“You have reached the answering machine of Ted Wallace, and I’m here to pump. You. Up.” Edward (Ted) Wallace passed away peacefully, surrounded by the love and laughter of his cherished wife and daughters, on September 30, 2023. Eight years ago, Ted was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia and rode the highs and lows of the disease with humor and grace in true Ted fashion.
Born in Halifax, N.S., Ted was a physical education teacher in Nova Scotia for 30 years, serving for a time as the Capital Regional Director of the NSSAF. He was recognized for his outstanding contributions to interscholastic athletics as recipient of the Hugh A. Noble Distinguished Service Award. Many, though, would best recognize Ted with his bushy eyebrows and whistle in hand, ironed polyester, and polished patent leather officials’ shoes. A long-time Nova Scotia basketball official, Ted refereed countless basketball games at all levels across the province and country and was named a J.E. ‘Wink’ Willox Award winner and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from NABO for his contributions. He was, though, most proud of his time spent recruiting and mentoring new officials, and in particular, valued his time as teacher at an officiating camp in Massachusetts. In the later years of his career, Ted or “Wally” spent many hours coaching his daughters in their various sporting endeavours (either legitimately or while pacing the sidelines), and even at times against them (no hard feelings). A consummate rule follower, Technical Teddy made a career for himself teaching others to follow the rules and had endless lessons to share while always leading by example.
Ted’s body was his temple, and never at rest. He had a successful football career at Dalhousie University and later made cherished memories and lasting friendships playing football in the metro touch football league for over twenty years. It was here he met his bestie Luke (Ann) Whiting with whom he shared endless laughs and navigated the ups and downs of life. They were also known to make the odd friendly wager and Ted, ever the gracious loser, was sure to pay off his debts in pennies.
An obvious health nut, Ted’s temple also adored chocolate bars, mom’s chocolate chip cookies, barbeque chips, and taking the family for burgers and milkshakes. A shower stall full of diet coke cans was the sign you had found Ted Wallace’s office at work. Ever the gentleman, Ted NEVER disliked a single meal in his life, but politely would ask someone to grab the peanut butter and bread to cleanse his pallet after one of Jan’s fridge clean-out meals.
Ted could also be found playing pickup basketball with friends, volunteering for Team Nova Scotia Canada Games Mission Staff, coaching with Michael “Moody Man”, partaking in his retirement rituals of running marathons and triathlons, and best of all, forcing his daughters out on his daily “10 km” runs. His girls learned the important life lesson of saying breathless “Hellos!” to fellow runners on the road in order to “steal their energy” (editor’s note: it hasn’t worked for them yet). The “Wallace Wave” was infamous around Lake Banook in Dartmouth and friends and neighbours were sure to be filled in on the state of the Wallace family after bumping into Ted on his runs. In later years Ted and his best friend and college roommate, Howard (and Debbie) Windsor were a Dartmouth staple, always found arguing and laughing on their daily walks around the lake. Ted was also sure to stop and pet each dog encountered along the way, much to Howard’s chagrin (ever the efficient walker).
A deep admirer of the arts, Ted spent many happy hours during his retirement visiting art galleries, attending concerts and plays, and filling the house with the sounds of an undiscerning collection of “crooners” for his family to enjoy. He taught his family the value of everyday beauty and spent many evening hours walking through his garden and showing his family the latest developments with his favourite plants and trees.
Ted loved a lot of things, but above all else he loved his girls, his grandkids, and his wife Jan. “Your mother…” he would say with a cheeky grin, everyone knowing he loved no one more deeply than Jan. Their nearly 50-year love story was Ted’s greatest treasure. Together they were the perfect team, amplifying the best in each other through laughter, profound admiration, and love.
Ted saved his best eyerolls, sarcasm, and deepest pride for his daughters and their husbands (his sons): Kate and Brooks, Jessie and Tyler, and Kim and Brad. More recently, Ted’s affection, joy, and total adoration was reserved for his grandchildren Evie, Maggie, Edward, and Brenna who are perfect and will never do anything wrong. Ted is predeceased by his “son”, his dog Digger, who also was perfect and never did anything wrong, even when eating a dozen doughnuts off the kitchen counter.
“Family above everything” was a Ted life rule. Ted is survived by his devoted siblings Jack (Peggy), Bruce, and Wendy, and predeceased by his brother Bob and parents Jack (Dot) Wallace and Kathleen Kelly. Not just a regular uncle, but the ultimate “funcle”, Ted dearly loved his many nieces and nephews. Ted cherished everyone in his large and loving Wallace, Kelly/Martin, and Broadfoot families, as well as his dear friends who were like family, in particular Frank (and Diana) and all the Neals who provided him a home away from home. Frank and Ted’s friendship became a bond of brotherhood in high school and Frank has been by Ted’s side every step of the way, especially these past few difficult months.
Ted could be serious, but never took life too seriously. If someone’s day could be made better by an inspirational quote, gag gift, silly costume or toilet paper Christmas tree, Ted would know the swiftest way to fill a room with raucous belly laughter. Ted is probably best characterized by his sense of humour, certainty of self, and unabashed weirdness. The centre of attention in every room and a man who had time for everyone.
Always playing along with Jan’s open door hospitality policy with regards to their daughters’ friends, acquaintances and guests, Ted loved the comings and goings of the Wallace house and would want us to say, “what’s good?” to all his young, hip friends who passed through 16 Louise and the Lakehouse including, “what’s-your-name,” “that guy,” and “you, again?”
All are welcome to join his family on October 12th, 2023, at 6:00 p.m. at Mic Mac Aquatic Club in Dartmouth to share memories, stories, and a toast to Ted. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating ten dollars (Ten for Ted) to a charity of your choice, make an appointment to give blood, or find a simple way to make someone’s day a little bit brighter.