Hugh Cates Wallace

May 7, 1944November 3, 2020

Wallace, Capt. Hugh Cates....It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of an amazing man, loving father, brother, uncle, and friend on Tuesday November 3, 2020.

Hugh was born May 7, 1944 to his late parents, Mary (Cates) and Hugh Wallace. Hugh first pursued a career as a machinist, then quickly decided he would follow his lifelong passion of working on the tug boats in the family business which turned into a 55 year rewarding career. The master of tractor tugs in Vancouver, Hugh was also known as "The Wayne Gretzky of ship berthing skippers" and the Z-Peller tugs as quoted from the book Skookum Tugs and his peers. Hugh loved being on the tugs and the sea even though he couldn't swim. He was so humble about all his accomplishments. He always had great stories about the tugs and things that happened in his life and when he told them his laughter was infectious and you would laugh with him.

Hugh spent his spare time hiking or skiing the coastal mountains, dancing at bluegrass festivals with friends, travelling throughout BC with his aluminum boat and crab traps, or playing with his Caterpillar tractor on the Sunshine coast with his children. An incredibly resourceful person he had a deep curiosity of machinery and motors spending many hours building tractors, boat motors, and engines. An inventor of many gadgets and gizmos. There was never the word "can't" and there was nothing he could not do. He was one of a kind and he has left us with many fond memories.

Hugh is survived by his son Jamie and daughter Jennifer (Jenny), 3 nieces Lauri, Liana, and Marni, numerous great nieces and nephews and extended family. He was predeceased by his loving sister Marni Barker Sikler.

No service is planned at Hugh's request.


Hugh Cates Wallace

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Jennifer Johnson

November 11, 2020

It was with great sadness when I heard of Hugh's death. He lived life with such energy even in his final illness. A walking miracle until it finally took him. Always a gentleman. His enthusiasm for life was so compelling. He is missed. My sincere condolences.

Elizabeth and Roy Shorten

November 11, 2020

Our love and sympathy to Hughie's family.

Peter Gill

November 9, 2020

It is with saness that I heard of Hughie's passing. He was a gentleman and an excellent tugboat master. For me as a pilot, on a few occasions, he has made the difference between a good docking and having to fill out a damage report. Rest in peace my friend.

Don Toebosch Toebosch

November 9, 2020

Going to miss our long talks my friend 55 years of them a great man a gifted man and a wonderful friend the world has lost a unique man

Ken Donahue

November 9, 2020

Hughie was the King of 2 HP Evinrude/Johnson outboard motors. He had a lovingly restored collection of most every variation. I remember one Christmas he invited me for Christmas Dinner and there leaning against the dining room wall was his latest restoration. I immediately felt more comfortable.
He eventually sold me an unrestored engine, his least favourite I think, for my dinghy after a slam bam, but effective repair in his back yard.
I looked back and waved as I drove away and saw a look of grief on his face. Knew I had to return it the next day. It was worth it to see his smile.

Brenda Cates

November 8, 2020

Hughie your not gone. You will always have a special place in my heart.
My deepest sympathy to the family for their loss. Brenda

Barry Toebosch

November 8, 2020

Lots of fond story's over the years! One of my favourites. You are running underneath the flare of a container ship at about eight and a half knots backwards on the Seaspan Resolution and at this most inappropriate time one of your engines shuts down. The crew look at you for guidance, your response "I guess we better finish the job we don't want to worry the Pilot"!
Always the professional!

Michael Heiliger

November 8, 2020

Hughie was a kind soul with an infectious laugh and a happy smile for everyone. Some of his antics I will always remember, especially the ‘planer incident’! I’m glad you were part of my life Hughie.

Elizabeth (Cates) Bradwell

November 8, 2020

I have such fond memories of Hughie as a young child and growing up together. He was a kind and caring person and a very capable skipper in the Vancouver harbour.
My love and deepest sympathy to Jamie and Jenny and all of the family.
In loving remembrance,
Cousin Elizabeth (Cates) Bradwell
& Family

Steve Waghorn

November 6, 2020

Very saddened to hear of the passing of cousin Hughie. Always so kind to me especially in my youth. One of the best tugboat men ever to grace the port of Vancouver.