Skip to content
November 25, 2021
Stephen Wallace passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Thursday, November 25, 2021 in Victoria, B.C. at the age of 72 years.
In perfect health and with no prior or underlying conditions, Steve's health care team suspects sudden heart failure as a result of significant stress to be the cause.
Predeceased by parents Norman and Helen; nephew Ian and Aunt Janet.
Survived by loving wife of 48 years of marriage, Joan; siblings David (Rena), Theresa (John) and Margaret (Dan); nieces and nephews Ross (Jackie), Anne, Mark (Melanie) and Willy (Taylor); grandnieces and grandnephews; as well as extended family in Canada and abroad.
Steve had strong roots in the Verdun neighborhood of Montreal, where he played sports and attended St. Malachy's School. The family moved to Winnipeg in the early 1960s.
At the end of his first summer on the Kenaston Barracks during the recreation centre awards ceremony, Steve won so many sports prizes that during the final presentation, the officer in charge suggested that Steve would need a wheelbarrow to carry his trophies. Steve excelled in sports and at age 15 won the prestigious Manitoba Mile swim competition in his home pool of Lipsett Hall.
Steve graduated out of St. Paul's High School and St. Paul's College at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. While obtaining his degrees in history and education, Steve was a competitive swimmer and water polo player for the University of Manitoba. He earned money for his tuition by lifeguarding and teaching swimming at the Pan-Am Pool.
While working as a swimming instructor at the University of Manitoba, he met another lifeguard named Joan who became the love of his life and the two married in 1973. They packed up and drove out to British Columbia and after a year of teaching in separate towns, found jobs together in Quesnel, B.C. Steve taught regular classes and spent some time teaching drivers education for the school board before starting Wallace Drive School.
Steve's upbringing taught him commitment and to contribute to being part of his community which led him into the realm of politics. He became an Alderman for Quesnel City Council, then went on to become Mayor in 1990, serving until 2002.
Early in his career Steve was one of the driving forces to start the Protect Our Children Group Society to help abused children and their parents access services and community programs in many capacities, and a leading force along with 5 of his students in developing the provincial Counter Attack Program. He was well known for his business acumen and his community-building spirit.
Steve and Joan moved themselves and their business to Victoria in the mid 2000s to be closer to family, and Steve became a caregiver and major advocate for his father until Norman's passing.
Steve cared deeply about the communities in which he lived, and his philanthropic efforts through many community organizations were well known. He was active in his faith as a practicing Roman Catholic and was involved in the Knights of Columbus for over 30 years.
Steve's participation in numerous swimming events for decades resulted in too many medals to count and many of his Provincial records still stand unchallenged in the Butterfly stroke events. His active lifestyle gave him the health, vitality and passion for life that everyone experienced when Steve was around. Swimming was his go-to and, until September of this year, he was still partaking in his regular routine of swimming and working out 3-4 hours a week. As an avid golfer he was able to claim 2 holes in one.
Family was important to Steve. He was a devoted husband, brother, brother-in-law and uncle as well as great uncle for his many nieces and nephews. He was the oldest of the over 40 first cousins across Canada and down to the US, and maintained connection whenever possible.
He was also a staunch and dedicated friend to those he held dear. The family wishes to extend its heartfelt thanks to all those who displayed the same dedication. We know you and see you.
Catholic Mass will be held on Friday, December 10th at 12:10 pm at Saint Patrick's Parish located at 2060 Haultain Street, with inurnment to take place at 3 pm at First Memorial located at 4725 Falaise Drive, and a reception to follow at 4 pm at the Union Club. Those wishing to pay their respects in person must be fully vaccinated.
For those unable to attend in person, the mass and inurnment proceedings will be live streamed online. These details can be found online at First Memorial.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Royal Jubilee Hospital Coronary Care Unit.
Stories, condolences and messages may be offered to the family at

Service Details

Celebration of Life
Friday, December 10, 2021
12:10 PM
Saint Patrick's Parish 2060 Haultain Street, Quesnel