Wallace Dean Ingmire of Council Grove, Kansas, finished the race and won his eternal prize on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at the age of 89 years and six months.
Wally was born April 6, 1931, to Howard and Gladys Edwards Ingmire in a farmhouse near White City, Kansas. Growing up on a farm in Kansas in the 1930’s was an adventure for Wally, his two older brothers, and one younger sister. The family moved to Council Grove when he was in the eighth grade. He participated in sports – primarily football and basketball – during his high school years and went on to play football for one season at the College of Emporia.
t was because of his involvement in sports that he caught the eye of a young lady. When Wally was a sophomore in high school, he was nominated for Homecoming king. The sophomore girl nominated for Homecoming queen was Norma Jean Knackstedt. As sophomores, they were voted as Homecoming King and Queen. That began a relationship that led to their dating and eventually marriage. Wallace and Norma were married on March 5, 1950, and celebrated 63 years of marriage before her passing in 2013. They were proud parents to four children – Douglas, Randall, Mark, and Lori. These four children and their spouses blessed them with twelve grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren.
The Church and their relationship with Jesus Christ were always important to Wally and Norma. Both grew up going to church, but it was shortly after their marriage during a revival meeting held at the Council Grove Christian Church that he made the decision to be baptized by immersion and give his life completely to God. Their lives always displayed that faith commitment whether it was doing physical labor on the church buildings or doing spiritual labor in Sunday school classes, Bible studies, and prayer groups. Wally also served as an elder in the church for many years. Their lives together influenced hundreds of individuals for Christ as they expressed kindness, encouragement, care, and service both in the church and in the community they loved.
In 1969, Wally opened Ingmire Plumbing, Heating, and Appliance. The growing up years on the farm and his commitment to Christ influenced how he operated the business. His customers were treated with fairness and compassion, and he always went the 2nd and 3rd mile to help them with their needs. Many family dinners were interrupted with a phone call from someone whose furnace or air conditioner had quit. He never threw anything out because he never knew when he might need the part or the “thing-a-ma-jig.” After 50-plus years of owning his own business on Main Street in Council Grove, Wally closed up shop in 2019.
An article in a 2010 church newsletter about Wally and Norma stated, “His interests/hobbies include his work and keeping Norma happy.” More could be told about Wally’s actions and involvement in people’s lives, but his sister, Shirley, summed it best with the statement, “He is the nicest man I’ve ever known.”
The family is establishing a scholarship fund in his memory for Council Grove High School students who are planning to enroll in an area vocational/technical college. Memorial gifts may be designated to Wallace Ingmire Technical Education Scholarship or to Gideon’s International.
Face masks and social distancing will be required at all services. He will Lie in State for public viewing from 1:00 until 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 22, at Sawyer Funeral Chapel. A Private Family Memorial Service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, October 23, at Community Christian Church. That will be followed by a Graveside Service at 11:00 a.m. that will be open to the public.
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