Wallace Hamilton Mauk, 95, and life-long resident of Hampshire County died peacefully at home, with his family by his side, on Tuesday, May 5, 2020.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Wanda (Mauk) Kaiser, his wife Pauline and his son Jay. Wallace is survived by his loving daughter, Kay, and her husband, Robert Lee of Romney / Levels.
Wallace was born on July 9, 1924 in Bluefield, W.Va. to Lester and Mildred (Haines) Mauk. When he was very young, he spent a year living with his grandmother, Bertha Haines. She lived next door to a one room school house where she taught and took Wallace along where he attended classes. This head-start contributed to his outstanding academic success.
Wallace always had an independent streak (sizable understatement) and left home and school at age 16 to go out on his own. He joined the U.S. Navy on his 17th birthday and participated in WWII as a Master Electrician, First Class on Navy Destroyers in the South Pacific. Following his military service Wallace attended college on the GI Bill. Potomac State College was never made aware that Wallace had never gotten around to finishing high school, and when the Dean learned this, he invited Wallace in for a chat. After explaining to Wallace all that was wrong about him being there under the circumstances, the Dean also conceded that he couldn't very well throw him out because Wallace was leading the Freshman Class. From Potomac State, Wallace transferred to George Washington University.
Things changed, forever, for Wallace in 1954. He met, fell in love and married Pauline Glotfelty. Like most things in Wallace's life, things had a way of taking on a bigger, grander form, fatherhood included. When he and Pauline had a baby, they had two. The twins, Kay and Jay. Wallace would often say he didn't have a serious bone in his body until he became a father. Pauline and Wallace bought the old Koolwink Tourist Home in 1955. (For a complete and interesting history of the Koolwink, Pauline, Wallace and their life, see Shaffer Funeral Home's Facebook page for a story that was copied from a magazine article). Concurrently, Wallace worked for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) for 21 years and with Pauline, designed and built the Koolwink Motel we have today. After retiring from the B&O (still running the Koolwink) Wallace, for whatever reason, bought a tractor-trailer. He had never driven one, and knew very little about it. Never the less, he went on the road for an 11-year adventure, often gone for a week at a time. When the tractor-trailer chapter closed, there was still the Koolwink, and to this day provides an excellent service to Romney and the entire community for 65 years and running.
Wallace had many, many interests and was an avid reader. He had a brilliant mind and was gifted with extraordinary creativity. Music was a big part of his life, and many different genres of music were woven through his long life (to this day, music streams through the Koolwink's lobby and Wallace's living quarters). Politics, writing, community interests, interior design and horse race handicapping were some of his favorite hobbies. Fishing is also on that list and he and his father fished every inch of the South Branch. As a father, Wallace planned many camping and fishing trips with his own family. There was usually a brightly colored station wagon sitting in front of the Koolwink used for such excursions. Wallace was a perfectionist with a strong work ethic. This characteristic carried over into his abilities as a fine chef. He truly loved preparing and serving delicious food.
Wallace had a personality that embraced life in richness and full color. He was outspoken (this was not a secret if you knew him) and not easily intimidated. For many years he kept the "Letters to the Editor" page lit up at the Hampshire Review voicing his opinion and heartfelt thoughts on different matters. The passion that he had for voicing what he thought to be right and fair, was ever present for those he loved and cared about. He was a loving husband and a wonderful father who also had the "kids fun" still in his spirit. Compassion and generosity were two of his many wonderful traits and if you knew him, this was no secret either.
Graveside services and a memorial gathering will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the local food pantry in Wallace's memory.
Arrangements are being handled by Shaffer Funeral Home, Romney.