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Obituary – Ardith I. Wallace

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Ardith (Ardi) Irene Wallace passed from this life February 1, 2023, in Las Animas.  She was born October 4, 1946, in Ogden, Utah, to Vincent A. and Dorothy I. (Manhart) Manning.  Ardi graduated from Aurora Central High School in 1964.  Her high school activities included Girls’ Athletic Association, Future Teachers of America, pep club/flag drill and performance team, and National Honor Society. 

Ardi attended Colorado State University from 1964 to 1968, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocational Home Economics Education with a concentration in science and occupational therapy.  Activities at CSU included Kappa Delta Sorority, Army CaDettes, Student Colorado Education Association, and American Home Economics Association. 

Ardi began her career teaching home economics, science, art, and girls physical education at Timnath Junior High from 1968 to 1970.  She then returned to school, receiving a Master of Education degree from Colorado State University in 1971 with concentrations in vocational education and occupational therapy.   She also completed a special education endorsement for the physically handicapped from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley in 1973. 

Ardi then taught junior/senior high school education for the physically handicapped at Boettcher School in Denver from 1971 to 1977.

While attending a vocational education conference, Ardi met Frank Wallace, a vocational agriculture teacher.  The couple married in June of 1977, and Ardi moved to Las Animas to Frank’s family farm. 

The couple welcomed two daughters and one son from 1978 to 1980.  Ardi spent 10 years raising a family and working alongside her husband and children while volunteering as a Girl/Boy Scout leader/sponsor, 4-H leader, church Sunday school teacher, and more. 

Once her children started in public school, Ardi served as the Homebound Educator for Las Animas Schools from 1989 to 1990.  She then began a career at Otero Junior College in 1990 serving as a vocational resource assistant, then transitioning to the coordinator for the Computer Access Center in 1992.  In 2004, Ardi transitioned to serve as the Chair of the Arts Department at Otero Junior College and served in this role until her retirement in 2009.  Countless faculty and students' lives were positively impacted by her patient love for teaching.    

In retirement, Ardi continued her volunteer service to the community serving as the recycling coordinator for Las Animas and as a volunteer at Bent’s Old Fort.

Ardi was preceded in death by her parents, Vincent A. and Dorothy Manning. 

Ardi is survived by her husband, Frank Wallace of Las Animas; daughter, Samme (Brenton) Ormiston and grandchildren, Dylen and Jacey, of Manzanola; daughter, Megan (Wes) Eikner of Amarillo, Texas; son, Dustin (Addie) Wallace and grandchildren, Kree and Pace, of Las Animas.  

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 11:00 a.m. March 18, 2023, at the First United Methodist Church in Las Animas.

The family invites you to support Arkansas Valley Hospice, Inc., Bent County Healthcare Center, or a charity of your choice in honor of Ardi.

Arrangements are under the direction of Valley Funeral & Cremation.