Harold WYATT

  • "A good and kind man and a fine banker. I enjoyed my..."
    - w John Charman
  • "Andrea, David & Kathy. Your father was a true gentleman who..."
    - Stephen Frazee
  • "We extend our sincere sympathies to Hal's family. We are..."
    - Garth and Eleanor Hampson
  • "Kathy, Andrea and David, Thinking of you all and am sorry I..."
    - Susan Mirabella
  • "Dear Andrea, Bill and I were so saddened to hear of your..."

WYATT, Harold Edmund
November 30, 1921 – October 22, 2015
"Be special to as many people as you may possibly be"
It is with sadness we announce the passing of Hal Wyatt, on October 22, 2015 in Calgary. He lived an extraordinary life, humbly accomplishing what few can dream of and never losing sight of the people around him.
Hal was predeceased by his beloved wife Marnie (Isabel Margaret MacDonald) in 2004 and a daughter Gail in 1944. He is survived by his family, Andrea Shumka (Dale), David Wyatt (Judith), Kathryn Wyatt (David Cottingham) and grandchildren David Shumka (Maria), Nicole Sjosedt (Fredrik), Marnie Shumka, Matthew Shumka (Christine), Mara Wyatt (Blake MacPhail), Leah Wyatt (Ryan Reiber), Edward Cottingham, Jono Cottingham, Wyatt Cottingham and David Cottingham and four great-grandchildren, Tristan and Quentin Sjostedt, Isabel Shumka and Arya MacPhail. Hal is also survived by his sister-in-law Shirley Wyatt and many nieces and nephews.
Born Harold Edmund Wyatt on November 30, 1921, in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Hal was the third of six children of Edmund Wyatt and Zelma Turk. Sadly he was the last of his family, being predeceased by his parents, sisters Helen Leask, Irene Lalonde, Ann Richardson, brothers Ralph Wyatt and Robert Wyatt.
His much enjoyed and revered childhood in Moose Jaw was one of activity, community and family and shaped his life of service, friendship and business leadership. Upon graduation from Central Collegiate in 1939, Hal joined the Royal Bank of Canada at seventeen, beginning his career in Eyebrow, Saskatchewan. It did not take him long to spot Marnie on the street and to begin their life together. A life centered around an exceptionally happy marriage, one that spanned almost 63 years.
Hal and Marnie demonstrated the quiet courage, the manners and the compassion of their generation. Never one to shirk responsibilities, Hal was quick to sign up with the RCAF in WWll. An able pilot, he served as a Flight Instructor in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan teaching many air crews to fly at bases across Canada and then rejoined the Royal Bank after the war.
While with the Royal Bank, Hal, Marnie and family enjoyed many wonderful experiences in many cities and Hal's career was remarkable. He had a great deal of common sense, kindness, and concern for others. In his early career, he was identified as a leader, mentoring many, and he quickly rose to become head of Personnel. Hal always said the bank offered him several careers and a firsthand view of many of the 20th century's most exciting events, as the Royal was establishing itself as a leading international player. Hal continued his career as the head of Canadian Districts and when he retired was Vice Chairman, and Director.
Many awards were bestowed upon Hal outside of banking for his efforts and contributions to numerous charities and educational endeavours. He received the Order of Canada in 1999, a Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002, and the first Outstanding Canadian Award presented by the Canadian Unity Council in 2005. In 2007, Hal received a Lifetime National Philanthropy Award and also in the same year he received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Saskatchewan. In 2009, Hal was awarded The Alberta Order of Excellence and in 2010 an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Calgary. In 2014, he was the recipient of an Honorary Degree (Bachelor of Arts) from Mount Royal University and he was again recognized with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee award in 2012.
Hal also served as Chairman of the University of Saskatchewan, Chairman Emeritus of the Mount Royal University Foundation and Chairman of the Calgary International Organ Festival. As well, he chaired the boards of The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, The Canada US Chamber of Commerce, The Canada UK Chamber of Commerce, The Calgary Economic Development Authority, The Council for Canadian Unity, Liquid Carbonic Incorporated and Monsanto Canada. He served as a director for many organizations including B.P. Canada, Talisman Energy, Chrysler Canada, RCA Canada, The American Management Association, The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, The Banff School of Management, Trimac Ltd, The Industrial Bank of Japan (Canada), The Asia Pacific Foundation, Pacific Basin Economic Council, Concordia University, The Calgary Philharmonic, The Cantos Music Festival and Honens Piano Competition, St. Mary's Hospital and Red Feather - United Way. Hal was also a frequent participant in Canadian Trade Missions.
Throughout his life Hal was interested in sports. He enjoyed golf, achieving his ultimate goal of a hole in one. He was a great supporter of the Canadian Football League where he served as a Trustee for the Schenley Awards and was a loyal supporter of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Hal and Marnie loved to travel and took a great interest in the cultures of the almost 60 countries they visited. A favourite destination was Longboat Key, Florida where the entire family shared many wonderful Christmases. He valued education, reading newspapers, people who were informed and especially, being born in Canada. Hal was always ready to listen and his vast memory could recall the most extraordinary details as evidenced in his biography, "A Royal Balance" written at the age of 91! Hal was always meeting someone he knew, greeting them with a genuine smile and warmth. As anyone who knew him would agree, Hal always took the time to make those around him feel special with a kind word or his trademark sense of humour.
In addition to his achievements with the Royal Bank and his many contributions to business, education and charity, Hal cared most about being a loving husband, father, grampa and friend. He will be deeply missed.
A Memorial Service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 31, 2015 at Living Spirit United Church, 629 49th Avenue SW, Calgary. In lieu of flowers, donations will be gratefully received by Mount Royal University Foundation for the Scholarships in Memory of Hal and Marnie Wyatt or for the Wyatt Concert Series.
A special thank you to Anne Pickering and Cora Lucas, whose assistance to our father in latter years was greatly appreciated.

Published in The Calgary Herald from Oct. 27 to Oct. 30, 2015
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