Passed away in his 86th year at Smithers Bulkley Valley District Hospital Saturday September 27, 2014.
Wally is survived by Myrtle (Shuttleworth), his wife of 55 years, children; Juanita (Tammy), Paul (Ellie), Sandra (Blair), Gwen (Jeff) and Nels (Carly); and grandchildren Jolene, Nels, Rebekah, Angus, Acacia, Blake, Kayl, Sydney, Jessica and Jordan.
Wally was predeceased by his brother, Clarence Johnson and Ivy Moroski and is survived by sisters; Bernice Hoopfer and Ena Osatiuk.
Wally was born in the Burns Lake hospital and spent his childhood in the area. At a young age he began working in the local logging camps where he ran horse teams. He always spoke well of his time in the forest industry, and he particularly enjoyed all the good times with his buddies and the horse teams he worked with daily.
One night at a dance in Decker Lake, Wally met the love of his life Myrtle Shuttleworth. They danced the night away and in August 1959 they were married in Merritt, B.C.
They moved to Smithers and bought a small hobby farm where they raised horses, cows, chickens, ducks, dogs and cats and five children! Their land was planted with large, fruitful gardens where they mainly grew vegetables, but most particularly potatoes.
He was an energetic father whose ambitions for his children in sports and farming were great. He taught them all to live with and care for all their animals and encouraged them to participate in every sport you could name.
Wally had spent much of his youth skiing, both cross country and downhill. He loved being out in the snow and taught his children how to do both as well.
In Smithers Wally worked for B.C. Hydro as a linesman until he retired in 1980.
Wally and Myrtle eventually made their way back to Wally’s old stomping grounds on Babine Lake in Granisle. He spent most of his time in the woods and hills around Babine Lake fishing, hunting, picking berries and just generally spending his time outside.
A big part of Wally’s life was music; he loved to play guitar, fiddle, organ and accordion, but the instruments most dear to him were the mandolin and harmonica. Many have seen him play at the Smithers Fall Fair and the Music festivals over the years.