Pace, Wesley Emory

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Emory was born in Esmont, VA in November 1924 to Virgie and John Pace. He died peacefully in Knoxville, TN on Saturday March 25, 2023 at the age of 98. He was the third of four siblings including his brothers Minor, Robert, and Warren, all deceased.

Emory was an avid reader and puzzle solver. He was an enthusiastic supporter of his alma mater, the University of Virginia, especially the academic, basketball, and football programs. He was a regular walker into his 90s and had twice-a-week personal training sessions at a local gym until he was almost 96.

Emory attended elementary school in Esmont before graduating from Scottsville High School as valedictorian. He received an undergraduate degree in mathematics at the University of Virginia. While at the University, he was honored with election to Phi Beta Kappa, the Raven Society, and the Society of Sigma XI. He was in the ROTC and served in the Navy after graduation in Guam. When he returned to the United States, he taught mathematics at the University of Virginia and obtained a masters degree in mathematics. While living in Charlottesville in 1946, he reconnected with his former high school teacher, Ruby Motley, who was also in graduate school. They were married in September 1946. They had three children, Glenda, Emory Jr., and Scott.

In 1953 Emory and Ruby moved to Blacksburg, VA where he accepted a position as a mathematics professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI). While there, he was elected to Pi Mu Epsilon Fraternity, Phi Eta Sigma Fraternity, and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. In 1960 he continued graduate work on a PhD with a National Science Foundation grant at the University of Virginia. He and the family returned to VPI in 1961 where he was a mathematics professor until his retirement in 1987.

He and Ruby continued living in Blacksburg and travelled to Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and around the United States until Ruby died in 2003. Emory lived in Blacksburg until 2015 when he moved to Knoxville, TN to be near his daughter Glenda and her husband Terry.

Emory attended Christ Episcopal Church in Blacksburg for over 50 years. He served on the vestry, was a lay reader, and was treasurer of the church.

Emory leaves behind his three children – Glenda Gayle Kurtz (Terry) of Knoxville, Wesley Emory Pace, Jr. (Sharon) of Ft, Collins, CO, and Dr. Robert Scott Pace of Lyons, CO. He also leaves eight grandchildren – Angie, Kelly, Wesley, Alexis, Hannah, Kristin, Ryan, and Jason. Emory’s legacy also includes nine great grandchildren – Breana, Tommy, Ashlyn, Abby, Kamden, Kayden, Kinsley, Elliot, and Eliza.

A funeral will be held at Christ Episcopal Church in Blacksburg, VA at 1 o’clock on April 15, 2023. Burial will follow at Westview Cemetery. Floral memorials can be obtained through Northside Florist Shop in Radford, VA or contributions can be made to Christ Episcopal Church in Blacksburg, VA in his honor.