Philip George Wallace
November 12, 1942 – December 26, 2018
Philip George Wallace passed away in Sundre, Alberta, doing what he loved best – exploring the outdoors, surrounded by loved ones, on Wednesday, December 26, 2018 at the age of 76 years.
His final days were spent with family; filled with Christmas joy, merriment and laughter. Phil will forever be remembered for his passion for the outdoors. His love of hunting, fishing, golfing, photography and wild life were incorporated in every aspect of his life. It was this lifestyle that led to the building of his mountain home set amid the high peaks and valleys near Spillimacheen, BC. His interests had a great impact on his family as all have pursued his passion for outdoor adventures.
Phil had a successful career holding senior HR management positions at two major Canadian corporations (Bank of Montreal and Shell Canada Ltd.). Followed by 18 years of experience in the consulting industry with Towers Perrin, MLH&A and Aon Hewitt (Toronto and Calgary).
He will be celebrated as a peaceful, kind man who was never too busy to make time for others. His gracious heart brought him in contact with persons from all walks of life and he always volunteered to help anyone in need. He loved music, road trips, family gatherings and games.
Phil leaves behind his loving wife Natalie; his father Hugh; and his five children, Jeff (Chris), Annette (Rob), Gillian (Jay), Anton and Danylo (Olivia). He is also survived by his seven grandchildren, Oliver, Matthew, Stephanie, Jeff, Katie, Rachel and Ian. He was predeceased by his mother Judith Wallace (2015).
- United Way
Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Philip George Wallace
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February 5, 2019
I only knew Phil for 12 months, almost 20 years ago, but I remember him well and was sad to hear of his passing. In July 2000 I arrived in Toronto from London, England, to spend a year working with Phil and his colleagues at Aon. It's a time that I remember fondly, and Phil was a big part of that.
Whether it was the morning ritual of "How are you, Phil?" (Answer : "If I was any better, it would be a crime!"), his constant bemusement at the fact that I drank tea rather than coffee, or the stories of the wilderness and Phil's weekends on his "land", it always brought a smile to my face.
My favourite story, which I still tell to this day, has Phil hunting for some sort of deer "out west" in the winter. He crosses a frozen beaver pond, the ice breaks, Phil ends up in the water well above his waist. After breaking the ice with the butt of his rifle to get out he finds himself soaking wet, many degrees below zero, getting dangerously cold, and with no mobile phone. So he starts a fire, strips naked, and dries his clothes over the fire whilst managing to keep warm himself. Having recovered and re-dressed, he continues on the hunt, successfully track the deer, then hikes back to the truck where he changes into a Tuxedo, drives back into town and heads to the Opera for the evening.
I have no idea whether the story is true, or whether he was winding up a gullible young Brit. But it showed me the jest for life that he had, which from what I can tell he retained right up to the end. The world will be a little less cheerful without him.
January 31, 2019
Phil will be missed on the Spur Vally golf course where I had the pleasure to play with Phil many times.
Phil was always a pleasure to play with and always treated any player no matter what skill level or walk of life with warmth and class.
January 10, 2019
I knew Phil from his many years as a director and longtime president of the Friends of Kootenay National Park Society. Phil's leadership of the board was practiced with gentle wisdom that remained true to his commitment to engage youth in nature.
I was surprised at Phil's ability to maintain a consulting practice from this remote upper Columbia valley, he seemed to be constantly heading to or returning from a flight.
I will most remember the warmth of his and Natalie's log home in the Columbia Valley where I heard too few of Phil's engaging stories of his outings within the environment he so loved.
January 10, 2019
I will never forget Phil for his help in more than one way. The golfing at Spur Valley in spring, the fishing trips to Northern Saskatchewan, the packing trips to the mountains. Phil was my inspiration to learn to run. My most precious memory will be 2 weeks before his accident when he and Natalie were over at our house in Fairmont and we shared so many memories. Phil you will always be remembered as a great friend.
January 9, 2019
So saddened to here of the loss of such a great man. As a colleague of Phil, I knew I could count on him to share his deep expertise without regard to worrying about if he was getting paid. Phil wasn't afraid to offering coaching when he thought it was important, I always took it as a gift. He was always glad to invest in others success.
I looked forward to hearing of his new home in BC and the treasure of wildlife in the area. We had great discussions on bow hunting and bugling for Elk.
My sincere condolences to Phil's family, we share in your loss.
Catherine Ponting Myers
January 9, 2019
It’s been well over 10 years since I worked for Phil at Aon. But I still tell stories that feature Phil as an example of great leader. The common thread in the stories is Phil’s ability to inspire his team members to give their best effort and to give above and beyond. My favourite story is how Phil called me at home one evening to ask for help with his laptop. My (now) husband answered the phone and Phil was excited to get an upgrade as Steve was at that point a PhD candidate in Computer Science. This story relates to Phil’s leadership abilities as not only would I have been willing to help Phil after hours but Steve was equally willing and happy to help Phil. And this is because everyone knew how much Phil genuinely cared for his team and how Phil was constantly working to mentor, coach and develop his team.
Phil was a great leader. He will be greatly missed.
January 8, 2019
Although I clearly didn't get to have Phil in my life for very long, my time with him will impact me for all my years.
The story of Phil contacting reaching out to me on Facebook will be a story that will forever make me smile and grateful for his determination to find his family. Growing up, I often wondered about the Wallace side of my father's family, and we had (to my knowledge) no real way of tracking back and finding others. I had reserved myself long ago that I would most likely never meet anyone face to face from the few old photographs that are in the family. Lo and behold, I was not the only one who wondered where the others were. I will cherish that July day forever, and am so grateful to all the family that made the drive down to Washington.
Natalie and family, I am truly sorry for your loss. My thoughts have been with you and will continue to do so.
January 8, 2019
Phil, will be so missed. I had the honor of working with Phil on a contract. Working in the compensation field myself, I was very blessed to have learnt so much from Phil's wisdom and approach. We spent many hours over a couple of year working together, and had interesting debates and passion for the work. In the short time I spent with Phil, I quickly learned how important his family (wife, children and his father) was to him and how nature and the outdoors were such a passion. We would have conversations about hunting, fishing, and exploration. In the last months as Phil lost his eye sight and continued to pursue his passions without skipping a beat. This summer he shared with me a picture of his fishing trip to a fly in lodge as we both compared our fishing experiences this summer. I will miss him, and express my heartfelt gratitude for the time worked and spent with this amazing man. I also would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to all of the family who will feel a great loss now and in the years to come. But I do know he is in a better place and looking forward to when we all will be with him again. Much love, Vanessa
January 7, 2019
We are so sorry to learn of Phil's passing and will miss him so much. He was fun to be with, smart, kind and caring. I lived in his home with him and his parents when I moved to Calgary. He lived with our family out on the farm in the summer time when he was a kid. Even as a child, he loved the outdoors and my brother and him had lots of fun hunting gophers etc. Phil and I would discuss the care of our parents; his Dad being 101 and my Mom being 100. It made it easier for me to hear we were on a similar journey and could laugh at situations that alone were unbearable. Phil was good to his parents and anyone who needed help. There will be a big hole left by the passing of Phil and we remember him often. I used to laugh at his comment when he sometimes entered a room and said , "Here I am you lucky people!" We would have a good laugh. I think this is very true now but used to say, "Oh brother!!!"
January 7, 2019
Our dearest Natalie and family,
We are so saddened by Philip's passing. Our hearts are heavy but, so grateful and blessed that Philip felt the urgency and the need for all of us to get reacquainted this past summer. We are also thankful for everyone making time to make the journey to our home and finding out...We DO really exist!!
I can't tell you how much that really means to both Bruce and I.
Dave (my husband) and Meagan (Bruce's daughter) were also enthralled by all the stories and adventures that Philip, Maggie, and Sandy were telling about the "Wallace Family".
Thinking "They are Real!" It will be a "BLESSED AND TREASURED MEMORY FOREVER!"
Philip was truly a remarkable man with a heart of GOLD and he will be MISSED by many.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Always in our hearts,
Brenda & Dave Lawrence
Meagan (Wallace) Norman
January 6, 2019
Phil was a great gentleman....truly a prince among men.
He was preeminent in his field as a consultant in executive compensation and was a mentor, adviser and confidant to all who knew and worked with him. He was that rare blend of consummate professional and hearty gregarious character who loved a good joke and would always bring a smile to your face with his infectious laugh.
I had the rare privilege of working as a leader with Phil during our Aon years and observed his uncanny ability to remain calm, focused and undeterred with the tasks at hand when our office was going through some turbulent times. I have remained in his debt always for his sage counsel and role as confidant during some of my own dark and difficult moments. I will never forget this.
May his memory be a blessing for all who knew and loved him.
January 5, 2019
I met Phil in 1969 when I was transferred to Calgary. We had a mutual interest in Hunting, fishing and the outdoors. He introduced me to the Porqupine Hillsand where we hunted together for many years along with his Dad Hugh and son Jeff. While we lost contact with each other I think of Him often and missed the old days. He was a good guy and I will miss him. John
January 5, 2019
I met Phil and Natalie in 1997 when we were neighbours in Oakville. Phil was very friendly and easy to talk to and we shared many laughs together. My husband enjoyed many golf games with Phil. We also enjoyed delicious dinners together prepared by Natalie. We enjoyed visiting them in their beautiful new log home in B.C. Phil was a great family man who will be dearly missed. My thoughts are with you Natalie, Anton, Danylo and the rest of his family. I hope your memories of many happy times with Phil provide you comfort.
January 5, 2019
Phil was a colleague, friend, and informal mentor to me throughout our years in consulting. I learned much from him - not only about the business world, but about how to handle ethical situations in consulting to ensure integrity triumphed, how to deal with difficult and dishonest people, and how to deal with the pain of divorce and learn to rebuild trust again. Phil was always there for me and never held back in stating his view. I even learned to understand his love of hunting and his view on the more "humane" use of bow and arrow (though we might still disagree to this day on hunting in general). He loved the outdoors and all the adventure it offered and lived life to the fullest. To his family, please know he touched and enriched the lives of so many. Like so many others, I will miss Phil, and will carry his memory in my heart. Rest in peace, my friend.
January 4, 2019
I first met Phil in 1999 ...Phil was acting on behalf of a client I was joining and I negotiated my employment comtract with him.
We became good friends and Phil joined our golf group and we enjoyed many rounds of golf over the years before he moved to BC.
Reading his obituary it reminded me that Phil had an encyclopedic knowledge of nature and especially of birds and trees. Every round of golf Phil would point out a new bird or an intertesting tree. We used to tease him about it.
Above all Phil was a kind and considerate human being and a dedicated family man. ....a true gentleman.
My deepest sympathies to Natalie and the whole family.
January 4, 2019
It has been a blessing knowing Phil for these last 23 years. Always a consummate gentleman and true veteran of whichever game he cared to play. Never short on a humorous anecdote, nor an adventurous story. Similarly to many others, I'm sure, Phil spoke to a distinct part of my character. Whenever we would have Phil, my aunt Natalie and the kids up at the cottage - a round of golf was usually on the docket. Though golf did little to excite me, it was his well tuned ears for recognizing obscure bird calls that caught my attention. In the following years, following through with this newfound interest, I would acquire a number of bird books and with complete accuracy Phil would name off whichever bird I was describing from my books. It was uncanny! The memories of sitting on the cottage deck and listening to him identify the numerous bird calls floating through the air will never leave me. The occasional hikes we took through the cottage forests and by the Credit River further amassed my appreciation for nature and that, to no surprise I'm sure, could be entirely credited to Phil.
To this day I remain confounded by the sheer volume of knowledge that Phil was able to absorb, retain and pass on. It's no surprise that he was an ace at Trivial Pursuit.
The world would truly benefit from more Phil Wallaces, and although there will never be another quite like him - I'm privileged to say that it has been a blessing knowing Phil for these last 23 years.
- Matthew Sirota
January 4, 2019
It was my pleasure to renew my acquaintance with Phil at the annual gathering of old HR folks from BMO in Scottsdale for a week of golf, tall tales and good cheer.
It was wonderful to hear Phil speak with pride and joy of the life he enjoyed with you, your children, grand-children and his wonderful dad.
Phil had nothing but nice things to say of others, he loved sharing stories of life in the mountains of BC, its wildlife and endless wonders of nature.
I will remember him as a thoughtful kind and gentle man.
Please accept my deepest condolences and hope that his memory will provide comfort at this sad time.
January 3, 2019
Our dear Phil! As a cousin almost the same age, I’ve known him all my life – so many memories. I stayed with Aunt Judy and Uncle Hughie and Phil when my younger sister Sandy was born. Then when our Dads, Geordie and Hughie, did something together they often took us along with them. I remember us rolling down the basement stairs together (not on purpose) and popping out the door at the bottom of the stairs much to our Dads’ surprise. We putted golf balls into a can sunk into the ground in Grandma Wallace’s back yard. Phil came to our cabin at Jumping Pound and was with me when I caught my first fish (I was 10). We both spent time at the Lighthouse Mission that Hughie and Judy ran. Dad accompanied Diana on the piano with the violin. Once Phil taught me golfing at the Shaganappi golf course - 18 holes, the last 9 in drenching rain. We went to UofC at the same time when there were only two buildings on campus – the engineering building (Phil) and the Education building (me). After we both married we were busy with jobs and families and often had many miles between us, so I heard more about Phil through his parents. He and his family took such good care of his Mom and Dad. He was a wonderful man.
Phil enjoyed people and was comfortable to be with. He was a great story-teller and good conversationalist. It was Phil who phoned and said, “We have Wallace cousins in the States that we don’t know. Don’t you think we should meet them before we get very much older?” He was able to arrange a four day visit. Five of us squashed into our Tucson (Phil, Natalie, Sandy, Simon & I) and arrived in Auburn, Washington on July 4th this past summer. I’m so glad we did that! We had a wonderful time, and now Bruce and Brenda and their families are not just names that we have known all our lives but people we know! Phil came to dinner wearing a Wallace tartan shirt. He announced, “I wore this especially for you Margaret.” That warmed my heart. He will be missed!
January 3, 2019
Phil was one of the good guys! A true gentleman, even on the golf course when he missed a short putt. I had the pleasure of playing golf with Phil twice a week for many years prior to his move to the west. I held an annual memorial golf tournament in Burlington Ont. in honour of my son Darren, and Phil attended every year even after moving to BC. He was just that kind of guy, caring and compassionate.
I am grateful for the time I spent with Phil and thankful for his friendship.
January 2, 2019
Phil was a terrific person ; a top flight consultant ; a committed family man ...and a very good golfer . As the former VP- HR of a large corporation I had the privilege of spending many hours and days with Phil in both the Boardroom and the golf course. His warmth ; competence; humor ; persuasiveness and creativity disarmed most challengers in business and golf.
In fact...he was highly respected on all fronts and dimensions in life. He will be greatly missed by many.
My thoughts and prayers are with the family.
January 2, 2019
I am probably the longest common denominator between Phil and Natalie. When I was transferred from Vancouver to Toronto with Bank of Montreal in 1974, I assumed a management position reporting to Phil, in turn it just happened that Natalie reported to me. My contact with Phil continued until his passing. Not only did his passion for outdoor sports, photography & wild life captivate his interest, but also fauna as displayed by the unique variety of flowers and foliage at the Oakville home. Whether it be cryptic crossword, scrabble or other pursuits in life, Phil never left a stone unturned. He had many virtues, not only as a caretaker to his extended family, but positively impacted those who came to know him. He saw the best in everyone, unselfishly spending time to enhance shortcomings. Phil was definitely one of a kind. I will truly miss his friendship.
Barb & Peter Tokar
January 2, 2019
Dear Natalie & Family,
We are truly saddened to hear of Phil’s passing - a difficult occurrence at any time, let alone this festive time of year.
To you, and all your sons & daughters (big & small, old & young),
we hope that you’ve been gifted with much love and many wonderful memories - as vast & great as the majestic Rocky Mountain region & wilderness that he so cherished, too.
Our love & sincere condolences to all family & friends.
We’re sorry for your loss.
The Tokar Family
(Marlen, Barb & Peter)
January 1, 2019
In the early 80’s someone told me there was a guy living down the street who liked fishing, hunting and golf. I went over, introduced myself, and a long-term friendship was born! We had exactly the same passion about sports.
Phil was the kind of person who loved adversity in all his pursuits. For example: We went golfing at Redwood Meadows Golf course when the weather was bad just so no other golfers would be on the course. All golf naturally had to be a competition of some kind and many a quarter (sometimes a dollar) has changed hands over the years. Or, we would wait for a snowstorm or cold day to go hunting locally in the Porcupines south of Calgary and in the Bragg Creek area. Our freezers were filled annually with all different kinds of venison.
We would go into to the woods to explore new trails and off-road areas to see if we would not get stuck, but most of the time we did anyway and had a blast trying to get ourselves out. We went for a number of walks late at night, not by choice but because we were unable to extract our vehicle from a mud hole or had crashed in a location that we needed help.
When Phil moved back to Alberta after a stint in Ontario we picked up where we left off a number of years before.
Phil purchased a property in Spillimacheen, build a magnificent home and now he was in his element to enjoy the great outdoors. I gladly joined him in many hunting, fishing and golfing expeditions in this great natural area. Usually coming back to his place well after dark, Natalie waiting patiently with supper and the standard statement: “Show me the meat”.
We hunted, fished and golfed hundreds of times and never an angry word was exchanged between us. That was the kind of friend he was. He was a soul mate and confidant and I will miss him dearly.
January 1, 2019
Phil was truly one of the GOOD GUYS .. in everyway to everyone. In 2015 I was reunited with Phil over a game of golf as I was travelling in Alberta. It had been many years, and I quickly saw that Phil's love of the game had endured. The day occasioned a question that was answered .. immediately and unequivocally. Yes Phil would join a group of old friends and colleagues in an annual golf week, in Scottsdale Arizona. Phil knew most of the other members , from the old days. He quickly became an enthusiastic mainstay member of the group, and attended for the next 4 years. In November next, a Phil Wallace " Diet Doctor Pepper Party" will be added to the weeks program.
We will miss you Phil.