Jessie K. Wallace, 91

The Baltimore Sun

Jessie K. Wallace, a retired Baltimore City Health Department supervisor and registered nurse, died Aug. 24 of renal failure at Oak Crest Village. The former longtime Hamilton resident was 91.

The former Jessie Kauffman was born and raised in Walker's Switch near Parkton. She attended Sparks High School. After her family moved to Carroll County, she graduated in 1933 from Hampstead High School.

She earned money for her college education while working for two years as a nurse's aide at Spring Grove State Hospital in Catonsville. In 1939, she graduated from the old St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing on Caroline Street.

She began her career at St. Joseph and remained there until 1945 when she went to work at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

In 1954, she left Hopkins and joined the city Health Department as a staff nurse. Later, she was administrator for 26 years of the Southeastern Health District, which included Fells Point, Canton and Pennsylvania Avenue.

During her tenure, Mrs. Wallace oversaw clinics for venereal disease, cerebral palsy and infant wellness. She had also been the school nurse at St. Michaels and St. Patrick's parochial schools in Fells Point.

After retiring in 1981, she volunteered at the Julie Center in Fells Point and in the psychiatric unit at what is now the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

She earned a bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of Maryland in 1963, and returned there to earn a master's degree in public health nursing in 1970.

Active in civil rights, she was a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Her husband of 37 years, Howard Jerome Wallace, the former owner of Wallace's Grocery Store, died in 1976.

The former Hamilton resident, who had lived at the Parkville retirement community for nearly a decade, had been a communicant of St. Dominic Roman Catholic Church.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. tomorrow in the chapel at Oak Crest Village, 8820 Walther Blvd.

Surviving are a daughter, Stephanie Purdue Wallace of Annapolis; a sister, Charlotte K. Railey of Parkville; and many nieces and nephews.

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