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PEDERSEN, Wallace Gregory

March 7, 1961 – April 5, 2013

The world has a huge empty space in it today. It used to be filled with the large, strong, ebullient personality of a larger-than-life, strong, ebullient man. Wallace (Wally) Pedersen lost his courageous battle with brain cancer at his ranch northwest of Cochrane at the age of 52 years. And, oh, he will be deeply, deeply missed.

Husband, father, son, brother, rancher, oilman, outdoorsman, Wally wore many shirts, and all with an iron-clad integrity, honesty and joy in life. He was born in Turner Valley, the youngest son of Bill and Joan Pedersen and grew up in Calgary with his brother and best friend Will. Almost every weekend was spent with his brother and Dad, fishing or hunting in the mountains. Being of independent nature he often backpacked alone into the mountains to find the peace and beauty that only nature can bring.

Indoors, Wally felt cramped – where he wanted to be was outside, preferably salmon fishing or high up, on an unsullied meadow in the mountains or at home on his beloved ranch. Some of his dearest memories were spent with his family on the Queen Charlotte Islands exploring and fishing. Wally was an intrepid adventurer and vacationing with him meant looking over every ridge and exploring every path less followed. As well, riding trails was second nature, so much so that he and Will formed a guiding and outfitting company, on weekends taking city slickers by horseback on camping trips deep into the Rockies and guiding hunters in the fall.

And that was when he met Bernadette (nee Reich); a definite city slicker and the woman who would become his best friend, his darling wife, and the mother of his children, Kylee and Danielle, and the love who would care for him through his final days.

But Wally’s was a life that, by his own admission, was well-lived. His pride and joy were his daughters and what a great father he was. When he did something, he gave it 110 per cent. Wally had an intense thirst for knowledge, and spent countless hours reading everything from history books, to the bible, to national geographic.

He graduated from SAIT with degree in petroleum technology and went on to U of Alberta, graduating with a BSc Hons. in Geology, receiving the Bill Elder Scholarship and the P.S. Warren Memorial Prize. His early years of work included well site in the Arctic, seismic in Alberta, and prospecting in the Yukon and northwest US. He worked and consulted for various companies, eventually forming his own oil company, Cowboy Exploration, with his brother Will. At the same time he and Bernadette were building their ranch, where the family would raise cattle, horses, some squabbling chickens, dogs, cats and their beloved daughters. He loved to play hockey, ride horses and the exercise from ranch work kept him incredibly fit.

You had to laugh, knowing Wally. He never met an opinion he didn’t like. He would expound on any subject, usually at top volume with a crinkle to his eyes that showed he was enjoying every minute. He met the diagnosis of brain cancer with the same character that he met every challenge in life; with courage, faith, and uncomplaining humour and strength. During his illness he travelled to Israel where he was baptized in the Jordan River, accepting Jesus into his heart, and where he and Bernadette renewed their wedding vows.

His dream of owning a ranch was fulfilled and his respite was sitting on his porch looking over his horses and cattle, down the valley with a view to the mountains. And that is where he met his death at home, a view to the west of the mountains where he found such solace, surrounded by the deep love of Bernadette, Kylee and Danielle, his parents Joan and Bill, brother Will and sister-in-law Laurie, who all cared for him and loved him to the very end. His Auntie Carol, nieces Claire and Emma and friend Trent were at his side many days before his passing.

He is also survived by mother-in-law Teresa Reich; brothers-in-laws Tim (Ann) and Terry; nieces and nephews Nicki (Bashir), Jeffrey, Stephen and Sarah. He was predeceased by father-in-law William Reich.

Funeral Services will be held at Centre Street Church “Central Campus” (3900 – 2nd Street N.E.) on Friday, April 12, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. Memorial tributes can be made directly to the Nature Conservancy of Canada, www.natureconservancy.ca. The family would like to thank staff at Tom Baker, especially Dr. de Robles and Jenna, and the compassionate team from Cochrane Palliative Care. The world is too quiet now, without that wonderful, vocal, exuberant, independent, honourable man.

We will miss him forever.
Until we meet again,
Happy Trails….

In living memory of Wallace Pedersen, a tree will be planted at Big Hill Springs Park Cochrane by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Cochrane Funeral Home, 369 RAILWAY STREET, COCHRANE. Telephone: (403) 932-4740.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Steve and MIchelle Babb (Ottawa) :

    Bernadette, Kylee and Danielle,
    Sending our deepest condolences. Wally sounds like a wonderful person who will be greatly missed. We did not have the honour of meeting him but we heard a lot about him – very positive and uplifting. Take care.
    Steve, Michelle, Doug and Ellen Babb

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  2. Greg and Carolyn Medland :

    BB, Kylee and Dani our thoughts and prayers are with you during this most difficult time. Precious memories of dear Wally will sustain you. XO

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  3. Margie,Phil Maloney and Rosemary McNamee :

    Dear Bernadette and Family,
    We are so very sorry for the loss of your wonderful husband Wally. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Please take good care of yourselves.

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  4. Beth , Pierre and Matt Delisle :

    Dear Bernadette and Family,
    We are so sorry for your tremendous loss of your beloved Wally. Although he is gone physically, he will continue to guide you in everything that you do, until you can all be joyfully reunited forever. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the girls.

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  5. Pastor Miriam Mollering :

    Joan, Bill and family…our deepest sympathy and prayers. May you sense the comfort and peace of God as you journey through this valley. Psalm 23.

    Pastor Miriam and Friedhelm

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  6. The Kelly Family (from CHE) :

    Pedersens, we are so sorry to hear that Wally is gone. Our thoughts are with you, may you be at peace.

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  7. Jean Pederson :

    Our hearts are saddened by your loss. You are in our prayers.
    Hugs
    Jean, Doug, Ryan and Scott

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  8. JoAnne Askew (Schachtel) :

    Dear Bernadette, Kylee, Danielle and all the Pedersen Family. My deepest heartfelt sympathy on the death of such a wonderful and deeply loved man as Wally was. Sending you love and warm hugs to support you in the times ahead.

    Love, JoAnne xo

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  9. Warren and Didi Hanna :

    Dear Bernie and family.
    Our daughter, Lynda Brady, has been keeping us advised of Wally’s final journey and sent a copy of his beautifully written obituary. We were so saddened to learn that he lost his battle with cancer and send our sincere condolences.
    Our thoughts are with you and the children during this difficult time.
    Love, Warren and Didi

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  10. Sharon kangas :

    Joan, Bill, Bernie, Kylee & Danielle
    My thoughts are with you in your time of loss. Wally will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. Hugs

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  11. Myra and Chad Clark and family :

    We extend our sincere condolences to all the family. We never met him but we know and love Bill and Joan, as well as my auntie Lucille Nawy, and her children. It saddens us to hear of your loss. We will continue to pray for Wally’s soul, and for your comfort during this time. Much love and prayers.

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  12. The Brookbanks Family :

    Dear Bernadette, Kylee, Danielle and all the Pedersen Family – our deepest condolences to all of you at your time of loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the girls.
    Andrea, Judy & Brian (Challengers)

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  13. Keri and Dave Harrison :

    Dear Bern, Kylee, Danielle and The Pederson Family,
    Sending you our love and prayers, that God will give you strength throughout this most difficult time in your lives. Wally has truly lived a beautiful life and he will live on in you and he will never be forgotten. God Bless!

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  14. Janelle Martin :

    Dear Bernadette, Danielle, Kylee, Laurel and Will. Sending deepest sympathies and hugs during this very difficult time! May you know that I have been praying and will continue to do so.

    Janelle Martin

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  15. Ken and Martha Birkett :

    Dear Bernadette, Kylee and Danielle and all of your families. We were so shocked to hear about Wally’s passing. When we saw him at the Bates’ horse sale, where he was looking to buy a horse or two for his girls…..he was so vibrant. Just thought he was gonna keep going forever. His obituary is soooo beautiful. We are sorry that we will not be able to attend the service as we will still be out of the country. We will be in touch as soon as we get back. The world has lost a spectacular human being but the liight in heaven just became brighter. Love to you all.

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  16. I won’t be able to attend the services due to my infirmities, but I want to send my sincerest condolences to the family. I certainly enjoyed working with Wally and knowing him.
    Jake Harp

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  17. Paulette Soper :

    My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. I will forever remember how fabulous the ‘Willy and Wally’ duo made our backcountry trips (yes, I was one of the early city slickers).

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  18. Alice and Paul Murphy :

    Dear Bernadette, Kylee and Danielle,
    We are sending our deepest sympathies and support. Wally was an icon–a giant in reputation and spirit. There is no doubt that he married well(!), his family now the anchor of his legacy. Please know that all of you have an extra shoulder to lean on here in Ontario, and we would welcome any opportunity to share Wally’s strength and memory.

    Love, Alice and Paul

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  19. Hilary Plint :

    Dear Bernadette, Kylee, Danielle, Mr. and Mrs Pedersen, Will, Laurie,

    My deepest condolences on the tragic loss of your beloved Wally. I had the pleasure of meeting Wally when Will and I worked at Dome Petroleuem. Though I have not seen either of them for over 25 years, I have been known to talk of the two of them with great affection. I will never forget my trail ride weekend in the mountains when the horses got loose and Wally had to spend a better part of the morning tracking them down (on foot). My heart and love goes out to all of you at this difficult time.

    Hilary Plint

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  20. Carol Tucker :

    Dear Bernadette, Kylie and Danielle, Joan, Bill, Laurie, Will, Claire and Emma,
    There are no words to express how this tears at my heart. What a beautiful man!! Only you can possibly know how difficult it will be to no longer share the privilege of his teasing smile, humor, love and kindness in all of our lives. May we all find a way to incorperate some of his wonderful traits into ours. Sending my sympathy and support. This can scarcely convey how much it meant having him as part of our lives, and what a greater toll losing him has taken. I feel privileged to have shared in his life. From the bottom of my heart I send my love and prayers. May each day become easier to live with just memories.
    Love you all.
    Sincerely,
    Auntie Carol

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  21. Proudlock family :

    Dear Bernadette, Kylee, and sweet Danni. Please accept our condolences, our hearts are heavy for you during this difficult time.

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  22. Alice Keewatin and family :

    Dear Bernadette, Kylie, Danielle and the Pedersen family,
    We are deeply saddened to hear of Wally’s passing. But, we are deeply inspired by his life. Humour, love and presence walked into every room with him and he has left those treasures for your family and all of you to cherish. We send you strength and hugs for this time.
    Love the Keewatins

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  23. Will: My sincere condolences on the loss of your brother Wallace. I have no idea what you might be going through. My thoughts and prayers are with you and all family members at this difficult time. Regards Tom.

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  24. Dear Bernadette, Danielle and Kylee,

    My deepest sympathies go out to all of you during this very difficult time. May the wonderful memories you have provide comfort to you during this difficult time.

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  25. Judy Sikorski :

    Oh, Bernadette, Danielle and Kylee, please know that my deepest sympathy is with you and your family. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Please know that if you need anything you just need to call.
    My sincere condolences, Judy Sikorski

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  26. Brent, Sheri, Cole, Madi and Morgan Schmidt :

    Bernie, Danielle and Kylee,
    It’s impossible to find the words to express how sorry we are for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
    Love, the Schmidts

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  27. Dena and Shawn Sykes :

    Dear Bernie, Kylee and Danielle,
    There is absolutely nothing we can say to help you through this but please know that we are thinking of all of you and share in your sadness.
    Dena and Shawn Sykes

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  28. Hi Bernadette, I was very sad to hear the news of Wally passing at such a young age. I didn’t know Wally well, but during a difficult time in my life, I was going to do some wellsite work for Wally and got to know him a little. I was so envious of him on our last 8AM phone call when he said he was lying in bed with his 2 little daughters, looking out the window at his cows and the mountains. He said Berny was working back in town because she liked to have lunch with her friends. He sounded like the most content man in the world at that moment. If most of us can reach that point anytime in our lives, we will be lucky! All the best to you, and the girls, Bernadette. My thoughts and prayers go out to you.
    Mark

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  29. Kennedy family :

    Bernadette, Kylee, Danielle and family, we are so very sorry for your precious loss, may all the happy memories you have with Wally help you get through this very difficult time.

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  30. Karen (Downing) James, David James and family. :

    Dear Bernadette,
    We are so sad to hear of the outcome of this 18 month journey. Good to read your acknowledgement of the medical support which was received along the way. His obituary is a clear tribute to a man who made fine choices and spent his precious time wisely. Wish we could have known him. You are so fortunate to have shared so much with this true-blue cowboy. May the legacy of his life continue to support you and the girls and may it also keep the rest of us true to our ideals. Best wishes Bernadette.

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  31. Lori Galiardi :

    May God’s loving presence comfort you. His perfect peace restore you and His promise of eternal life sustain you during this time of loss.
    “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
    With Deepest Sympathy, Lori Galiardi

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  32. Keith Pedersen :

    What a loss we all feel with Wally’s passing. How excited I was, at the ripe old age of 5, to discover on moving to Calgary in 1966 that we had two cousins our age living just a few blocks from our new place. For the next few years we four boys did so much together: football in their front yard, tenting in the back of ours playing cowboys and Indians, camping and hunting with our dads, and spending many hours together. Wally, though the youngest, never took a back seat in our games. His drawings of wildlife, his carpentry projects, his curiosity and independence always impressed me, both then and as an adult. I remember catching my first fish while on a trip with Wally. We shared trips to the Okenagon where we built many happy memories on many adventures: climbing to a lookout station, getting kicked out of an amusement park. Wally was always my partner, and his memory will always be dear to me. My condolences to his dear family who he leaves behind. May God bring comfort to all who miss him.

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  33. The Mooney Family :

    Wally was one of the greatest guys I have ever met and a true mans man. He was solid in every way and was a person everyone was proud to know. The Mooney family will say prayers for the Pedersens and the great loss of Wally – our deepest condolences.
    The Mooney Family

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  34. Mark and Anne McNamee :

    Dear B.B. and Girls,
    So sorry to hear of Wally’s passing. Our hearts and prayers are with you all.
    Love, Mark and Anne in Kingston

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  35. Ken and Debbie Lueers :

    Bernadette and Family,
    We are so sorry to hear of Wally’s passing and want you to know our thoughts and prayers are with you.

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  36. Gwen (Shank) and Bill Jahelka :

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of you as you mourn the loss of your loving, Wally. May God comfort you and hold you in His loving arms during your time of great sorry. Peace and love.

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  37. Gary Braithwaite :

    Dear Pedersen Family (Willy, Joan & Bill)

    I’m deeply saddened by the news I heard today through a Ernest Manning Classmate about Wally’s recent passing.
    I fondly and can vividly remember Wally as we were best friends. I spend many days at your home learning about reloading, hunting, fishing and enjoying Mrs. Pedersen’s (Joan) fine cooking. We enjoyed many outdoor day trips, from ice fishing at Chain lakes, to hunting in the Highwood wilderness. All of his immediate family were remarkably close and were so good to me through these youthful years of Junior and Senior high school. I clearly recall his confident ‘swagger’, charm and physique through our middle school days. As the talented and flashy trumpet player through those years, he truly stood out and was admired by all classmates, including the ladies.
    However as life has it, after graduating from high school, we parted ways for a long time, as I moved to Northern Alberta to pursue a post-secondary education at the University of Alberta. By fate of god we ended up as room-mates for our last year at the U of A in Edmonton some 10 years later. I was impressed and, quite frankly, surprised at Wally’s academic turn around as he pursued his dream to become a geologist like his close brother Willy. It would be 15 more years before we again would cross paths at our Ernest Manning High School 25 year reunion. He was the same jovial Wally with the same Hollywood grin and eyebrow expression that, for those who knew him well, know this ‘signature look’. The only difference was a scar on his forehead, which he told me was from a horse kicking incident. He invited me to some day stop at his Cochrane Ranch to visit him and family, to which I always intended to do some day. Little did I know this would be our last and farewell encounter. I will always remember you Wally as my best friend who made growing up fun and exciting.
    Most Sincerely
    Gary Braithwaite

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  38. Kåre Skak Pedersen :

    Dear Bernadette, Kylee, Danielle and all the Pedersen Family.

    “My Lord, why oh why?”
    Every time the Almighty calls for another soul, we ask this question in our prayers.

    Wally you meant so much, for so many. And yet the Lord called for you. We believe, that God needs you by his side. We believe that you will serve an even more important purpose in the afterlife.

    You have left us with happy memories. As long as about 45 years ago, we shared a short but happy time together in Roskilde – Denmark. I remember your two boys, full of life and energy. Fearless in and outside the swimming pool, we used on that occasion. We shared stories, laughs and felt like brothers.

    Some years later, Uffe and my parents went to Calgary, to see all of you. They returned to Denmark with endless stories about our family, with your two great cousins.. Again – happy memories. Plenty for a lifetime.

    We thank you for your time on earth, and we admire you for serving the Lord where you are now.

    Rest in peace Wallace, bro

    With tears and with pride, from your roots in Denmark.
    The Pedersen family.
    Uffe, Henriette, Charlotte, Kåre & wife, Kai and tons of kids

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