Larry Willard Wallace was born on March 29, 1943 in Reston, Manitoba to Lloyd and Dorothy (Henden) Wallace. Larry lost his mother at the young age of 9 and was ultimately raised in Reston, with his sister, Linda, by his maternal grandparents. Larry established his life-long work ethic young in life by having to “fend for himself” at an early age.
Larry and Olive Ann Elliott (Ollie) met in high school and were married on June 1, 1963, starting their family shortly thereafter.
For many years, Larry worked in the lumber business in various branches of Revelstoke. As manager, he was frequently transferred from place to place. Consequently, their four children were all born in different towns: Michele in Rosetown, Sean in Watrous, Colleen in Portage la Prairie and Kent in The Pas. Larry’s family then lived in Brandon for a few years.
In 1976, after having enough of working for others, he and long-time friend, Ron Paul, decided to open their own lumberyard in Langenburg, Saskatchewan. The doors to Yellowhead Building Supplies opened in the late fall of 1976.
The poor economy and high interest rates in the late 1980s saw the business struggle, and in 1991, the doors to Yellowhead Buildings Supplies were closed. Larry tried other vocations for a few years, but his heart was always in the lumber business. Accordingly, in 1998 he acquired the old E & M Drilling Warehouse and opened Wallace Enterprises. In addition to lumber, building supplies and hardware, he also dabbled in steel, storage, Medi-Chair, granite memorial stones and was the local bus depot outlet.
Larry’s extended family includes his many dedicated employees over the years, his long-time customers, and friends who frequented the store. From contractors to home decorators, dad and his staff provided helpful advice and supplies to the community and surrounding areas for 43 years. They always went out of their way to go the extra mile.
Larry was an avid reader of Reader’s Digest and National Geographic, and was particularly interested in history. When we were kids, an easy Christmas gift for dad was always a new, hardcover history book. He seemed never to forget anything he read, or learned on the news, as he was the “go to” if any of us needed clarification regarding World Wars, geography or current events. We often joked that he could have been bullshitting us all along with his historical facts and tidbits, because we wouldn’t know the difference, but we suspect his information was accurate!
There were no riches in the business of lumber/hardware, etc., but that wasn’t what was important to Larry. He LOVED work… the “Store” was a significant part of his life. Other than his family, he had no particular hobbies that peaked his interest more than the store. However, travel was always on his radar and he enjoyed travelling to places that he had read about. When we were younger, he took us on various exciting family vacations, once cramming 6 of us into a car and pulling a tent trailer behind and driving to Niagara Falls; we also visited the California and Florida Disneys. In later years, he and Olive travelled frequently, sometimes with their adult children, within Canada and the US, as well as to Europe, Hawaii, the Dominican Republic; they also enjoyed a couple cruises.
Becoming a grandparent was truly one of Larry’s greatest joys. He always took time to play with the kids when they were little, and visit with them as they got older. They will all, indeed, remember his heart, his wisdom and his love for them.
Larry was predeceased by his parents, Lloyd and Dorothy /Wallace Olive’s parents, Doug and Katie Elliott, and Ollie’s siblings, Arlene and Graham Elliott.
To celebrate his life, Larry leaves behind his wife of 55 years, Olive Wallace, and their four children, Michele (Randy) Yeske and children, Garrett (Whitney), Laine and Eryn; Sean (Lisa) Wallace and children, Ben and Mark; Colleen (Dale) Freitag and children, Kelsey, Alexa and Kade; Kent (Shannon) Wallace; his sister, Linda (Fred) Mason; brothers’ in law, Bob (Fae) Elliott and Keith (Janis) Elliott; nieces and nephews; and his store family: Allan Hartel, Marlene Rathgeber and Karen Onofreichuk.