Wallace M. Coburn, age 92, passed away in the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts on Saturday, August 24, 2019. Born Wallace M. Cockburn in Glasgow, Scotland on July 21, 1927, he was the son of the late George and Agnes (Milligan) Cockburn. He was raised in Glasgow, receiving his formal education at Allen Glens School. After completing his basic education, Wallace took an apprentice position, working with a local mechanic.
In 1948, Wallace immigrated to the United States of America, landing in New York City. He traveled to Milton, Massachusetts, where he lived with his aunts, and found mechanic’s work with Johnson Bus Lines in Medway. Two years later, in 1950, Wallace was drafted into the United States Army, proudly serving his new country during the Korean War. He was stationed in Japan with the 578th Engineer Combat Battalion, where he served as a wheeled vehicle mechanic. Wallace was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in October of 1952, after earning the rank of Sergeant.
Upon his return home to Massachusetts, Wallace enrolled in the Chauncey School in Boston, earning his High School Equivalency Diploma. He continued his education, first attending Tufts University, before completing his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Northeastern University in 1960. With his new degree in hand, Wallace earned a position at Metal Bellows in Walpole, Massachusetts, working as a draftsman.
Wallace married his beloved wife, Sandra E. Trenholm, on July 1, 1961 in the Presbyterian Church in Mattapan. Together, they made their home in West Bridgewater, and in addition to working at Metal Bellows, Wallace returned to his education, earning a second bachelor’s degree from Northeastern in 1964, this time with a focus on business administration. As Wallace and Sandra welcomed their children, they found a growing need for a new home. In 1965, the family settled in Walpole, Massachusetts, allowing Wallace a shorter commute to his office.
Wallace left Metal Bellows for a short time, taking the Human Resources Director’s job at Somerville Hospital. However, he returned to Metal Bellows, under the new owner, who requested that Wallace take over the Human Resources Department. He continued working at Metal Bellows until his retirement in 1990, having served more than 30 years with the company. Following his retirement, Wallace worked as a security officer at Boston Scientific in Quincy before taking a security position at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. While working at Gillette, Wallace was noticed for his professionalism and was assigned to Mr. Kraft’s elevator. He continued working as a security officer for 10 years, before retiring in 2015.
Throughout his life, Wallace remained close to his Scottish heritage. As a young man, Wallace’s father, George, brought him into the Masons, and he remained an active member for 70 years, most recently serving as a member with Azure Lodge in Walpole. He also played the bass drum with several pipe and drum bands, including being a member of Worcester Kiltie, Clan Sutherland, and Rhode Island Highlanders. As an avid football (soccer) fan, Wallace always enjoyed cheering for his hometown team, the Glasgow Rangers.
When he wasn’t hard at work, Wallace enjoyed volunteering with the Walpole Chamber of Commerce, and was the past president. He could be found walking all over the Town of Walpole, sometimes to just mail a letter at the downtown post office. However, most of all, he was dedicated to his family and especially loved spending time with his grandchildren.
Beloved husband of Sandra E. (Trenholm) Coburn.
Loving father of Elaine W. Park and her husband, Samuel, of Walpole, Laura E. Ball and her husband, Spencer, of Wayland, Alexandra B. Tisdale and her husband, Benjamin, of Boston, and Victoria A. Coburn of Salem, New Hampshire.
Cherished grandfather of Cameron, Sydney, Avery, Devon, Ian, Connor, Anya, and Wallace.
Brother of the late Alexander “Sandy” Cockburn.
Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend Wallace’s Life Celebration on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 from 4 to 7 PM in the James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, 48 Common Street, Walpole. A Funeral Service will be held in the Bradford Lewis Hall of the United Church, 30 Common Street, Walpole on Thursday, August 29, 2019 at 11:00 AM. Interment will be private at the request of Wallace’s family. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Scots Charitable Society, at https://scots-charitable.org/
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