, of Wauwatosa, Wis. Arrangements by McCoy Funeral Home, Blacksburg.

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Karen Blacksburg

What a wonderful person Dr. Wallace was. I was blessed to be able to work under his direction in the lab at Virginia Tech. He was the easiest person to talk to about most anything we needed to discuss. I am honored to have known him. My condolences to the family.

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