Widower of first COVID-19-related death in San Antonio reflects on a life lost

Metro Health on Thursday reports 5,006 deaths since March 2020

SAN ANTONIO – Allee and Doris Wallace had shared 64 years together in March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit San Antonio.

In their 80s, they both fell ill, but only Allee was able to barely survive.

“They finally used convalescent plasma to get my body in control,” Wallace said.

But his wife, who was blind and suffering from an aggressive form of dementia, would die two days after being admitted to a hospital.

The Army-trained medic, lab technician and photographer, Wallace became his wife’s caregiver.

When Wallace asked for her hand in marriage all those years ago, he said her father consented, under one condition.

“That’s all he required for me to do is to take care of her,” Wallace said. “I’d tell people I did the best I could with the knowledge that I had to take care of her. Even that was a tremendous blessing.”

Wallace said often when he was feeding her, his wife would look up at the ceiling.

He said he would ask her, “Baby, what are you looking at?”

Although she never told him, Wallace said, “I do believe that she saw angels.”

A prolific songwriter, Wallace put that moment to words and music.

Wallace said he wrote, “God got his angels watching over us day and night. No need to fight because his angels are watching and protecting us.”

He said before his wife was taken into hospice where they were hospitalized, “I called her name. I said ‘Doris,’ and immediately, she opened her eyes and looked at me.”

Wallace said his faith tells him in spite of her blindness, his wife saw him.

“She looked at me and smiled and closed her eyes,” he said.

Now as of Thursday with 5,006 COVID-related deaths in San Antonio since March 2020, Wallace said, “Christ is calling a lot of people home.”

Doris Wallace would be the first of many more to come.

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About the Authors:

Jessie Degollado has been with KSAT since 1984. She is a general assignments reporter who covers a wide variety of stories. Raised in Laredo and as an anchor/reporter at KRGV in the Rio Grande Valley, Jessie is especially familiar with border and immigration issues. In 2007, Jessie also was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame.

William Caldera has been at KSAT since 2003. He covers a wide range of stories including breaking news, weather, general assignments and sports.