Peter Wallace

Family Tribute:Volume 42, Issue 1 (pg. 8) The Newsletter of the Kayak & Canoe Club of New York

Peter G. Wallace Dies in WTC Attack

Peter G. Wallace, an avid white-water kayaker and long-time club member, was killed in the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center.

Peter was 66 years old and a vice president at Marsh & McLennan with an office on the 100th floor of the WTC north tower. He lived with his wife Charlotte in Lincoln Park, New Jersey.

“Kayaking was more than recreation for Peter. He loved it and loved his friends who did it with him,” his wife said. “He was a sane kayaker,” Charlotte Wallace added, “but he did some pretty good stuff.”

Wallace regularly paddled with KCCNY members Bill and Marge Hone, and Marge Hone said it appears his last season was his best. Wallace had a new Prijon Boxer, was doing a little surfing and “was really feeling good on the river,” she said.

“He was the one we depended on to tell us about the releases.” Marge Hone said. “He kept a log on every trip. He was a Marine and it came out. He was so organized. His gear was folded and clean. Everyone else’s was grungy.”

Wallace and his friends paddled the Upper Hudson River every Memorial Day weekend, and they regularly paddled the Mongaup, Esopus and Shepaug rivers. Wallace would have been among his friends late last September as they paddled the one-day release of the West River. The Hones and others made the trip in his honor.

Wallace is survived by his wife Charlotte; two grown daughters, Alison Smith and Reagan Koniuch; and five grandchildren, Andy, Zachary, Kristen, Lauren and Benjamin.

His son-in-law Steve Smith recalled affectionately that kayaking was Wallace’s second passion, because his grandchildren came first. “Peter loved to read to his grandkids; he was just starry eyed around them,” Smith said.

Wallace would have turned 67 on January 22. The family remembered his birthday by releasing white balloons with red and blue streamers over Long Island Sound. The balloons carried inscribed messages into the sky to the husband, father and grandfather who is missed so dearly.

This tribute was inscribed on a plaque near the Lincoln Park train station:

Peter G. Wallace: Opa's Second ChancePeter G. Wallace believed that being a grandparent was a better deal than being a parent — all of the love and almost none of the work.'We get a second chance,' said his wife, Charlotte. 'We may not have the energy, but we have a lot of patience.' Mr. Wallace had five second chances — Andy, Zachary, Kristen, Lauren and Benjamin. They called him 'Opa' and 'Pa.'Mr. Wallace, 66, still worked as a vice president at Marsh & McLennan, but he always had enough time to read to his grandchildren. The titles he read were the same enduring Dr. Seuss classics from his daughters’ childhood — 'The Cat in the Hat' and 'Green Eggs and Ham.' When one grandson wanted a story read, he would pull the glasses out of Peter’s shirt pocket and hand them to him.A few days after Sept. 11, Zachary, 5, looked up and exclaimed that he saw a star against the daytime sky. His skeptical father looked up, and surprisingly enough there was a shimmering white speck fixed against the blue. What could that be, asked the father. The boy responded confidently, 'That’s a star from God to show that we miss Pa.' Copyright (c) 2001 by The New York Times Co. Reprinted by permission.

We shall never forget our friendsand neighborsWho rode with us that morningBut did not return with us that night.

May this tree serve as a Living MemorialTo all those who perishedIn the tragic attack onThe World Trade Center.Forget not, those friends who at one time lived in Lincoln Park,and are never to return.

Peter G. Wallace believed that being a grandparent was a better deal than being a parent — all of the love and almost none of the work.

Mr. Wallace, 66, still worked as a vice president at Marsh & McLennan, but he always had enough time to read to his grandchildren. The titles he read were the same enduring Dr. Seuss classics from his daughters’ childhood — 'The Cat in the Hat' and 'Green Eggs and Ham.' When one grandson wanted a story read, he would pull the glasses out of Peter’s shirt pocket and hand them to him.A few days after Sept. 11, Zachary, 5, looked up and exclaimed that he saw a star against the daytime sky. His skeptical father looked up, and surprisingly enough there was a shimmering white speck fixed against the blue. What could that be, asked the father. The boy responded confidently, 'That’s a star from God to show that we miss Pa.' Copyright (c) 2001 by The New York Times Co. Reprinted by permission.

'We get a second chance,' said his wife, Charlotte. 'We may not have the energy, but we have a lot of patience.' Mr. Wallace had five second chances — Andy, Zachary, Kristen, Lauren and Benjamin. They called him 'Opa' and 'Pa.'

A few days after Sept. 11, Zachary, 5, looked up and exclaimed that he saw a star against the daytime sky. His skeptical father looked up, and surprisingly enough there was a shimmering white speck fixed against the blue. What could that be, asked the father. The boy responded confidently, 'That’s a star from God to show that we miss Pa.' Copyright (c) 2001 by The New York Times Co. Reprinted by permission.

Mr. Wallace, 66, still worked as a vice president at Marsh & McLennan, but he always had enough time to read to his grandchildren. The titles he read were the same enduring Dr. Seuss classics from his daughters’ childhood — 'The Cat in the Hat' and 'Green Eggs and Ham.' When one grandson wanted a story read, he would pull the glasses out of Peter’s shirt pocket and hand them to him.

A few days after Sept. 11, Zachary, 5, looked up and exclaimed that he saw a star against the daytime sky. His skeptical father looked up, and surprisingly enough there was a shimmering white speck fixed against the blue. What could that be, asked the father. The boy responded confidently, 'That’s a star from God to show that we miss Pa.' Copyright (c) 2001 by The New York Times Co. Reprinted by permission.

Copyright (c) 2001 by The New York Times Co. Reprinted by permission.

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It's been a very long time. I didn't post on this tribute, as I always felt that I couldn't choose my most heartfelt thoughts adequately enough to honor my Dad, as he deserves. I simply want to say that I had a Dad that worked so very hard to provide for his family. He was a good man, and he adored his grandchildren. He worked hard in our church, and he had strong morals, values, and principles. He was my hero. I know he is watching over all of us and waiting until we can all be together again...We miss him and will remember him and love him always. Reagan Wallace Koniuch
Reagan Wallace Koniuch, Family
May 5 2013 1:55PM
RIP Peter G. Wallace, died 9-11-01. Time passes but your smile endures......dq Peter is remembered with a plaque at the War on Terrorism Sculpture, Airport Park, Matamoras PA, which was dedicated on 9-11-11 in his memory. Peter's life and death were the inspiration for the sculpture.
Don Quick, Friend
Sep 10 2012 9:17PM
I did not know Peter but I recently found out that we shared the same name including our middle initial. As a result, I always think of Peter on the Anniversary of 9/11. Peter G. Wallace Ottawa, Canada
Peter G Wallace, Friend
Sep 9 2011 12:42PM
Rest in peace my friend, til we meet again.
Pete, Family
Oct 8 2010 1:00AM
In memory of Peter G. Wallace, a father, husband, grandfather, and friend. A Marine veteran of the Korean War. The individual with the highest moral values I have ever known. My canoeing and kayaking partner from 1974 until his death September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center, simply because he went to work. Semper Fidelis (from my Facebook page today)
Don Quick, Friend
Sep 11 2010 12:05PM
My name is Kristen Koniuch, the first grandaughter to be brought into both my oma and opa's lives. I'm sad to say that i can't remember my opa all that much, seeing to the fact that I was only five when the tradgity happend, but when I think of him now, the fist thing I remember was how excited I'd always be to hear when he or we were visiting. I remember how forgiving, generous, and caring he always was...I remember most how on his birthday following 9/11, we let go of all those ballons, and they each had a special note attached to them. I remember that I wrote 15 or more little cards to him, each attached, and I drew a picture along with a story of all the times I remembered with him and each said how much i loved him and how much i would miss him...I was worried my ballon was too heavy, and wouldnt be able to make it all the way to heaven where I knew he was. I don't think I knew what happned right at first, it was all so random and sudden, but i remember crying with my brother later in his room. I miss him so much as does the rest of my family, and i'd also like to thank everyone who submitted words of kindness toward my opa. <3
Kristen Koniuch, Family
Feb 24 2010 4:23PM
I was recently told of the WTC Run to Remember that was held in New York on Sept. 6 this year. Although I live in Arizona, I signed up and asked that a friend run in my place. Each runner was given a name of a 9/11 victim. I was given Peter Wallace's name. I am so glad I found this website. I wanted to put a face to Peter's name and know a little about him. He sounds like he put his family as his number one priority. My husband and I feel the same. We just hade our two children marry this past year and look forward to a future that includes grandchildren. I don't want to forget the people that we lost on 9/11 and am proud to have been give Peter's name. I had to make a selection under the 'relationship' category and I hope you don't mind that I selected 'friend.' I feel we could have been. I am a 58-year-old that loves to run and cycle and it sounds like Peter enjoyed recreation activity and being outdoors like me. God bless his family.
Mariana Schaffer, Friend
Sep 13 2009 8:38PM
Lauren- I was 3 years old when the towers collapsed on 9/11. I cant remember much about my opa but I do remember that I loved him very much <33333333. Sam- I am one of Laurens very good friends and we pretend that we are sisters. So tecnicatly hes my opa too but just not blood related. Im sure you were a great man. R.I.P.
Lauren Koniuch and Sam Cuomo, Family
Jul 17 2009 5:26PM
My name is Andy Koniuch, the first grandchild to be brought into the lives of my Oma and Opa. My whole family was devistated when the towers collapsed, I was on my bed crying watching the news about what was occuring. I am 16 years old right now, and after reading this I still become choked up. My grandfather was always sincere and caring towards myself and sisters, and I miss him dearly, as does my whole family. Thank you for posting these kind words about my him.
Andy Koniuch, Family
Dec 31 2008 1:42AM
It has been three years since Peter passed was taken away. He and his family, especially his lovely wife Charlotte, are in my mind today. I wish them love and God's blessings.
Jess Galchutt, Friend
Sep 11 2004 12:34PM
I worked with Peter at 1185 6th Ave for A&A; (later known as AON). I started in 1975 until I left in Oct 1993. I will always remember his friendly deminer, always happy and willing to help his co-workers in the Claims Dept. It is so hard to know that he left A&A; and is no longer here. His life was cut short by people who did not know him or his family. May you rest in peace. You are missed by all of your former colleagues and co-workers of both companies.
SUSAN MONTE LUCIANO, Colleague
Aug 3 2002 12:13AM