Wally MacLean passed peacefully, surrounded by family, on June 1st, 2024 at the age of 65. And what a life he had!  Born on January 15th, 1959 in Peterborough Ontario, he was the first of four children to newcomer Scottish parents. After moving across the country, first to Calgary, then North Vancouver and finally to Victoria, Wally had a childhood rich in love and mischief at Lakehill Elementary and later at Reynolds Secondary. As he grew into his own, he developed a deep love of team sports, dazzling on the soccer field and later on the basketball court. A charismatic and creative presence, he found an alter ego as the bassist in the cult Reynolds band Slider and then as the lead in school plays. In other words, he was a pretty cool dude. As the older brother of three sisters, his siblings obviously tagged along for many of the antics and he had all the patience and love for them that the best older brother would. It was his time at Reynolds when he developed deep friendships that would stay with him throughout his life, even when they passed before him, with Reg King and Danny Brodersen. They’re together again, probably swapping stories and sharing a laugh over some long overdue cocktails.

As an adult, Wally became a passionate and skilled sailor. The time he spent racing his Cal 20 and then with Doug Taylor Lee in the T Bird fleet are among those counted as some of the happiest of his life. He found community with like-minded sailors at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, which would be a home away from home as long as he lived. Soon, he fell in love with Ann-their 35-year marriage was a partnership for the ages. Professionally, he developed a career in retail as the District Manager for Thrifty’s Jeans and Eddie Bauer, both here in BC and in Ontario.  The most important role of his life would come when their beloved daughter Brenna was born, and he was promoted to the role of stay-at-home Dad. He took it all on with pride and so much love- driving Brenna to her 5 am competitive swim practices while singing along to The Eagles, becoming co-president of the West Vancouver Otters and finally cheering her on as she raced for Canada and Indiana University. He was incredibly proud of who she grew up to be.

Wally faced his life with grace, grit, and a dry sense of humor. He learned in his 30s that life becomes fair when you realize it isn’t fair and that is the gift in itself. He displayed true stoicism without seeking any acknowledgement for what he was faced with, a true warrior and inspiration to everyone.

Wally will be deeply missed by so many people, but especially his wife Ann (Ashworth), daughter Brenna (Nash Hourston), sisters Cory (Doug Bond), Kris (Tim Bye), and Janis (Mike Jean), and niece Emma. He was predeceased by and is now reunited with his beloved parents, Walter Menzies, and Helen Rae (Trueman). We will love you forever, Wally.

No service is planned at this time.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Able Sail Victoria and Broadmead Care/Rest Haven Lodge would be deeply appreciated.

“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust our sails”

Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Gardens

  • Todd Jarvis

    I had the good fortune of working for Wally at Eddie Bauer and then the really good fortune of becoming his friend after he left. He truly was a warrior and my respect for him is unlimited. Jackie and I send our love and best wishes to Ann, Brenna and the rest of his family.

  • Francois Tessier

    I Worked with Wally as his Caregiver for 3 years. In the years we had formed a great friendship. As the months passed we found we had similar past. Wally was very much into his music as I am, and we both played in a band, we would listen to the radio all day and quizzed ourselves on who the artist was and the name of the song. This was good for both of us to keep our memory in place. We had so much good laughter from stories of our past. Wally was very wise, kind heart and fun to work with. We both had a big love for our dogs ( Jenga & Peter ) I am without a doubt that Wally is with Jenga having a great time.
    My condolences go out to Ann, Brenna and the whole family, Here’s to you Wally
    ️ ️️️️

  • Rick & Robin

    Dear Ann and Brenna

    Our sincerest condolences to you and your family. May loving memories bring you strength and peace.
    A quiet harbour has been prepared for Wally, and his laughter will ring out with Reg, Danny, Doug and many more friends!
    Our thoughts are with you,
    Rick & Robin

  • Lori Hallier

    For Ann, “ Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin Dance me through panic till I’m safely gathered in Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove Dance me to the end of love”. For Wally, There are no words. Only snapshots of your wild and wonderful journey in this world. My beloved Toady… the best… Peter Pan.

  • Leslie Hogya

    Dear Ann,
    I send my heart-felt condolences. Reading about Wally, makes me wish I had known him. I wish you peace, as you face each day now without him.
    Love, Leslie H.

  • loretta chelini

    My heart was saddened to hear this news, i knew Wally in highschool, he was such a fun , kind ,lively person,Such a loss!At times like this we hold on to the promise…We will see them again
    sincere condolences to all of you
    Loretta Chelini

  • Brenda Druce

    So sorry to hear of Wallys passing. He was a great guy and a true Roadrunner. He will be missed dearly by so many. and yes, I bet Danny and Reggie are with him swapping stories. ❤️
    ❤️ Hugs to the Families ❤️

  • John Horgan

    Saddened to learn that our friend Wally has left us. He will be deeply missed by our tight clutch of LakeHill/Reynolds alumni. So many fond memories of our youth. Sports, music, mischief, becoming adults. Although the decades have slid by, the bonds of friendship have strengthened. His quick smile and his extraordinary resilience later in life will be with us always. Condolences to Ann and the family. Rest in peace my friend.

  • Michael Allabarton

    Beautiful words, written by someone who truly knew Wally (Walter) MacLean.

    If I were to eulogize my Athletic, Bass Playin’, Thespian friend– yah, as I was knuckle-dragging my way through High School Wally was doing it all!– I would have had too much to say. Mostly goofy “guy stuff.”

    I would share stories about his wry wit. 

    Like the time we were out for coffee– just he and I– and because Wally was experiencing dexterity issues at the time, I was helping him with his beverage. To be a smart-ass– as I looked around the coffee place– I came in close (thinking I’d make him laugh) and because I was feeding Wally his drink said “Do you think everyone one here assumes we’re a couple?” Instead of laughing at my quite lame joke, Wally decoupled from the straw he was sipping his drink through, looked me in the eye and dryly replied, “No, I don’t Michael. I think they all assume I could do better.”

    Son of a B!%ch!!!! Wally 1 – Michael 0 

    Wally would run the score to 3 – 0 on me that day. Turning the tables. It was he who had me laughing, as I left our encounter licking my comic wounds. I’d live to fight another day.

    I would share High School stories about driving around in his white 1960s-something Ford Fairlane. A case of beer in the trunk and on our way to Spooner Bay. Getting pulled over by the police on route and Pat– my now wife and Chief Weasle to Wally’s Toad of Toad Hall– in the front seat between us, all but thanking the police officer for not confiscating our case of brew… Jeeeesus, Pat! Wally and I would still laugh at this.

    I would talk about two LakeHill soccer buddies whose Scottish Dads would stand on the sidelines (Wally’s from Glasgow and mine from Edinburgh), opining about post WWII Scotland while cheering on their boys. If only at that age we were mature enough to recognize the “specialness” of this. Fortunately, later in life we had the opportunity, and the wherewithal, to talk about and appreciate this specialness.
    I would talk about our “joint custody” of our good friend Reg King. I would like to think Reg and I would have called each other “best friend” from grade 3 through 9, around the time he and Wally developed a joint love of music and began to form their unique bond. I would also like to think that our taste in friends said something about our own unique later-in-life bond.

    I would talk about my desire– as a 65th birthday gift to him– for just Wally and I to jump in his tricked-out van, head over to the mainland, map-dot and bomb around his old West Van neighbourhood. Hitting a pub, or two. Our own version of “Thelma & Louise,” if you will. But probably closer to “Dumb & Dumber.” I ran this 65th B-day gift idea by Ann, which was met with a chilly “we’ll see, Michael.” Making me feel as though Dumb & Dumber may have been a more apt description 🙂 

    I’d talk about Ann. I’d talk about– with the exception of Brenna– the best thing that could have ever happened to him. I’d talk about how he was right on-point that day in the coffee place. That he could have, and did in fact, do much better than me 🙂 He simply couldn’t have done better.

    I’d talk about Brenna and how, without fail, every time we’d get together Wally would bring-up his Crown Jewel. And in real-time I’d see what they mean when they describe how a person’s eyes literally “light-up.”

    I would talk about how with every encounter, Wally would reinstill in me my own Philosophy of Life, which is that we truly and only own two things: our Relationships and our Time. I was blessed to forge a special relationship later in life with Wally. And I can’t think of a better way, or person, to spend my time with. In this regard, Wally ticked my Life Philosophy boxes. 

    In many ways I feel as if I stole his time and I feel for those who may have missed out because of me and my greed. But if asked if I could and would give his time back– sorry… not a chance. It seems greed too has a threshold.

    But mostly I’d talk about how Wally made me feel. And as odd as it sounds, how he could make me feel far Less Than. But in a positive way. In a way that served to improve me as a person. As a man. When I would leave our coffee dates, dinner dates or visits, I’d leave feeling as though if placed in his health situation I would fall woefully short of being half the man he is. But I’d feel him pushing me toward the man I could become– certainty strive to become. The man he was and how he will always remain in my heart. In my mind. The man I know he will always be to so many who knew him: resolute, immensely strong, unrelenting, self-effacing, without hubris.

    I would talk about how he taught me the true value of a friend and how to bring all this to a relationship.

    I would talk about our last visit on May 9, 2024, on his Resthaven patio. The last time I’d see my friend alive… soaking-in the sunshine.

    So to my Athletic, Bass Playin’, Thespian friend, I say thank you for blessing me with your friendship. For the life lessons you had no idea you were teaching me. However, schooling me with each and every encounter. For permitting me to steal your valuable time. 

    From here it is up to me– to all of us– to pay your wisdom and kindness forward.

    Peace, and with thanks and enduring love my friend.


  • Gail Pohl

    Dear Ann and all of Wally’s family,
    We are deeply sorry to hear of Wally’s passing.
    We have wonderful memories of him as a fellow sailor!
    He had a great sense of humour and was always upbeat.
    Our thoughts are with you all.
    Gail and Ken Pohl

  • Renee Hourston

    Wally really was a pretty cool dude!
    Truly loved and deeply missed ❤️

  • Mary Mullens

    Dear Ann,
    Sincere condolences to you and your family on your loss. Your descriptions of Wally convey what a very cool dude he must have been and how much love he generated.
    My thoughts are with you.
    Mary Mullens

  • Gayle Forler

    There is a quiet place somewhere beyond tomorrow where the mist of grief will begin to clear away.

  • April Glowicki

    Dear Ann and Family,

    I am very sorry to hear about your loss Ann. Your husband sounded like an amazing person. And what a wonderful life he led. Sending my condolences and a big hug.
    April Glowicki

  • Jane Taylor Lee

    Alex joins me in sending you our love and heartfelt condolences on Wally’s passing. He was one of Doug’s oldest and closest friends and we have heard so many wonderful sailing stories over the years. We wish Wally fair winds and smooth sailing.

  • Virginia Ronning

    This precious soul has wings to fly now. I know how much Wally will be missed.

  • Ivana Halliday

    Cory and family, it’s never easy to say goodbye to someone you love and when we say I’m sorry for your loss, these are words that someone that has lost a loved one can truly understand the pain.
    We are truly sorry for your loss from the heart.
    So much love sent to you and your family❤️
    Jim and Ivana Halliday

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