SPC’s Military Consultant to the Surgeon General

September 18, 2018

Public Information Officer


One late former St. Philip's College faculty member left a great legacy of service to her country and her industry before passing just before the start of the fall 2019 class season.

The former faculty member is Dr. Clara Beatrice Wallace, retired USAF colonel (1936-2018).

Wallace was commissioned into the United States Air Force as a second lieutenant during the Cold War, in 1961. The 1959 alumna of Prairie View A&M University's College of Nursing received her bachelor of science in nursing, passed state boards, and worked as a nursing instructor at the university before joining the Air Force.

Wallace did not enter her profession expecting to become the Pentagon’s consultant to the U.S. Surgeon General, but that is one of her notable acts of public service on the way to teaching students at St. Philip’s College.

Her military duties and titles ranged from flight nurse and to Military Consultant to the Surgeon General, according to her obituary. One of many standout images of Wallace in the photo gallery of her online obituary includes Wallace on duty amid the grime, glam and truly dangerous spy games of the Berlin Wall, an iconic image that could have been the inspiration for the many good and patriotic characters of the 2017 action film Atomic Blonde. Wallace earned a master’s in nursing from The University of Washington (1967), and was a veteran of such military campaigns as the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm/Shield before retiring from the Air Force in in 1992 after 30 years of military service.

The nursing students of St. Philip's College entered Wallace's radar between post-retirement employment as a nursing instructor at Baptist Health System and director of nursing at the San Antonio State School. 

Wallace was a career Airman, a career nurse and a career learner, according to her obituary.

"In 2007 at the age of 71, she completed her doctorate in nursing with a specialization in nursing leadership... She is survived by her husband of 51 years, CSM (USA, Ret.), Willie B. Wallace, Jr. of San Antonio, Tx; son, Maj (USAF) Willie (Trey) B. Wallace, III (Jennifer) of Norman OK; daughter, Maj (USAF)," according to her obituary.

The family recommends that memorial contributions may be made to: Prairie View Nurses Alumni Chapter Colonel Clara B. Wallace Scholarship Fund 6436 Fannin St., Suite 102 Houston, TX 77030. 

Read the Sept. 1 e-obituary on the career Airman and member of SPC’s faculty alumni at her Dignity Memorial web page.