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UNRUH, Waldemar R. (Wally)

November 8, 1931 – September 29, 2012
As written by Wally

Wally was born to Martin & Suzzana Unruh in Kelstern, Sask. He grew up in Saskatchewan and B.C. and then moved to Alberta at age 17 where he attended Three Hills Bible College and then U of C receiving his teaching certificate. He taught in the Calgary public school system for 9 years and then received his PhD (Psychology) at Stanford University after which he spent 22 years as professor of Educational Psychology at U of C.

Wally was the youngest of seven children all of whom, in addition to his parents, predeceased him. He was also predeceased by his beloved wife Rebecca Joan (nee Meade) in 1997. They travelled the world together. He was blessed to share the lives of sixteen nieces and nephews and owes thanks to all of them for making his life rich with memories. Special thanks are due to nephew Mark Ketler and his wife Sylvia and their children Michael and Camille who were his mainstay during his later years and last days. To his niece Diane Kope, special thanks for ongoing caring and support. He also leaves to mourn, sisters-in-law Helen Hennessey (Grand Falls, Nfld), Barbara Rehder (London, Ont) and Jeannette Sisk (Vancouver, BC).

Wally will miss beautiful skies, music, good books and the many friends he made during his lifetime. Special thanks also to all the staff at Chartwell Eau Claire Retirement Center for the loving care they provided.

In keeping with Wally’s request, a private family gathering was held in his memory. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com.

In living memory of Waldemar Unruh, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Chapel of the Bells, 2720 CENTRE STREET NORTH Telephone: (403) 276-2296.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Farewell Sir Knight Wally.

    Mel Shannon

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  2. Michael Rehder :

    Your rare intelligence, deep knowledge and gentle humor will be sorely missed by all who knew you.

    Michael Rehder and family

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  3. Abigail Burge :

    I cannot begin to say how much you will be missed… So many more conversations I would have like to have had with you, so many more times I would have liked to have shared in a harmony in song with you… I would call your sense of humour “dry”, but from when I was a child, I always understood it (maybe a familial bond?)
    I cherish the times we had together, and hope you knew you were a favourite uncle,
    you will be missed… and remembered ALWAYS,

    Love,
    Niece Abigail

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  4. Ingrid Osborne :

    I met Wally at the Eau Claire Residence when I worked at reception there and always enjoyed our nightly talks. Wally was a very intelligent and caring person and always had a joke for the day. I’m glad I had a chance to meet Wally and wish to express my sympathies to the family. He will be missed.

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  5. Dr. E. Lidbeth (Betty) Donaldson :

    Wally was a senior colleague in the Faculty of Education. He always had a kind smile, encouraging words, and wise advice. They were much appreciated especially when I was a new and junior professor. As I rose through the ranks, his support remained steadfast. I hope he knows of my support now as he traverses a major life passage.

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  6. My sincere condolences to Wally’s nieces and nephews, whom he adored.
    We were colleagues at the U of C for many years and I had always enjoyed his friendship, wonderful humour, wisdom and his singing.
    Rest in peace,my friend,
    Anita Li

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  7. Suzanne Kurtz :

    I was saddened to learn of Wally’s passing and share in your grief. He was a valued colleague and friend at U of C during my 30 years in the Faculty of Education. I will remember him for his wisdom, his openness to new ideas, his encouragement and support. And for his delightfully quirky sense of humor. He contributed to so many aspects of University life and to the field of Education as a whole. We will miss him.

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  8. Helen Diemert :

    Wally was my colleague at the University of Calgary and we were also neighbours out in the Provincial Forest where we had cabins. I held a high regard for Wally and especially enjoyed his musical keyboard artistry. He will be reverently remembered. My deepest regrets for his loss and sympathy for his family. Helen Diemert, now living in Fargo, ND, the oil rich “Alberta” of the USA.

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  9. Marilyn Mallow :

    I was Wally and Joans cleaning lady for some time and I was at the house when they had to take Joan to the hospice. I also cleaned for Wally at his condo on Memorial Dr. I have fond memories of both of them and their wonderful friend Laura. May he rest in peace.

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  10. As a longtime colleague , friend and admirer of Wally, I send my sympaathy to his remaining relatives.

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  11. To Wally’s (& Joan’s) family. I had the privilege of working with both Joan and Wally. Their friendship was sincerely a blessing to my life and career. Memories of listening to organ music and their storytelling are cherished. Their wisdom and inspiring words of encouragement were always present. Their sense of humour complimented their love of learning, teaching and unselfish sharing. Sincere sympathy.

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