WALLACE, Joseph (Joey) Francis, 62, of Richmond, Va., departed this life on February 24. He is survived by his wife, the love of his life Jeanne Wallace; and two beloved sons Sam and James Wallace, his sister Rita Burke and her husband Frederic and two brothers, Terry Wallace, his wife Haas and Patrick Wallace. In addition he is survived by many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews. He was the son of Margaret and Dr. Joseph J. Wallace. He grew up in Bethesda, MD, graduated from Walt Whitman HS., earned his undergraduate at Boston College, his Master's at University of Maine, and received his Doctorate at VCU in Richmond, VA.
A lifelong Redskins fan and Deadhead, Joey dedicated his career to the service of people with disabilities, and his work touched and changed the lives of thousands. He developed innovative and much-needed programs at the Bureau of Mental Retardation in Lewiston, Maine, and at Southside Virginia training center, the Virginia Assistive Technology Service, The Partnership for People with Disabilities, the Assistive Technology Loan Fund Authority and the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA). He was currently serving as director of RESNA's Catalyst Project in Washington, DC, commuting weekly between his office and home in Richmond, and he continued to travel the world consulting on low interest assistive technology loan programs. For twenty years, he taught a class on disability studies at John Tyler Community College. He enjoyed spending time at his beach house "Wally World" in the outer banks.
Joey once explained his life's mission as "breaking down barriers that hold people back." A relentless and quietly forceful advocate for people with disabilities, Joey's compassionate attention to all he met and his heartfelt refusal to accept categories that separate us from each other won him the monicker The Doctor of Love. Joey's friendships range back to infancy and around the world. As his longtime colleague Ken Knorr recalls, "he was the world's best listener, and did not know how to burn a bridge." His example of how to live a good and loving life is his real legacy to all who knew him.