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Lawrenceville business owner passes away

LAWRENCEVILLE — Better known for opening Grier Insurance Agency on the square in downtown Lawrenceville, Grier Sims Wallace could usually be spotted around the city smoking his tobacco pipe, talking with friend and neighbors while calling people by silly nicknames.

“He was good for advice and had nicknames for everyone,” said daughter Rhoda Wallace Ippich.

Her sister Rhonda Wallace Whittington added, “Mine was ‘Mush Mouth.’ There was a cartoon character when I was little that reminded him of me. I guess it was because I was crawling around into things.”

Ippich was “Doll Doll.”

“And I have no idea why,” she said with a laugh.

On Aug. 18, Wallace, 87, passed away at his home after battling lung cancer for several months. He was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer on Feb. 14 — his birthday — of this year.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Johnnie Sue Murphy Wallace, daughters Ippich and Whittington, and five grandchildren.

Wallace wasn’t only an insurance agent, he was also a World War II veteran. In 1943, he trained at the Harlington Air Force Base, then joined the 453rd Bomb Group, 733 Squadron as a Nose Turret Gunner and ranked Staff Sergeant. His crew flew the B-24 Liberator heavy bomber for 25 mission over Europe during WWII.

Afterward, he received his Silver Wings as an aerial gunner, the European Theater ribbon with three battle stars, air medal and three oakleaf clusters, the Good Conduct Medal and Victory Medal.

On Tuesday, a Service of Life ceremony was held at 2 p.m. at the funeral home with Rev. Chip Blankinship of Lawrenceville Presbyterian Church officiating the service. More than 70 family members, friends, neighbors and associates attended to pay their respects.

Interment followed the ceremony at the Fairview Presbyterian Church Cemetery with Masonic Rites by the Lawrenceville Masonic Lodge No. 131 F. & A.M.

For those who would like to make contributions in Wallace’s name, the family asks to donate to the American Cancer Society or Lawrenceville Presbyterian Church in memory of the late Lawrenceville resident.

To leave electronic condolences for the family, visit www.wagesfuneralhome.com.