Weyburn historian, volunteer Art Wallace passes at 92

A driving force of the Soo Line Historical Museum and community volunteer, Art Wallace, passed away in Weyburn on Jan. 31 at the age of 92 years.

Many friends and family attended the funeral service for him on Saturday at Grace United Church, with longtime friend Jean Fahlman sharing some of her memories about him.

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She recalled when her late husband Don and her joined the choir at Grace United Church, they met Wallace then and was very warmly welcomed by him.

“He made us so welcome. He was so interested in other people. That was one of his outstanding points, that he was always more interested in other people than in himself,” said Fahlman. “Don said to me that Art was one of the smartest men he had ever met. He never forgot anything, and he was a ferocious read. He retained everything that he read, especially about history. He never read fiction.”

She added that Wallace had a quick wit and a droll sense of humour, not a caustic one.

“When he said something, you always knew there would be something to make you laugh. He was such a knowledgeable person. He could talk about any subject with any person,” she said. “He was so special.”

Fahlman found it quite interesting that, in Wallace’s capacity with the Soo Line Museum board, he was even knowledgeable about historical women’s items, like hairpins or perfume bottles, but yet he never married.

“I asked him once why he never married. I said to him he would’ve made a good husband and father, and he said, ‘I never had the time, I was too busy’,” said Fahlman.

For many years, Art’s sister Maye (who also never married) was a resident at Parkway Lodge, and until her passing, he was a frequent visitor, helping to care for her.

Fahlman recalled that Art mentioned a highlight for him was a trip that he and Maye took to Scotland, Ireland and England. Art was proudly Scottish, wearing the Wallace tartan kilt on special occasions, including to meetings of the Masonic Lodge, of which he was a longtime member.

He was also very involved with the Weyburn Nature Society, and sang for over 40 years with the Grace United choir, in addition to his involvement on the board of the Soo Line Museum before it was taken over by the City of Weyburn.

Wallace was also an avid photographer for many years, as he loved to take photos, and he developed his own film and made prints, showing in a number of exhibitions over the years. Fahlman noted that some of his framed prints were on the walls at the Parkway Lodge.

“When digital cameras came in, he adapted to it, which was something I could never do,” said Fahlman.

Interment was held at Hillcrest Cemetery, and the family asked that any charitable donations made in his memory go to the Weyburn Humane Society, or the Soo Line Historical Museum.