A celebration of Jim Wallace’s life is scheduled for November 17 at Cherry Hills Country Club in Denver, from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Jim Wallace, long-time oil man, staunch supporter of local causes, active volunteer, philanthropist and highly respected Colorado businessman died on Nov. 5, 2015.

Jim Wallace - Colorado Business Hall of Fame video.jpg

Jim Wallace

Oil & Gas 360® put together impressions of Jim Wallace from two of the people who knew him well.

A role model and a hero of mine my whole life

“Jim Wallace was as good as they come. He was a role model and a hero of mine my whole life.” That is how Bill Armstrong, president and CEO of Armstrong Oil & Gas, characterizes Jim Wallace.

Bill Armstrong

Bill Armstrong, president and CEO, Armstrong Oil & Gas Inc.

“Jim was a rare individual, one of the truly great men I have known in my life.  Always there with a smile and encouraging words.  He was a true man of his word—I cannot tell you how many times I saw him do the right thing when most people would have done the opposite.

“He has always been a major role model of mine, and a role model for so many others.  I am honored to have known and worked with him.”

One of those extraordinary people who could help other people achieve their goals

Tom Petrie

Tom Petrie, chairman, Petrie Partners

Tom Petrie, chairman of Petrie Partners, said it this way: “Jim Wallace was one of the most persuasive and persistent human beings—in terms of being focused on other people’s needs and interests.

“He was one of those extraordinary people who could take in what’s going on and help other people achieve their goals. He was a mentor who could convey wisdom and insight to others with humor and good judgement.”

California beginnings

James B. Wallace was a Southern California native who grew up in Long Beach. He was graduated from the University of Southern California, served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War, and afterward moved to Abilene, Texas, to go into the oil business.

The Colorado Business Hall of Fame summarized Jim Wallace’s oil career when he was inducted in 2010:

“In 1970, Wallace and his associates moved their operations to Denver and, shortly thereafter, Joe Bander joined the partnership. Brownlie, Wallace, Armstrong and Bander was very active throughout the Rockies during the 1970s and in 1980, and formed BWAB Incorporated and Brownlie, Wallace, Armstrong and Bander Exploration. Wallace served on the board of directors of Tom Brown Inc. until its sale to EnCana Oil and Gas USA Inc. He also served on the boards of Delta Petroleum, Ellora Energy and Savant Resources.

“He was recognized as Man of the Year by the Denver Petroleum Club in 1981. In addition, Wallace received the 1986 Wildcatter of the Year award from the Independent Petroleum Association of the Mountain States in recognition of his 30 years of active participation in oil and gas exploration throughout the western half of the United States and the mid-continent region. He was honored by the Colorado Petroleum Association with its 1991 Man of the Year Award and was inducted into the Rocky Mountain Oil & Gas Hall of Fame in 2004. He is also a member of the All-American Wildcatters group and the 25-Year Club of the Petroleum Industry.”

A legacy of affectionate leadership

One of the organizations for which Jim Wallace employed his penchant for persistence was the Denver Art Museum, where he was a member of the board of trustees and was actively involved in building and supporting collections. This essay, which originally appeared in Resource Library in March 2008, characterizes Jim Wallace’s dedication to and involvement with the art of the Denver Art Museum.

A celebration of Jim Wallace’s life is scheduled for November 17 at Cherry Hills Country Club in Denver, from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.


Denver Post Obituary

James B. Wallace of Greenwood Village, Colorado, died peacefully at home surrounded by his family on November 5, 2015. The son of the late Carleton S. Wallace and Alice W. Wallace of Long Beach, California, Jim was born March 23, 1929 in Hollywood, California, and raised in nearby Long Beach, where he played football and ran track at Long Beach Poly High school. He attended the University of Southern California and graduated in 1951 with a degree in business administration. After serving in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War, he moved to Abilene, Texas, to pursue a career in the oil business. While in Abilene, he met the love of his life and married Lucy B. Haynie. He noted later that his marriage was the greatest success of his life. With the rapidly growing oil business in the Rockies, Jim moved his young family including four sons to Denver in 1970. He co-founded BWAB Inc., which would grow into a successful exploration and production company with numerous fields and wells throughout the Rockies. In 1981, the Denver Petroleum Club named him Man of the Year, and he was IPAMS Wildcatter of the Year in 1986. He would go on to be inducted into the All-American Wildcatters in 1992, the Rocky Mountain Oil and Gas Hall of Fame in 2004, and finally into the Colorado Business Hall of Fame in 2010. Jim was very active in the Denver community and served on many non-profit boards of directors, including the Denver Art Museum, Boy Scouts of America, Colorado Uplift, Healing our Heroes, the C. M. Russell Museum, and Ace Scholarships. Jim was an accomplished golfer and avid fly fisherman. A man of great faith, Jim was a member of Christ Episcopal Church. Recognized as the definition of a gentleman, Jim will be remembered for his warm and generous heart, his honesty, and his integrity. Jim is survived by his wife of 56 years, Lucy H. Wallace; and his four sons, John R., Tom C., David W., and Mark S. Wallace; their wives; 11 grandchildren: Jimmy, Bevin, Sammy, Will, Nalu, Madeline, John, Sean, Lauren, Carleton, and Catie Wallace; as well as his brother and best friend, John C. Wallace of Long Beach, California. Gifts in memory of Jim can be made to Colorado Uplift (coloradouplift.org; 3914 King St, Denver, CO 80211) or Christ Episcopal Church (christchurchdenver.org; 2950 S. University Blvd., Denver, CO 80210). A celebration of Jim's life will be held on November 17 at Cherry Hills Country Club from 4-6 p.m.

Published in the Denver Post on Nov. 8, 2015  

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