Wallace Frederick Edwards passed away peacefully in his 93rd year on Wednesday March 27th 2019, secure and encircled in the love of his family. Beloved husband of Jean Elizabeth over their 68 years of marriage. Loving father of John Christopher (Suzanne), Carol Louise (Eric Endersby) and Diane Elizabeth (Bryan Leckie). Proud grandfather of Scott, Laura and Selena. Predeceased by father, Abraham and mother, Mabel, brothers George, Carl, Leslie and sister, Pansy. Further survived by nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.
Wally was the perfect example of a life well lived. He was born October 27th 1925 in Woodstock Ontario and grew up on a dairy farm in Curries Crossing. Wally started working on the family farm at age 7 and by the time he left, he learned to fix just about anything. At 17 during WWII he joined the airforce as an air frame mechanic. Upon his return he began a 25 year career at Bell Canada, first as a linesman and with further promotions to the Engineering Department.
Wally married Jean Williams when she returned from nursing in northern Athabasca, Alberta. Thus began their love story that had them living first in Woodstock where Chris was born, then to London where Carol joined the family and then to Owen Sound with the arrival of Diane. After a brief transfer to Kitchener, Wally and his family were delighted to return to Owen Sound for the remainder of his career.
Upon his retirement at 55, Wally and Jean built their dream home as a chalet on a hill overlooking Georgian Bay outside of Leith. Wally finished building the interior himself including, after completing a course in masonry, the enchanting fireplace that featured an original beam from his family’s homestead. Wally expanded his winemaking skill to include grapes from his own small vineyard. The huge garden afforded enough produce to feed them all winter.
During this time, Jean and Wally embarked on an exciting five month vagabond trip all through the USA. They found their kicks on Route 66 eventually arriving in Pasadena to take in the Rose Bowl Parade. After many other points of interest, they arrived Texas where they were inspired to make a future winter home on the Rio Grande.
Wally and Jean spent many magical moments together enjoying the spectacular sunsets from their second floor balcony. Happy memories were made with family gatherings for holidays around the fireplace in winter or on the wrap around deck in summers.
Years later they relocated back to a smaller property in Owen Sound, then to a retirement village in Tillsonburg. Finally they returned to Owen Sound to spend their senior years at Season’s Retirement. There Wally continued his love of music by joining a small group as the bass guitarist entertained the residents at other retirement homes. He was an accomplished self taught guitarist and enjoyed playing the bass guitar in harmony with Jean on harmonica and with likeminded good friends over the decades, right up to his 90th year. Besides his love of music, nature, birdwatching, golf, wine-making, gardening, family and friends will remember Wally as dignified but with good humour, loving and fiercely proud of his family but especially for the joy and love he brought to his beautiful wife Jean.
His family have fond memories of the exciting camping trips together across Canada and summers at Algonquin Park and Sauble Beach. One epic journey they took while in their 50s, was a bicycle trip from Owen Sound to Tobermory and across on the ferry to Manitoulin Island. Their bicycles were loaded with camping gear including a tent and they toured around the island camping each night.
Wally indeed enjoyed a life well lived. He will be greatly missed always by his family and friends who are the better for having had him in their lives.
Special thanks to Dr. Fleming, the staff of Season’s Retirement and especially to the dedicated caregivers of Chapman House.
A private family Celebration of Life memorial for Wally will be held at a later date with a tree planted in his memory.
Memorial donations to the Chapman House Hospice, or Owen Sound Artist’s Co-op (The Workshop) would be appreciated by the family. Online donations can be made through the Community Foundation Grey Bruce www.cfgb.ca