Delores Wallace was born on September 18, 1936 to (the late) Lee Sills and Mae Morton-Sills in Brooklyn, New York. Her devoted grandparents, the late Vernie Sills and Eva Turner-Sills, played major roles in her upbringing. She was their first grand, and Delores never forgot how much they loved her and the lessons they taught her. Delores attended public school in the Brooklyn area where she resided. At an early age, influenced by her grandmother, Delores accepted Christ as her Lord and Saviour.
For most of Delores’ early adult life, she was a homemaker. She raised her own five children and the children of relatives as well; and when friends and neighbors entered the workforce, Delores cared for their children. Upon reflection, she operated an unlicensed day care center.
Family was everything to Delores, and her three granddaughters and great-granddaughter meant the world to her. Delores was outgoing and loved having people around her. Her door was always open; she was never one to shut anyone out. She chose to love up close, but when required, she would love from afar. Malice for anyone was never in her heart.
After the death of her son Dwight in 1984, Delores returned to her earlier Christian roots. She was baptized and attended the Emmanuel Baptist Church until she moved away from the area. Delores also went to work for the Abel Bus Company as an escort until illness forced an early retirement.
Friends of Delores’ children and other family members affectionately called her “Momma Dee”. She was loved by so many and will be missed by all.
On Monday, January 28, 2019, Delores departed this life. She was preceded in death by her husband John Wallace, lifelong companion Ervin McDonald, sister Carroll Sills-Boucher, brother Lee Sills, stepmother Curniece Sills, son Larry Purdie, Sr., and three lifelong friends: Ernestine Grinnage, Irma Horton and Catherine Alford. She leaves to mourn and cherish her memory, three daughters: Debra Govan, Kathy Wallace and Geraldine Reckas; three sons: Walter Sills, Shawn Wallace and Vaughn Hopson; three sisters: Patricia Belle-Brown, Ann Hopson and Margaret Washington (“Sonny”); a brother Michael Belle; thirteen grandchildren: Tierra Clark, Shalonda Wallace, Shaunda Wallace, Shamya Wallace, Maxie Govan, Angel Melendez, Annissa Bacchus, Kareem Bacchus, Jada Purdie, Rafael A. Purdie, Larry Purdie, Jr., Rashard Purdie and Rafael R. Purdie; nine nieces: Brenda Rudder, Stephanie Boucher, Sheryl Boucher-Mathis, Sharon Boucher, Shaneka Boucher, Eva Vanderpool, Imani Boucher, Adrian Rodriguez and Joyce Joyner; seven nephews: LaQuan Boucher, Tyree Boucher, Latrell Mathis, Maleek Byrd, Jamar Byrd, Jonathan Mathis and Roy Thomas; two aunts: Kathleen Jackson (Virginia) and Oletha Hicks (Georgia); one uncle Joseph Jackson (Virginia); son-in-law Thomas McDaniel; three daughters-in-law: Yolanda Jones-Wallace, Elizabeth Santos-Sills and Pearl Purdie (North Carolina); friend for more than two decades, Dorothy Blakely; four home health aides (out of many) who stand out: Carol Gladden, Evelyn McLean, Sandra Patterson and Merilyn Macelle; a godson Terrence Young; and a host of other relatives and friends.