The Reverend Kenneth Leslie Wallace
After 61 years of loving and helping people, The Reverend Kenneth Leslie Wallace went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on December 28, 2012. He was the son of the late Helen Stafford Wallace and Orlen Herman Wallace of Carbondale. Born October 4, 1951, Kenneth passed peacefully with his family surrounding him at his home at One Hillcrest Drive, Carbondale, IL. Kenneth is survived by his loving wife of 20 years, Dr. Mary Kathleen Cook-Wallace, of whom he lovingly referred to as Kat. He also is survived by his daughter, Rachel Elizabeth Tsiganos (his sugar-coated muffin cake), and son-in-law, Taso G. Tsiganos of Rockford, IL; son, Jeremiah K. Wallace, and daughter, Jaime M. McLean of Olympia, WA. Other children include Benjamin T. Mace and Christopher B. Butts of Carbondale, IL, and Air Force Flight Lieutenant T. Brooke Butts of Salt Lake City, UT, and six grandchildren, Nicholas, Braelyn, Alex, Taylor, Brooklynn, and Boston. Other survivors include oldest brother, Robert Orlen Wallace and his wife Phyllis; and younger brother Phillip “Bruce” Wallace and son Adam. Other surviving family relatives include Jack and Virginia Reno, Sharon Hudson, Mike Reno, Nancy Reno, and Terry, Larry, Mary Beth, and Gary Wallace and many nieces and nephews. Other family members include sister-in-laws Sally Crain and Charlotte Dawson.
A graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University, Kenneth held the Master of Divinity degree with honors from Drew University, Madison, New Jersey, and completed graduate work at Oxford University in England, the University of Tuebingen in Germany, and the Drew University Graduate School. As an ordained United Methodist minister, Kenneth pastored at the United Methodist in New Jersey; Albion Illinois Methodist Church; First Baptist Church and University Baptist Church of Carbondale, IL. He was director of the Wesley Foundation on the SIUC campus for seven years.
He had the distinction since 2000 of being one of only nine certified business process and system coaches for General Motors worldwide. As a member of the National Speakers Association since 1989, Kenneth was a professional speaker, consultant and executive coach specializing in personal and organizational development. He is certified by the Mediation Training Institute International as a global mediation trainer and consultant and has taught at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.
Ken’s devotion to helping people was unparalleled. His mentor, Zig Zigler, embraced enthusiastically Ken’s request to speak with Scott, a 32-year old mentee of Ken’s who was “dying of cancer.“ After an hour long phone conversation with Zig, Scott said, “It was one of the best days of my life! I’m a happy camper.” Author of a book entitled “Your Better Self, A Simple Guide to Where You Want to Be”, Ken laid the foundation for his consultant and executive coaching business. Ken’s clients included MCA/Universal, Connected International Meeting Professionals Association, General Motors, Equitable Life, Ford Motor Company, Safeco Insurance, Daimler-Chrysler Corporation, Northwestern Mutual Life, Toyota, Mass Mutual Life, U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce, Hyundai Corporation, Nissan, ADP Corporation, BMG Music, GS Metals, Quick & Reilly Brokerage, Missouri Society of Association Executives, St. Louis Society of Association Executives, St. Louis Fire Academy, Air Couriers Conference of America International, Southern Illinois University, the State of Illinois, the New York Press Association, McGraw-Hill Companies, General Physics, SIU Credit Union, Touch of Nature, American Family Insurance, Leadership Development Incorporated, Silkworm, Inc., WCIL-FM, WTAO-FM, The Women’s Center, McBride Construction, St. Louis, Southern Illinois Health Services, Hotel Builders of America, and Rand Diversified.
He was featured as an expert in a movie entitled “The Keeper of the Keys: Taking the ‘Hell’ Out of Self-Help” written and produced by Robin Jay and Scott Cervine. He hosted radio and television programs on personal and business development topics and authored numerous professional articles, and contributed to numerous books and educational materials. Ken was also a musician who composed customized music for his clients’ corporate gatherings and special events. In many of his programs, he incorporated guitar, banjo and singing music to punctuate the points he made.
Ken often used the phrase ‘worthy aspirations’, and once said, “Your worthy aspirations are never free-floating, unrealistic ideals. They are always tethered to the truth of your everyday experience; they are more than mere day dreams and passing fantasies; and they demand to be realized for a reason.”
Friends may join the family at Walker Funeral Home, 112 South Poplar Street, Carbondale, IL 62901, (618) 529-3100 on Wednesday, January 2 at 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Funeral serves will be held the following morning at 10:00 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church, Carbondale. Interment will follow at the Oakland Cemetery. The Reverend Alan R. Rhein will officiate. Contributions to the Helen Wallace First United Methodist Church Library, the American Cancer Society, and VNA Tip Hospice are welcome.