Arlene Wallace Todd
Arlene Wallace Todd died peacefully at Hospice of East Texas in Tyler, TX on August 23, 2022, following beautiful visits with friends and family members lovingly by her side. She had been diagnosed with leukemia in early 2021 and lived each day to the fullest, often inspiring others with her strong faith.
Arlene was born in Jacksonville, TX, on October 14, 1947, to Doyle Wallace and Mary Helm Wallace. She grew up with her younger brother, Lee Wallace, in Rusk, TX.
Arlene attended Rusk High School and loved being a drum major and dancing. There was never a dull moment with her best friend riding around the square and hopping on motorcycles. Arlene was voted Most Beautiful and Homecoming Queen. In her younger years, she enjoyed helping with bookkeeping at the family business, Wallace & Son Lumber Company.
Arlene met Ray at a dance the summer before her senior year, and he still talks about the yellow outfit she was wearing and her incredible dance moves. They married on June 10, 1966, in Rusk, TX, and moved to Nacogdoches, TX, where Ray was attending SFA on a football scholarship. Arlene worked at the SFA library and the Office of the Registrar. After Ray graduated from SFA, they moved to Huffman, TX, where Ray served as the high school assistant principal, a math teacher, and coached football and basketball. During this time, Arlene was secretary at Southland Paper Mill, taught dance and twirling, worked as a teacher’s aide for 5th graders and special education, and served as secretary to the principal of the elementary school.
Their oldest daughter, Tosha, was born in September of 1972. Ray was working for Weed Eater Inc, as a national sales representative, and they moved to Tyler, TX. Their second daughter Tessa was born in July of 1975.
Ray and Arlene have been members of Green Acres Baptist Church since 1973, making lifelong friends along the way. Arlene was actively involved in every aspect of their daughters’ lives. She practically lived in the Suburban, running them to dance classes and other activities. She was the art and homeroom mother all throughout elementary school. She volunteered for just about every school activity, dance, Symphonettes and food pantry events. With Ray traveling across the U.S. and a quarter horse business to run, Arlene would jump on the riding lawn mower, feed the horses, and take care of their acres of land. Together, they even managed to open a fun family restaurant Todd’s Burgers and Fries.
During her daughter’s high school years, Arlene was the personal assistant for the owner of Leon’s of Tyler and stocked jewelry for Katie’s of Tyler across the Dallas and East Texas area. It was important to her to balance a part-time job with picking her two girls from school. Ray and Arlene also owned Cars on Broadway for 20 years, which has transitioned into Ray Todd LTD in Gresham.
Arlene enjoyed music, making jewelry, gardening, art, and socializing with friends and family. Ray and Arlene celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary in June of 2022. Arlene was a devoted wife, mother, sister, grandmother, and friend. She adored her granddaughter, Izzy, and loved playing dolls and making crafts with her.
Along with many other loved ones, Arlene was preceded in death by her father, mother, and younger brother Lee. Arlene is survived by her husband, Ray Todd; her daughter Tosha Todd Di Iorio and her husband, Paul Casey Di Iorio; her daughter Tessa Todd Morgan and her husband, Josh Christopher Morgan; her granddaughter, Emerald Isabella Di Iorio; her brother, DeWayne Wallace, and his wife, Sarah; her brother-in-law Jerry Todd and his wife, Pam; her sister-in-law Susan Taylor and her husband, John; her niece Sandy Wallace; her niece Janna Stock and her husband, Keith; her niece Misty Todd Townsend and her husband, Brian; her nieces Addie Emerson and Karrlie Emerson; her nephew Michael Wallace and his wife, Lisa; her nephew Todd Darby; her nephew Trey Todd and his wife, Tica; and her nephew Carson Wallace, as well as great-nieces, great-nephews, and many cousins she loved very much.
The family wishes to express their thanks and appreciation for the wonderful support of many friends, family, and the church. They are also grateful for the many members of the medical community in Tyler at UT Health and UT Health North Campus who provided such compassionate care during Arlene’s final days. If you have loved ones needing hospice, Hospice of East Texas is a special place, and the family is forever thankful for the love and care from their staff and volunteers.
In lieu of flowers or homemade meals, Arlene’s wishes are for her girls to help take good care of their dad, who has worked so hard holding her up the last couple of years. The best way to help care for him is grocery or Tyler restaurant gift cards emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Ray Todd, 5102 Eastgate Drive, Tyler, Texas 75703. For a no cost option, Arlene specifically asked for people to help make Ray laugh!
A life celebration for Arlene will be held on Friday, September 9, 2022, in the chapel at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, TX, at 2pm. Casual attire is welcome.
Please support the Cherokeean Herald by subscribing today!