Friends and family bid final goodbye to former ABC30 anchor John Wallace

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The legacy he leaves behind extends far beyond journalism, and John was a humble guy who never ran out of causes to support. (KFSN)

We said goodbye Monday to former Action News anchor John Wallace who was a friend and mentor to many of us.

Wallace passed away a week ago at the age of 71. The legacy he leaves behind extends far beyond journalism, and John was a humble guy who never ran out of causes to support.

For much of his life, Wallace's wife Cheri and kids had to share him with Valley viewers and so many organizations.

Wallace was eulogized at People's Church as everyone's personal cheerleader 24/7, he was always on because he was a popular news anchor and familiar face in the community.

"But life forced him to flip the off switch the last 10 years," his son-in-law Trent Dilfer explained. "For so many people, that probably felt that the last 10 were the hardest. What I think we want you to know, from a family's perspective, they were the richest."

Wallace died at the age of 71 from complications of COPD. Colleagues remember the hand-written and typed words of encouragement which later became Facebook messages.

Wallace knew the impact a note can have. He kept one sent by a kid named David Carmichael when John moved to Fresno.

"I am 9-and-a-half years old, but I think you do the news better than anybody," said Paul Loeffler, reading the letter. "You have a beautiful voice. I don't know how much money you're making for doing the news, but you should get a raise."

Johm Wallace-Franzman shortened his name professionally when he broke into broadcasting in the Bay Area.

"He shows up for a radio gig and they say, 'What's your name?' He says, 'John Franzman,' and they said that doesn't sound right," pastor Brad Bell with The Well said. "'What's your middle name?' And he said, 'Well, Wallace. That's it.'"

Wallace anchored at KFSN-TV between 1975 and 1987 and helped Action News soar to new heights. He raised the bar high for everyone in the industry.

For over 25 years, Wallace has worked closely with the Westcare Foundation, a nonprofit which serves those dealing with substance abuse and mental health issues.

Westcare plans to name a new facility after John.
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