Kurt was a dedicated husband, a loving father, and a gracious friend. He was married to Charlotte Corson for 40 years and was blessed with two sons, Zac and Andrew, and two grandsons, Rex and Oscar. He spent many hours with his family at their lake house captaining his boat, “The Good Life”. His love of golfing and fly fishing were in part because he shared these interests with his sons.
It’s unquestionable that Kurt Wallace was an outstanding architect, well deserving of the many articles, accolades, and awards given him. He had extraordinary skill and a work ethic to match, and even with all the demands his work life entailed, he managed to put his family first. He was intelligent, forward thinking and strategic-minded, humble yet admired by all those who knew him professionally. But none of that was what made Kurt great. He had a rare intangible quality you felt the moment he walked in a room. It was a respect. A respect he gave to others; regardless of age, profession, or station in life.
Kurt was fortunate to have numerous acquaintances and several very close friends during his life.
Tony and Ann Marie Richards share thoughts about their dear friend:
“Two of the many things that stand out in my memory of Kurt Wallace is just how much he loved the people he worked with and how they loved him back. When he spoke of them, there was a pride, not in himself and what he had built but in them and what they had accomplished; the beautiful spaces that they had designed for people to dream their dreams and raise their families. Historical restorations that improved communities and a host of other developments for those that may have never been able to enjoy the American dream of a quality home.”
Kurt worked as he lived. He was motivated by his ideals and exhibited those ideals in his creation of Wallace Architects. He believed that a company’s relationship with their clients should be built on collaboration, integrity and commitment.
“Wallace Architects was truly Kurt’s life’s work. He took great pride in the work that Wallace did and what the firm accomplished each year. Kurt didn’t separate work from the rest of his life. Most of his long-time clients are also people he counted as close friends. He felt a great sense of responsibility to provide a decent living for all of the employees at Wallace. Kurt was always striving to find ways to make our firm better. When he wasn’t in the office he was reading trade publications, business articles and books or attending conferences, all in an effort to make the firm better. Most of all Kurt loved what he did. He loved architecture, he loved serving our clients and he cared deeply about the firm, especially his employees.” – Zac Wallace
As a long-time leader in the affordable housing industry, Kurt was a member of the Mid-Missouri Chapter of The American Institute of Architects and President of the Missouri Workforce Housing Association.
Kurt touched so many lives through his work and even more lives through his philanthropy. He was as giving to his community as he was to his family. Kurt was a passionate member for Big Brothers, Big Sisters and served on the board of directors for many years. He also served on the board of directors for the Council for Affordable Rural Housing.
Kurt was born and raised in Windsor, Missouri. So, it was natural that Kurt decided that Wallace Architects would serve rural America. He understood small town life and rural people. Kurt was able to relate to the needs of people in the rural market and understood the unique problems that exist there. Wallace has never been limited to the rural market. We serve our clients throughout the country. However, I believe Kurt felt at home in the small towns he worked in. He was able to communicate with, and relate to the stakeholders in that market like few other Architects or firms can.
“I was lucky enough to have been mentored by Kurt for almost eight years. Next to my dad, he was the most influential role model in my life,” said Mike Kleffner. “He was such a visionary in our industry and life in general. I’m so appreciative to him in allowing me to be a part of his work and extended personal families. He will be dearly missed.”
“Having worked along-side Kurt since 1978, we shared many work and personal experiences, and memories of those events are forever forged in my mind. Kurt always strove for Wallace Architects to be the best in the affordable multifamily housing market; expecting all Wallace team members to do their part, but none worked harder than him to make this happen. Kurt believed strongly that each person in the firm should be afforded opportunities to enhance their skillset for their role, and then empowered them to do their job; knowing that some setbacks would occur, but supporting that growth process along the way. He was a man of great character, exhibiting to all, his work ethic, dedication and honesty, as well as his caring and compassion for the staff members. I am blessed to have known Kurt.” -Paul Anderson
Kurt was an extraordinary man. This is truly a great loss to our company and to our community as a whole. He will be profoundly missed by everyone whose lives he touched.