Norma Jean Lessel Wallace
(July 13, 1930 – April 26, 2017)
Norma Jean Lessel Wallace, 86, went to be with the Lord on April 26, 2017, while at the Sanctuary House in Tupelo. She was the only child of Charles Edward and Buna Wise Lessel born on July 13, 1930 in Union County, Mississippi in the New Harmony community. She married James Leo Wallace from the Pinedale community on May 5, 1951, and they were married almost 50 years until his death in February 2001.
She graduated from New Harmony High School and worked at Kellwood Mfg. in Oxford, Munsingwear in New Albany, and retired at age 76 from her cashier position at Walmart in New Albany where she made many lasting friendships.
After her marriage and move to the Pinedale community, she became a member of Salem United Methodist Church, serving as a devoted member and cluster representative. She was formerly a member of New Harmony Baptist Church.
She was lovingly called “Mama Jean” by her first grandchild, and this tradition continued with the rest of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren and extends to a host of other family and friends.
She is survived by two daughters, Kathryn Henderson of Etta and Sharon Hendrix (Terry) of Olive Branch; five grandchildren, Michelle Suzanne Thompson, Grant Wallace Hendrix, Emily Grace Hendrix, Timothy Ray Henderson (Ashley), and Jaime Henderson Collier (Jason); and seven great-grandchildren, Parker Owen, Lake and Evie Rae Henderson, Jack Rutherford, and Bolden, Sydney, and Kent Collier.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Charles Edward and Buna Wise Lessel; her husband, James Leo Wallace; two brothers-in-law, Loyt Wallace (Elsie) and Jewel Wallace (Winnie); a sister-in-law, Hettie Mae Wallace Pickens (Curry) and her son-in-law, Danny Henderson.
Services will be Saturday, April 29 at 1:00 p.m. at Salem United Methodist Church, 1521 State Road 355, Etta, MS. Graveside services will follow at the church cemetery. Visitation will be from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Friday, April 28 at United Funeral Service, 700 Highway 15 South, New Albany, MS.
Pallbearers will be her first cousins, Lamar Wise, Ralph Wise, Danny Rowland, Jackie Rowan, Steve Lessel, and Johnny Little.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the United Methodist Children’s Home, 805 North Flag Chapel Road, Jackson, MS 39209 or Salem United Methodist Church, 1521 State Road 355, Etta, MS 38627.