In Memoriam : General Wallace Nutting

General Wallace Nutting General Wallace Hall Nutting - age: 95
(June 03, 1928 to August 17, 2023 )
Resident of Saco, Maine

Visitation Information:
A private service will be held followed by a public interment with military honors at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Saco Thursday, August 24, 2023, at 10:45 AM. Dennett, Craig & Pate Funeral Home, Saco, Maine has been entrusted with his arrangements.

The family requests donations be made to: Wounded Warrior Project, 4899 Belfort Road Suite 300, Jacksonville, FL 32256 or the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute-University of Southern Maine, P.O. Box 9300, Portland, ME 04104.

SACO - General Wallace Hall Nutting, 95, moved from life to life Thursday, August 17, 2023, at Seal Rock Healthcare in Saco, Maine, surrounded by family. He was born June 3, 1928, in Newton, MA, the son of Gerry and Ethel Nutting.
Wallace attended schools in Saco and joined the Maine State National Guard at the age of 14 from 1942-1944. After graduation from Phillips Exeter Academy, Wallace attended the West Point Military Academy. He graduated in 1950 in the last class of Cavalry Officers. Shortly after graduation, he married Jane Anne Walker in the First Parish Congregational Church in Saco where they first met when they were 12. They were married for 72 years until Jane’s death in 2022. While on their honeymoon, the Korean War broke out and Wallace was sent to Korea.
Wallace saw combat in the Korean War and received the Silver Star and the Soldier’s Medal. The latter was for rescuing a wounded Korean woman from a minefield. He also received two Purple Hearts for his service in Korea.
His commands included two tours in the Vietnam War; the 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry, 4th Infantry Division in Vietnam; the 3rd Armored Division; United States Southern Command from 1979-1983; and United States Readiness Command from 1983-1985. The Division of Support Command Commander said of him, “I have not served with a finer leader in my nearly 34 years of service.” Ambler Moss, Ambassador to Panama when Wallace served as Commander in Chief of the Southern Command recalled, “The times were challenging…the security issues too numerous to mention. It is no exaggeration to say that Wally Nutting set the tone and policies for SOUTHCOM’s successful management of the Panama Canal treaties.” Wallace and Jane spent 7 years in Germany, four years in Latin America, and the rest either in the D.C. area or ‘good tank country’ including Kentucky, Texas, and Kansas. He retired in 1985 and Wallace and Jane’s 22nd move was back to Maine.
In Maine, Wallace continued his life of service. He was a member of the Maine Cancer Research and Education Foundation; York County YMCA Board; Pine Tree Council of Boy Scouts of America. He and Jane were active members of the First Parish Congregational Church. He was a member of the Association of the U.S. Army in Washington, D.C.; Armor Association; Retired Officers Association; Life Member of the 11th Cavalry Association. He was a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Higher Defense Studies at the National Defense University and an Associate Fellow at the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. He was a founding member and Chairman of the University of Southern Maine’s Senior College Board.
In 2003, Wallace was urged to run for mayor in Biddeford, Maine. Elected, he ran again two years later unopposed. The Biddeford-Saco Chamber of Commerce president said, “General Nutting has set the bar to a new, higher level. He has done it by deeds, not words. He has led by example, and his legacy will be one of outstanding achievement.”
On May 28, 2008, Wallace Nutting received the West Point Distinguished Graduate Award from the Academy’s Association of Graduates in a ceremony at West Point. He was recognized as a soldier, statesman, educator, and civic leader who served his country with integrity and distinction throughout a lifetime of dedicated service and achievement. His life exemplified the principles expressed in the motto of the United States Military Academy: Duty, Honor, and Country.
His career accomplishments speak to his national and international impact. He always emphasized the importance of the next generations and the goodness in children. Though an imposing military figure, as one of his grandsons wrote in a song “He’s a gentle man with a steady hand-in spite of all he saw.” Wallace Nutting’s children and grandchildren are proud of his legacy, but he was just Dad or Grandpa. There are memories of beach days, camping trips, and hikes. He loved talking to young people and patiently explained current events and family history. He admitted in a 2001 interview that his career put a strain on his family and credited his beloved Jane with keeping the family together. Transfers of duty stations often led to side trips to ski or camp or visit historical sites.
Wallace is survived by his daughter, Elizabeth (Nutting) Hood of Old Orchard Beach, ME; son John Trent Nutting (Debbi) of Charleston, S. C.; daughter Katherine (Nutting) Haughs (Mark) of Oxford, AL; and Sally (Nutting) Somes (Barry) of Yarmouth, ME; nine grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. His brother, William, pre-deceased him.
The family would like to thank the Seal Rock Healthcare and Beacon Hospice caregivers for their compassionate care of Wallace.

Patricia Peterson - August 26, 2023Contact this person Contact this person
I was honored to attend the burial services for Wallace and his wife, Jane. I extend my heartfelt sympathy to their son, John, his sisters and their families.

John Gillis - September 29, 2023Contact this person Contact this person
In June 1978 General (then MG) Nutting selected me to be his Command Sergeant Major. The General (and his wife) remained part of our lives for the next 45 years. He served his Country and later his community with the same enlightened leadership that made those around him eager to follow. “Spearhead” General.


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