Dr. William and Candy Wallace
William (Bill) and Candy Wallace are fixtures in the Canton community, involved in everything from United Way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival to various Aultman Health Foundation boards and committees. They have donated countless hours of time and considerable dollars, but they seek no recognition for their contributions. They just want to make a difference.
Bill and Candy met at Kenyon College, married after graduation and then went to graduate school at Case Western Reserve University to study medicine and nursing, respectively. “I wanted to live in the mountains, and Candy wanted to live on the sea shore,” Bill recalled. “Once we had our first child, we determined it was best to stay close to my family in Cleveland and Candy’s family in Medina.” Bill accepted a radiology position at Aultman Hospital, and Candy quickly became introduced to the Women’s Board. “When Bill got hired at Aultman, one of the doctor’s wives in the radiology practice suggested I join the Women’s Board,” Candy said. “I thought it would be a good way to meet people and make new friends.” Candy has been an active Women’s Board member ever since. She chaired the 1990 Angel Auction committee, served as Women’s Board vice president from 1999-2001 and board president from 2001-2003. She was instrumental in conceptualizing the Aultman Compassionate Care Center, Stark County’s first inpatient hospice center, and bringing it to fruition.
“My dad had four heart attacks and a terrible end-of-life experience. My mom planned what she wanted for her end-of-life care, and her time in a hospice facility wasn’t what I thought it would be,” Candy shared. “Mom loved nature, and she spent the last five days of her life looking at a paved parking lot outside her hospice window.” That experience got Candy thinking about bringing end-of-life care in a homelike setting to Stark County. “We spent eight years researching and benchmarking. Once plans for the facility were announced, we were overwhelmed by the community support,” she said. “With the Compassionate Care Center, Aultman could truly offer ‘wrap-around care.’ You can give birth, get midlife treatment and endof-life care – all at one hospital.” Among their many contributions, Bill and Candy funded a playground on the Compassionate Care Center campus. “We have siblings in education, and they talked about a child’s need to play even in situations like going to visit a dying relative,” Candy explained. “We wanted to create a place where kids could play and be safe.”
While Candy concentrated on Women’s Board projects, Bill has served on the boards for Aultman College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Aultman Health Foundation and Aultman Hospital. “You learn pretty quickly that you like to serve and want to continue – or you just can’t afford the time,” Bill said. “I wanted to make sure I fulfilled my commitments as a board member while maintaining my focus on patient care.” Bill served on the original Aultman College board that launched in 2004. “I served as medical director for the radiography certificate program at Aultman Hospital before it became a degree-granting program of Aultman College,” he shared. “That’s why the college asked me to be on the board initially. I found it interesting and served on the board for 12 years.”
The Wallaces credit their community-minded parents with teaching them about volunteerism. “I grew up watching my parents serve the community,” Bill recalled. “They didn’t force me to do anything – but suggested things I should do or would like to do. Candy and I were a little more definitive on how we wanted our kids to contribute to the community.” Today, Bill and Candy have four children and seven grandchildren (with one on the way). They have set an amazing example for their family on the value of making a difference. “I worked for 10-12 years and then was able to dedicate my time to volunteering,” Candy offered. “The time I give to community organizations feels useful. I don’t earn money for the hours I devote to volunteerism, but I get paid emotionally.”