Wallace Gordon Ellinger - Obituary

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
March 17, 2007

Ellinger, Wallace Gordon 88, was born Aug. 24, 1918 in Webster Groves. He served in the Air Force from 1942-1946, and graduated from Conception College with in 1949, and Kenrick Seminary in 1953. He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest. As a parish priest, he was dedicated to social justice and welfare. He was chairman of the Missouri Delta Ecumenical Ministry, which provided credit unions, and legal aid services from Springfield to Cape Girardeau; chairman of the Bootheel Comprehensive Health Planning Council; chairman of Social Concerns for the Missouri Catholic Conference; and on the Task Force for Corrections of the Missouri Director for Public Safety. He was Area Director for the Extension Volunteer Program (similar to VISTA) as well as the Papal Volunteer Program for Latin America. After 23 years, he received a papal dispensation to leave the priesthood. He married Ruth Hunter Ellinger in 1976 in Austin, Texas. He joined the staff of Texas Comptroller Bob Bullock and worked in the Training Division until his 1986 retirement. In Austin, Wally worked with Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants for 16 years, including 7 as Executive Director. He mentored ex-offenders and helped them become self-reliant. He was active in the West Austin Democrats, the Texas AFL-CIO-COPE Council, Austin Groups for the Elderly), and AMBIS, a non-profit group pro-viding low-cost funeral and memorial services. Wally and Ruth's home was the heart and hearth for the extended Ellinger. Wally wore the label of ''do-gooder'' proudly, and said, ''If we aren't do-gooders, what are we?'' For him the politics of justice was both global and personal. Wally passed away on Feb. 14, 2007. He is survived by his wife Ruth; by many stepchildren, nephews, and nieces, by their children and many friends.Services: A Memorial Service for Wally was held on Feb.18, 2007 at the AFL-CIO Auditorium in Austin, with a Memorial Mass on Feb. 19 at St. Austin's Catholic Church. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in his name to Texas Cure, 4121 Burning Tree Lane, Garland TX 75042.












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