Published: January 4, 2022
HADDONFIELD, N.J. – Donald C. Wallace Jr, “The Toolman” of Haddonfield, N.J., died at age 89 years on December 24.
Don was raised in Haddonfield. He met his wife, Caryl, when they were both freshmen at Haddonfield Memorial High School. They were also cheerleaders together. Don was a star swimmer and gymnast.
They enjoyed 68 years of marriage, three children, seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. They were married at Caryl’s church, Our Savior Lutheran, where they were both very active. Don taught Sunday School, was on Church Council several times and was Cub Scout Master for Troop 100.
He was a talented artist, and his handmade Christmas cards were enjoyed by all.
Twenty some years ago, Don, “The Tool Man,” started a museum of antique tools in the basement of the Haddonfield Historical Society, now called “The Don Wallace Tool Gallery.” He established it and worked for more than 20 years as its curator. It is now a huge collection of interesting tools from the old days. Don donated more than 3,000 items of his own tool collection and encouraged others to donate to the museum. He spent hundreds of hours organizing and hundreds of hours giving tours to school children and adult groups, so eager to research and share his knowledge. Just about every organization in the area and beyond have been the recipients of his talks. Don was interesting and knowledgeable. He was a fan of the Mercer Museum where for many summers he conducted a program identifying old tools for interested attendees. He belonged to several organizations such as Early American Industries Association (EAIA) where he was also a board member for several years. He also wrote numerous articles for the Collectors of Rare and Familiar Tools Society of NJ (CRAFTS of NJ) and a monthly column for The Historical Society Bulletin.
Don served in the Army 1954-56 with a tour in Germany, where Caryl joined him. After returning to the states, Don attended Rutgers night school for seven years graduating with a BS degree. His working career had been in graphic arts sales. He retired at 62 and pursued his many interests. He and Caryl traveled extensively, having driven cross country twice.
Beloved husband of Caryl (nee Martinelli), loving father to Jay of Westmont, N.J., Mark (Gail) of Wantage, N.J., and Beth Gates (Brian) of Lancaster, Penn. Adored grandfather of Elizabeth, Katherine (Ray), Crystal (Jesse), Carolyn, Jacob (Hannah) Madelyn and Sam. Great-grandfather of Lila, Mia, Jax, Ramona and Brooks.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the Historical Society of Haddonfield.
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