Bryan G. Wallace did not see eye-to-eye with Albert Einstein.
Mr. Wallace, 64, a self-educated physicist and astronomer who died Wednesday (March 19, 1997) at home, became a local figure of note for his outspoken opposition to the great German-American wizard of science.
He had been in declining health for about two years, but his death was unexpected, said his wife, Ann. The Medical Examiner's Office is seeking the cause, she said.
Armed with a piercing mind but no formal education, Mr. Wallace believed that Einstein, whose work revolutionized scientific thought, made some serious errors. He spent years trying to prove it.
A junior high school dropout, Mr. Wallace filled his days, and sometimes his nights, with extensive reading, writing, calculating and postulating, trying to show where the father of atomic fission went wrong.
"He was always reading," his wife of 43 years said Tuesday. "He was always into books. He did a lot of that. In some ways he was as smart as a college graduate. He was a very intelligent man."
His interest in physics and the stars stemmed from an early fascination with electronics. An atheist, he felt that no divine power could explain the creation and properties of the universe.
He frequented the Eckerd College Physics Department, often helping with the repair of apparatus, said Dr. Harry Ellis, a professor of physics. Although he was never on the Eckerd payroll, he held a volunteer post of research associate in physics, added Dr. Richard Rhodes.
"A terrific technician," he was "a contrarian" who "challenged existing authority wherever he found it," Ellis said. "He enjoyed the attention he gained."
Bryan George Wallace was born in Morrisville, Vt. His father, George, operated a granite works that produced grave stones. His mother, Myra, was a homemaker. He came here with his mother from Springfield, Mass., when he was 12.
A dominating personality, he often clashed with his mother, he said in a 1972 interview. When he was 15 and a dropout after the eighth grade at Mirror Lake Junior High, his mother unloaded him on the Army.
"She signed for me," Mr. Wallace recalled. "She swore I was 17."
The Army sent him to Guam, then to Korea. There, he proudly related, he was the last in his unit to make corporal. He returned to civilian life with a degree from an Army electronics school and got a job fixing radios and televisions.
While working, he acquired a high school equivalency diploma but never considered getting a college education.
"Some people believe that a person can't think unless he has a Ph.D.," Mr. Wallace said. "Most of the correspondence I get is addressed to "Dr.' Wallace. Of course, I never correct them."
From fixing radios, Mr. Wallace got a job at the General Electric Peninsular Plant at Largo. He quit in 1965 and lived the remainder of his life on earnings from investments, his wife said.
Once home on a full-time basis, he developed his passion: opposing Einstein.
Calling himself a "serious amateur astrophysicist," he published a book, The Farce of Physics, on the Internet, and he kept in touch with the academic world through correspondence. In 1989 and 1991 he attended conferences in Russia of scientists sharing his anti-relativity views.
Survivors in addition to his wife include two daughters, Jo Ann Britt, Denver, and Diane Willis, St. Petersburg; two sons, David, Amarillo, Texas, and Michael, Tallahassee; a sister, Gloria Vincis, St. Pete Beach; and a grandchild.
Southern Funeral and Memorial Services, St. Petersburg, is in charge of arrangements.
_ Information from Times files was used in this obituary.