Fallen Deputy to be Inducted into Hall of Fame for His Referee Work

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STANISLAUS COUNTY -- It has been nearly two years since Stanislaus County Deputy Dennis Wallace was shot and killed in the line of duty.

What many people don't know though about Deputy Wallace is that he was a high school football official. Next month he will be inducted into the Sac-Joaquin Section Hall of Fame.

"I can't help but miss him when I put on my football uniform ... my reffing uniform because this is what we did together and this is another piece that is missing," Wallace's brother, Dave, told FOX40.

Dennis Wallace and his brother were not just in law enforcement together, they enforced the rules on the football field Friday nights all across Stanislaus County.

For more than 25 years it was a job he took seriously, all the way down to how he dressed on the field.

"'Honey, I have to order a new shirt and I have to order new pants,'" said Dennis Wallace's wife, Mercedes. "He would start getting his bag ready. So, it was like come June I'm a football widow."

"Dennis always kept it about the kids. So, when we were on the football field we weren't there for us, we were there so the kids could play football," said Rudy Skultety, who is the head of officials.

Dennis Wallace had a unique way of keeping it light out on the football field, but that didn't always mesh with his younger brother.

"Dennis hated throwing flags," Dave Wallace said.

"Dennis was a peacemaker. Dennis did not like confrontations," Mercedes Wallace said.

"He was very insistent that you know your job. He was insistent that you knew the rules," Skultety said. "But he was also insistent that you had fun. If the game started going a little south, where it was getting rough, he seemed to have a way of breaking the tension."

All of that came to an abrupt halt in November of 2016, when Deputy Wallace was shot and killed while investigating a stolen vehicle at Fox Grove Park in Hughson.

Almost two years later those close to him are thrilled that come next month Dennis Wallace will be honored for all he did as an official when he is inducted into the Sac-Joaquin Section Hall of Fame. Mostly because his time as a football referee really reflected who and what he stood for as a person.

"He felt good helping people. He did, he cared about the kids," Mercedes Wallace said. "Try to remember how my Dennis lived. Passing it forward and doing good."

Dennis Wallace will be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame on Oct. 21.


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