Mary Elizabeth Wallace, 100, always known as Elizabeth, of Burlington, died at her home Jan. 22, 2013.
She was born Oct. 15, 1912, in Genesee, to the late Robert Parks Davidson Claybaugh and Marion Holloway Claybaugh. After attending Teacher’s College in Union Grove as a teenager, she taught in one-room schoolhouses for a few years, where she was responsible for starting the fire each morning in the wood-burning stove for heat. She met her future husband while teaching his younger sister in the school in Paris Corners.
She married John Thomas Wallace on Aug. 21, 1937, at the Congregational Church in Union Grove. They raised a family of seven children. In 1957 they moved from Union Grove to a 65-acre farm in Spring Prairie Township. The property was developed into Meadowlark Acres Family Campground in 1963, which they operated until his death in 2003. During those years she also returned to teaching for seven years at Denison School in Lake Geneva, teaching seventh-grade reading classes. As the always cheerful and congenial hostess at the campground, Elizabeth made hundreds of friends and earned following making Hole-in-One doughnuts on weekends for hungry campers of all ages.
She and her husband were founding members of Faith Chapel Evangelical Free Church now located in Burlington. She was recognized as the oldest resident of Spring Prairie Township on her 100th birthday.
Survivors include her sons, Joseph (Joyce), Burlington, Ralph (Gloria), Delavan, Robin (Pamela), Waukesha, Tim (Patricia), River Edge, N.J., Carl (Darcy), Elkhorn; and daughter, Yvonne Wallace Blane (Steven), Lake Geneva; daughter-in-law, Mary Catherine, East Troy; 16 grandchildren; 39 great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Ruth Phelps, Eagle Point, Ore.
She was further preceded in death by her son, Daniel; brothers, Robert, Stanley, Ralph and Amos.
A memorial open house reunion for family and friends is being planned for Mother’s Day weekend in May when the ashes of both Mary Elizabeth and John Thomas will be scattered on their beloved Meadowlark Acres Memorial Ridge, which had been a place of solace and remembrance for many since 2004.
The family is very grateful for the wonderful care Mom received from the staff of Seasons Hospice in West Allis, which allowed her to be cared for at home and with family during her last months of life on this earth. Memorial contributions may be directed to Fellow Mortals Wildlife Hospital, W4632 Palmer Road, Lake Geneva, WI 53147. Haase-Lockwood & Associates Funeral Homes and Crematory, Elkhorn, assisted the family.