Gayle Stanley Wallace, known by his preferred name of Wally Wallace, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly, at his Mudd Ranch home, on Oct. 4. His companion and spouse, Terry Wilsey, was at his side.
Wally was an artisan and agriculturist. “Mudd Ranch,” the name of the homes he built in the area, was a nod to his artisan skills in clay arts, fused glass and also woodworking. He homesteaded five acres, just north of W. Ann Road in 1981, building his Santa Fe style hacienda, complete with ponds and gardens. Later, he subdivided the area into eight lots. He built several homes, which were occupied by his late mother, a son, a daughter and kept two for himself.
He was one of the rare native Nevadans, having been born in the Old Las Vegas Hospital (downtown, 6th and Stewart) on April 22, 1934. The date is now known as Earth Day, commemorating things that were especially important to Wally, including the passage of landmark environmental laws. Wally is described by Wilsey as “a man of the earth, known for his large gardens, featuring exotic tomatoes and peppers. Mudd Ranch roasted peppers and tomato creations were well known. He also had over 40 Koi fish and bred and sold comet-tailed goldfish. His love of hibiscus, roses, succulents, orchids and herbs, kept him busy in retirement.”
Wallace, prior to his retirement, had been co-owner of Kings Florist Shops, originally with locations in both Las Vegas and Henderson. The Las Vegas location remains to this day.
“Wally loved camping and hiking. He was an early member of the Nevada OUTdoors, loved to go ‘RVing’ and made biennial trips to the Tucson Gem Show, visiting various pueblos along the route. This gave him the opportunity to collect extensively and inspired much of his Southwest Indigenous People-themed art, artifacts and jewelry,” Wilsey said.
A memorial celebration and sale will be held during the holiday season.
Wally is survived by his second life partner, Terry Wilsey, co-publisher and travel columnist at the Las Vegas Spectrum. His first partner, actor Lee Beffort, passed away in 2016. His surviving blood family includes his best friend and ex-wife, Fran Wallace; his son, Kent Wallace and daughter Troy Wallace, some which live adjacent to his Mudd Ranch.He is also survived by four grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
“The family often gathered for the holidays at Mudd Ranch,” Wilsey explained. “He was affectionately known as the ‘dudewithdogs’ and ‘chapwithcats.’ Jasper, his rescued shepherd, and Onyx and Agate, his two black cats, continue to guard and prowl around Mudd Ranch.”