Glenn Walker Wallace, 90, founder and former president of the Utah Symphony and co-founder and first president of Ballet West, died Dec. 30, 1988, in University Hospital after a long battle with cancer.
Mrs. Wallace received three honorary doctorates and several local, national and international awards during her lifetime for her many years of labor on behalf of the arts.She became involved with the Salt Lake Symphony in 1924. Mrs. Wallace began working toward a full-fledged symphony orchestra in 1938 and founded the Utah Symphony in 1939. She served as its vice president until 1947, when she was named president, an office she held until 1952.
Mrs. Wallace began a lifetime of generous cash donations to the arts when she paid a several thousand dollar deficit of the Salt Lake Symphony in 1924.
"It seems like I've been signing checks to pay off deficits all my life," she once said.
Mrs. Wallace founded the Utah Civic Ballet in 1963 with William C. Christensen. She served as president of the dance company until 1971. In 1968, the company became Ballet West, the official dance troupe of the Mountain West.
After her tenure as president, Mrs. Wallace was made Ballet West's honorary life chairwoman and adviser to the board.
Mrs. Wallace worked relentlessly to raise money for Ballet West. "I spent eight or nine years on the phone raising money," she once said of her fund-raising efforts for the dance company.
Mrs. Wallace studied piano, voice and dance in Boston, which led to her lifelong interest in supporting music and ballet.
Among the many honors she received, Mrs. Wallace was given the rare Grand Cross Dame, Knightly Order of St. Brigitte in 1967 for her philanthropic work and cultural contributions. At that time, only three other American women had been so honored. In 1970, she was made a knight in the Venerable Order of St. John of Jerusalem in the Cathedral of St. John in New York City for her philanthropy in the humanities.
She was Salt Lake City's Outstanding Woman of the Year in 1968. That same year, she received the American Association of University Women's award for outstanding cultural leadership. She and her husband were named "Giants in Our City" by the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce in 1977.
In 1982, she was named member-at-large of the executive committee, class of 1982, of the Metropolitan Opera National Council.
She has received honorary doctor of humanities degrees from Westminster College, the University of Utah and the College of Eastern Utah.
In 1984, she and Arch L. Madsen were honored as "People of Vision" by the Utah Society to Prevent Blindness.
Mrs. Wallace was born on May 19, 1898, to Angelina Andrews and Matthew Henry Walker, founder of the Walker Bank. She married John M. Wallace on Sept. 19, 1920. He later served as chairman of Walker Bank and mayor of Salt Lake City.
Funeral arrangements are pending. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions be sent to Ballet West, the Utah Symphony, or the G.W. Wallace Memorial Cancer Research Fund, 50 North Medical Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84132.