Velma Wallace, philanthropist and widow of longtime Cessna leader Dwane Wallace, died Sunday afternoon.
Wallace, 95, a Wichita native, was deeply involved in the Wichita area.
Over the years, she earned the Wichita Area Girl Scout Council Woman of Distinction award, the Uncommon Citizen Award from the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Forum for Executive Women Wing Walker Award, and the National Conference for Community and Justice Brotherhood and Sisterhood Award, according to information from Wichita State University.
In 2010, she was named the first recipient of the Wichita Aero Club Trophy.
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She received WSU’s President’s Medal and recognition as Honorary Alumna.
Wallace was one of general aviation’s earliest woman pilots, with a single-engine and multi-engine ratings.
Wallace joined Cessna Aircraft Co. as an executive secretary where she met and married Dwane Wallace, who served as the company’s CEO from 1935 to 1975. Dwane Wallace died in 1989.
The couple was married for 47 years and had four daughters.
In 1976, they established the Dwane L. and Velma L. Wallace Endowment, which supports engineering scholarships and funds for the College of Engineering at WSU.