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Jayne's Funeral Home

Highway No 1, Weymouth, NS

OBITUARY

Wallace Preston Mullen

July 5, 1915October 2, 2019

MULLEN, Wallace Preston (July 5, 1915) of New Tusket, Digby County, passed peacefully at his home, surrounded by family on Wednesday, October 2, 2019, at the age of 104.

Wallace is survived by his loving wife of almost 64 years Hilda (MacAlpine); his four children: son Bruce (Juli Harris) Mullen of Hammonds Plains, NS; daughter Trudy (Michel) Comeau of Eel Lake, NS; daughter Paula Mullen (Michael Ungar) of Hammonds Plains, NS; his daughter Heather Mullen (Brad Lupson) of Oakville, ON.

Wallace was blessed with nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren who loved him dearly: Dr. Tyler (Leslie) Mullen, Dr. Craig Mullen, Chantale Comeau, Alexis Wheeler, Reid Wheeler, and Ethan Wheeler all of Halifax, NS; Nicolas Comeau of Fredericton, NB; Zachary Lupson and Joshua Lupson of Oakville, ON; and, his great-grandchildren Liam & Clara Mullen of Halifax. He is survived by sisters Vera Buice of Silver Spring, Maryland, USA; and Ercel Connor of Saint John, New Brunswick, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and extended family throughout Canada and the United States.

Wallace was predeceased by his parents Herbert and Helena (Hassett) Mullen of New Tusket; brothers Leland Mullen & Edsel Mullen of New Tusket; sisters Inez Sheahan of Maryland, USA; and Floris Dauphinee of Lunenburg, as well as several nephews.

Wallace loved to play guitar and would often be found playing his favourite Martin guitar, singing and yodeling. In the Spring of 1939, he travelled to New York City where he was featured on Major Bowes Amateur hour – the “American Idol” of the day. He was invited to continue on with the show on its music tour and he declined saying he needed to “go home to my fur ranch”. Only in recent years did Wallace share with his family that when he returned from NYC not only did he play and sing on the local radio station but he also travelled to Quebec to record with EMI/Capital Records. Unfortunately, all recordings were lost in a fire and Wallace declined the label’s invitation to return to Quebec to record them again.

Wallace is best described as a quiet, private and very intelligent man who loved reading, card games and puzzles. Although going to university was a luxury his family could not afford, he excelled in his studies, completing high school at the age of 12 (while boarding away from home) and scoring a perfect mark on his final provincial exam in arithmetic and algebra and near perfect in all other subjects as well. Sickness kept him from serving in WWII and during his recovery while confined to bed he fueled his passion for reading which continued throughout his life. So curiously intelligent, he taught himself advanced calculus by reading the university texts of his children. For a time, he was part of a team of international math scholars challenged with solving the ‘unsolvable’ equations. This team included professors of calculus at McGill and other universities in Canada and the USA. How quietly proud he was that although he was the only member of the team without a formal education, he was able to solve equations that PhDs could not.

He was always very active and loved to hunt, tend his garden and work in the woods for fun. He was proud of his vegetable garden and loved to spend time in it. His favourite card game was Cribbage and, when playing with family including grandchildren, he would often invite them to play jokingly by saying “Who wants to get beat?” – of course he would almost always win, or at least play until he did. He loved crosswords and Sodoku puzzles.

One of Wallace’s noteworthy achievements was when he, together with his brother Edsel, established Mullens Jet Black, a mink ranch in New Tusket, Nova Scotia that discovered a mutation in colour that effectively changed the course of mink fur farming globally and put his small community on the world stage. Their discovery was the subject of a film by the National Film board of Canada and created such a stir globally that their ranch hosted breeders from around the globe and the lineage from most ranches in Europe can still be traced back to his ranch. In fact, Wallace’s contribution to industry in Europe was recognized by the European Fur Breeders Association as recently as on his 100th birthday. The Mullen’s Jet Black ranch was the geneses of the industry for the province and Wallace often spoke fondly of the era and the experience and challenges it brought. He even coined the term “jet black” – when asked during a newspaper interview how he came up with the term, he replied “the colour was as black as jet so it just fit to call it ‘jet black’ and the name stuck”. Despite hiring lawyers in New York and Toronto he was unable to trademark the name in the 60’s (since it ‘described’ a colour) and so when his grandchildren pointed out the recent APPLE colour choice of ‘Jet Black’ he just smiled, shook his head, muttered about lawyers and repeated the story.

Wallace was very generous and used the wealth gained from his fur farm to help many people. Wallace loved to trace his family genealogy and over the years amassed a large amount of information on his ancestors tracing back to the 1600’s. He loved to point out errors on the popular online databases. Owing to his age he provided personal knowledge to refute the data. He collected photos and mementoes that he loved to sift though and reminisce with anyone that would go through them with him. He was a religious man and although he did not regularly attend church in later years, no one could stump him with a passage from the Bible and he loved to debate the meaning of just about every passage in it with anyone who would dare to engage.

In his long life he was loved and adored not only by his family but those that met him as well, ensuring that he will be forgotten by very few.

The family wishes to thank all those who helped in his final days. Visitation: Friday, Oct 4th from 7 – 9 pm at Jayne’s Funeral Home, Weymouth. Service: Saturday, Oct 5th at New Tusket Baptist Church, 2:30 pm. Those wishing to make a donation in lieu of flowers, donations may be made by cheque to the New Tusket United Baptist Church, c/o Darby Mullen, 719 Easton Road, Weymouth, Nova Scotia, B0W 3T0. Burial arrangements have been entrusted to Jayne’s Funeral Home, 7 Birch Street, Digby (245-2525). Share memories and leave condolences online at www.jaynesfuneralhome.com.

Services

  • Evening Visitation Friday, October 4, 2019
  • Funeral Service Saturday, October 5, 2019

Memories

Wallace Preston Mullen

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Ann and Yvon Robichaud

October 15, 2019

Dear Hilda and Family,
Our deepest sympathies on the loss of a very dear husband and father. What an amazing man he was and what a wonderful life he lived! He will be deeply missed.
Thinking of you all during these difficult days.

Sincerely,
Ann and Yvon Robichaud, Weymouth

Bona Ford McRae

October 12, 2019

To Hilda and family
Our condolences to you and your family. He had a wonderful long life. So many memories for you all. Bless you all.
Bona, Tamara and Sean (Ford)

elaine buice

October 6, 2019

Robert and I are so blessed to be a part of this great and loving family, Robert has pleasant memories of his trips with his Mother Vera to her home in Nova Scotia with his brothers and sisters. I too enjoyed our trip to Nova Scotia to meet the family. Hugs to Hilda , love to the family , Love Always Elaine and Robert Preston Buice

Patsy Height-Lewis

October 5, 2019

Trudy and family, sincere condolences to you at this most difficult time. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you. A wonderful life well lived! Patsy

Melina Kennedy

October 4, 2019

Dear Trudy and family,
We would like to extend out thoughts, prayers, and deepest sympathies with you and your family in your time of need.
From your Mathematics friends at the Department (Melina, Joe, Jen)

Sam Garland

October 4, 2019

My deepest sympathy
Although my encounters with him were brief and few, there was no mistaking the intelligence in those eyes, and most of all there was and is no doubting the love his family has for him.

Glenice Fulton

October 4, 2019

Please accept my deepest sympathy. Hilda you were one of my favorite teachers. Glenice

Rose Croscup

October 4, 2019

Wallace had a great life with by his side.
Love and prayers to you and your family.
God Bless
Rose

Mike MacAlpine

October 3, 2019

So many great memories of Uncle Wallace from when I was a young boy visiting on almost every Sunday and throughout the years in between . Condolences to Aunt Hilda, Bruce, Trudy, Heather and Paula on the passing of a great man.
Love, Mike, Alex and Nick

Delia Mullen

October 3, 2019

HILDA AND ALL THE FAMILY , I SEND MY DEEPEST SYMPATHY. I PRAY FOR GOD TO GIVE YOU ALL STRENGTH IN THE DAYS AHEAD. WE KNOW HE WILL TRULY BE MISSED BY MANY.HUGS FOR ALL, ....................DELIA AND RODNEY MULLEN.

FROM THE FAMILY
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