Fort Worth, Texas, coin dealer Helen Wallace died Oct. 29 at the age of 64.
Mrs. Wallace operated R.E. Wallace Stamps and Coins, a business started by her late husband 60 years ago and one that she continued to run after his death in 1999.
“Feisty” didn’t begin to describe her personality. Her comments for the 55th anniversary issue of Numismatic News illustrated this.
“What was the most memorable industry event you’ve attended?” she was asked. She recalled her first major show in 1960s Chicago.
“It was my first big show and first time in Chicago. This show had all the elements, rub shoulders with the name dealers, see fantastic coins, sold and made big purchases, hotel burglary, had my life put at risk, had my honesty questioned by local law enforcement, fended off job proposals and a few propositions.
“This happened in the mid-’60s when females were not easily accepted as coin dealers.
“Dealers who knew and respected me would walk by with the statement, ‘Give ’em hell, Helen.’”
A native of Detroit, she moved to Fort Worth in the 1960s to marry R.E. “Bob” Wallace.
Her formal obituary said, “She was truly a one of a kind, pistol packing, Pall Mall smoking, bourbon drinking tornado of a woman.”
She was a special guest on Coin Chat Radio Oct. 9, 2008, and talked about what it was like to run a coin shop in this day and age. When asked who was more fun, stamp collectors or coin collectors, she replied stamp collectors.
Her funeral was Nov. 7 at the Lucas and Blessing Funeral Home in Burleson, Texas. She was interned in Nocona Cemetery next to her late husband.
Memorial donations may be made to the Humane Society of Johnson County, Texas.