Our Legacy & Our Story
Wallace Funeral Home was founded in 1893 on Park Street. In 1906 it moved to Maple Avenue where it continued for the next 71 years.
In 1977 Wallace Funeral Home relocated to its present site on Sunnyside Drive, where its facilities provide convenience and comfort to our bereaved families and friends.
The legacy of Wallace Funeral Home began with its founder: Fenwick W. Wallace. His philosophy of service and caring changed the future of funeral service. His hard work and dedication to our community started a strong tradition that has lasted more than five (5) generations. Fenwick and his wife Mary (Stapleford) were both licensed embalmers and very active in their community. Fenwick and Mary had twin daughters; Hilda and Mildred and a son William. Fenwick was an alderman of the Town Council, a former Mayor of Sussex, a volunteer Fireman, and a building contractor who built many of the stately homes in Sussex. In 1907 he was instrumental in establishing the New Brunswick Funeral Directors Association and also founded what is now the Canadian Funeral Directors Magazine, which he published in Sussex for many years.
At the close of WWI Fenwick's son William joined him in his commitment in the funeral service. After Fenwick's death in 1922 his son William continued the tradition until his death in 1952. William and his wife Mary, had 2 daughters, Patricia Cork who resides in Ontario and the other, Margaret, together with her husband John M. Ross, who were both licensed embalmers, continued the tradition until Margaret's death in 1967.
John also achieved recognition in the funeral industry for his high standards. He was past president of the New Brunswick Funeral Directors Association. He was New Brunswick's alternate representative to the Funeral Service Association of Canada, former Deputy Mayor, member of the Lions Club, Royal Canadian Legion #20 and Trinity Anglican Church.
John was extremely active in the community and gave freely of his time and money to many organizations in Sussex. In 1974 John married Florence E. (Perrett) Haynes who became the Secretary Treasurer of Wallace Funeral Home. After John's untimely death in 1986, Flo became president and general manager and continued the Wallace legacy until her retirement in 1994. Flo lived by the motto "Service Before Self" and impressed the importance of communication to the Wallace team.
Stephen Baldwin purchased the company in 1994 and continues to offer the same philosophy of service that began with Fenwick W. Wallace 1893.
Set against the history and beauty of the heritage property nestled in the quaint Town of Sussex, New Brunswick. In 1976 John and Flo Ross purchased a beautiful old farmhouse at 34 Sunnyside Drive, known as the Slipp Farm, which was built in 1856. Although extensive renovations had to be made to this century home, its unique style and charm were maintained. It is pristine white with stately columns and is situated with a prominent view of Sussex with a panorama of pastoral farmland. The interior decor was carefully selected with every detail meticulously attended to in order to provide Sussex and area with a funeral home unlike any other in our area.
The house was built in 1856 by William Roach and was sold to George Slipp in 1879. At that time the rear addition was added which made up the kitchen and summer kitchen. In our rear foyer hangs a piece of plaster that says “ William Duncan, Sussex Boss, Charles McMann, St. John, Painter, James Aston, Liverpool England, Painter, Thomas Thompson, Richibucto, painter, painted this house may 1st, 1879”, which was found during the restoration in 1977.
The home remained in the Slipp family until 1952 when it was sold to Sussex Realty Co. the farm was sold into lots and the house made into apartments and rooms for rent. In 1955, it was sold to potters: Erica and Keld Deichmann where they made their internationally known pottery. In 1977, it was sold to Wallace Funeral Home Co. and was restored to its Historic beauty.
September 14 2005, 34 Sunnyside Dr. experienced a devastating electrical fire, the first fire in its 149 year history. The building was closed for several months while the restoration took place. For all intense and purposes the look of the building was maintained, however public opinion has it, that it looks more like a museum than a funeral home. Many of the furnishings in the building are from local families and most recently an empire sofa and side chairs belonging to the original Slipp family have found their way back home and are sitting in the same place they did over a hundred years ago. The light fixtures in the main rooms of the house once light the Newtown Baptist Church, which was built in the same year as 34 Sunnyside Dr. Before the Church was torn down the oil lights were donated to Wallace Funeral Home; later they were converted to electric and now their history lives on with us.
Throughout the building hang many photos of the original families who lived here. There are photos of Sussex and familiar streets as they were in the 1800s and there is furniture made by Fenwick Wallace himself.