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The City of Cocoa and the Cocoa City Council are shocked and saddened by the tragic death of longtime resident and former councilmember James Wallen. Mr. Wallen, 75, was killed on Friday during a burglary at his home. A suspect is in custody and charges are pending.
Our hearts are broken for the Wallen Family and those who knew Mr. Wallen. James Wallen served on the city council from 1979-1981 and again from 1983-1986. He will be remembered as a dedicated public servant and a long-time member of this community.
Mr. Wallen, a long-time resident, lived in his home here in Cocoa since 1973 with his wife of 52 years, Lucinda Wallen. He taught school for 37 years at both Kennedy Middle School in Rockledge and Brevard Community College in Cocoa.
Cocoa business owner Robyn Greene remembers James Wallen the teacher at Kennedy Middle School as a man who “made a difference in so many lives.” She went on to describe the impact he had made on her daughter’s life. “Mr. Wallen partnered with us to make sure my daughter had the resources and attention she needed to succeed. And when I ran into him a few years ago, he was so proud to learn that she has grown up to be a remarkable woman. I imagine there are hundreds of families with stories like ours.”
Mr. and Mrs. Wallen also volunteered much of their time with community organizations such as Aging Matters in Brevard for their Meals on Wheels Program and with the Sharing Center in Cocoa.
Mr. Wallen’s family described him as the happiest person ever who was an asset to his community and had a love for life.
Former Councilmember and Cocoa Business Owner, Lang Houston, who served on Council with Mr. Wallen remembered their time together on Council. “Jim always did what was right for the citizens of Cocoa and never had an agenda. He had a passion for his community and his family and loved baseball.”