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Obituary of Dr.Stephen Charles Wallace

Obituary Text:

WALLACE, Dr. Stephen CharlesJanuary 22, 1946 – May 19, 2015With profound sadness, yet wonderful and loving memories, we deeply mourn the sudden death of Dr. Stephen C. Wallace, Professor Emeritus of the University of Toronto, scientist, musician and artist, laser pioneer and entrepreneur. Survived by his most loving wife of almost 45 years, Geraldine Kenney-Wallace; his sister Carol and husband Bob Tulk; cousins Donna, Mary and Karen; his brother-in-law Julian and Linda T.W. Kenney; sister-in-law Jacqualine Kenney; cousin Fiona Kenney and husband Paul Oliver; nephews Robert Kenney and Jason Kenney and their young families; his niece and nephew Sarah Tulk Swanson and Philip Tulk with their respective families. Born in Vanderhoof, BC, Stephen grew up in Ladysmith, Vancouver Island. In 1963 he successfully completed the ATCM degree in Violin performance from the Trinity School of Music, London, UK. He also played in a regional symphony orchestra 1960-1963. Entering the sciences at University of British Columbia in 1963, he received a first class Honours degree in Chemistry in 1967. Supported by National NSERC scholarships, he began his PhD research on Cerenkov spectroscopy and pulsed electron beams, awarded his doctorate in early 1971. Stephen and Geraldine met as graduate students with Professor David Walker, married in Vancouver on June 6, 1970, and in May 1971 both were appointed to the Radiation Laboratory, Notre Dame University, USA. In May 1972, Stephen was appointed as IBM Research Scientist at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Centre in NY, USA, and pioneered the hydrogen laser, vacuum ultra violet lasers and excimer laser developments in the Quantum Optics Group. In 1974, he was invited by Professor John Polanyi to be the founding Project Leader for such laser activity in Canada, in both Physics and Chemistry Departments at the University of Toronto. Then as professor, Stephen built a very active, internationally recognised research group; promoted to full Professor by 1985. That same year he was awarded The Rutherford Medal in Chemistry from the Royal Society of Canada. Other research honours included A.P.Sloan Fellow (1978, USA) Killam Research Associateship 1979, and Killam Senior Fellowship (1985), Visiting faculty appointments at the Grand Ecole Polytechnique, Paris (1981), Stanford University (1985), and Imperial College London University (1999-2000). He had consulting and research projects in UK, North America and Asia-Pacific. From 1987-1992 Stephen was also Associate Director of the Ontario Laser and Lightwave Research Centre, responsible for funding interdisciplinary Industry and University partnerships. In 2002 Stephen decided to pursue his growing London research interests in the arts. In 2004 he became a permanent UK resident; he and Geraldine lived and worked in London and France. He became a Freeman of the City of London, a Liveryman of the Worshipful World Traders in 2010, a member of the Silver Society and the Oriental Ceramics Society, attending scientific lectures at the Royal Society. He was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Physics in 2011. He was devoted to music and Opera in NY, London and Paris. He loved designing gardens, and gourmet cooking for friends. Stephen had a wonderful mind, was well-known for his quiet kindness, and a wicked sense of humour if the occasion was right. He returned to Vancouver in 2012 to continue his arts research, and play an important role in a Canadian environmental hi-tech company. And especially to be closer to family, his mountains, the eagles, the sea at sunset. Alas his sudden death has shocked us all. We would like to thank the Lions Gate Hospital, especially the care and support of the Chemotherapy Cancer Clinic and staff with Dr. Puneet Bains, Dr. Avanessian, and Dr. Annette McCall. A Memorial Service for Dr. Stephen Wallace will be at the Holy Rosary Cathedral, Dunsmuir and Richards Street, Vancouver, on Saturday, May 30, 2015 at 3 p.m., followed by a Reception for family and friends at the Terminal City Club, 837 West Hastings Street, Vancouver.

Obituary Publication:

On May 27, 2015

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