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1926 Wallace 2023

Wallace Jarl

August 9, 1926 — November 25, 2023

Wallace Jarl, a beloved Father, Grandfather, Navy Veteran, and proud Texas Longhorn, passed away peacefully in his sleep at the age of 97 in La Grange, Texas on November 25, 2023.

Wallace was born on August 9, 1926, to Vesta Haglund Jarl and Lambert Jarl in Austin, Texas. Growing up, he lived with family in what is now the Swedish Hill Historic District, including his grandmother, Edla Svan Jarl, and grandfather Carl Jarl, who immigrated to Austin from Sweden. The family were among some of the first members of Gethsemane Lutheran Church and watched as the services transitioned from Swedish to English in the 1920's.

He attended Austin High School before asking his parents to sign a waiver so he could enter WWII ahead of his 18th birthday and join his two older brothers, Clifton Emory Jarl (Army) and Leroy Lambert Jarl (Navy), in service of his country. Wallace joined the United States Navy and served aboard the USS Buckingham for two years, traveling from San Diego to England, Italy and ultimately Okinawa to help load wounded soldiers and transport them to hospitals for treatment. He often said some of his best friends were made during that particular mission.

After the service, he went back to Austin where he received a scholarship to play for the University of Texas baseball team from 1949-1951. During this time, the Longhorns won two national championship titles. He cherished his teammates and was a proud T Association member for life. Attending the annual baseball team reunions and connecting with former teammates in Austin were among his favorite traditions for many years.

He met the love of his life, JoAnn Struve, while playing semi-professional summer league baseball for the La Grange Demons and married her in August of 1950. He continued to play for both teams until 1951 when his son, Grady Jarl, was born. In fact, he was at bat for the Demons on that June day when the announcer informed the crowd that his wife had just given birth to a healthy baby boy and told him to "hit one out of the park for your son, Wally." He did just that and scored a home run on the very next pitch.

Wallace moved his family to Fort Worth, where he worked as a programmer for General Dynamics for 37 years. His wife worked there as well and the fact he was able to see her at work every day was among the reasons he loved the job and stayed for so long.

When JoAnn passed away from cancer in 1986, Wallace retired one year later and moved to La Grange in 1987, where he lived with his mother-in-law, Dorene Struve, on the corner of Pecan Street for more than two decades. During this time, he traveled all over the country, walked for miles every morning at the La Grange high school, attended nearly every Texas football home game and played a pivotal role in the everyday lives of his grandchildren, Katie and Ben. His warmth, intelligence, generosity, and dedication to his family will be remembered every day by those that were lucky enough to know him.

He spent his final few years at Jefferson Place in La Grange. Even in his final months, he always looked forward to visits from family and a good, long spin around Fayette County.

Wallace was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Joann, his brothers, his mother-in-law, Dorene and father-in-law, Louis Struve. He was also predeceased by his niece, Becky Jarl.

He is survived by his son, Grady Jarl, daughter-in-law, Carmen Jarl, and two grandchildren, Katie Jarl (Jeff Coyle) and Ben Jarl. He is also survived by his niece, Kathy Jarl Duarte and nephew, Nelson Jarl.

A graveside memorial service is being arranged by the Fayette Memorial Funeral Home held on Friday, December 1, 2023, at the La Grange City Cemetery at 11:00 am.


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