WALLACE, Thomas Campbell
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Passed quietly on Good Friday March 29, 2013. He is survived by his loving wife Alice, his three children, Linda Susan, Thomas Stewart (Chantale Belanger), Richard Campbell and his wife Elisabeth Harris, who gave Tom the joy of his three grandchildren Morgan, Hannah and Jack, as well as by all of his nieces nephews, family, friends and fashion followers.
Born in Burlington, Ontario, October 8, 1924 , he was one of eight children born to John and Christina Wallace of Fifeshire Scotland. In 1925 the family moved to Montreal where Tom enjoyed a remarkable family life and career.
Though he would be based in Montreal, travel would soon be a big part of Tom's experience. However a few things remained to be accomplished, before he could immerse himself into the craft of shoemaking, to pioneer Canada's international presence in fashion footwear. Before he could begin his career he had to first meet and marry his muse - a "southern belle" - Alice Stewart, from Charlotte, N.C. They remained devoted to each other for more than 61 years.
Early on, he dodged a promising career as a bureaucrat with the Montreal Tram Cie. by enlisting for the Air Force at their earliest acceptance. After the war, he began in advertising sales with his brothers' publishing business Wallace Publishing Limited. Tom was responsible for sales, there was no acumen required in that judgement, he was a gifted. The enterprise was built from four to twenty weekly/monthly publications and and later sold to the Maclean-Hunter Publishing Company.
Tom became involved in the shoe business through a sales call with Wallace Publishing. From that moment he was hooked, he passionately innovated and created footwear for retailers. Notably Browns here in Montreal and Bally of Switzerland. Collaborating with other designers of the era Roland Jordan, and Coco Channel, and a broad network of trusted retailers, manufacturers and suppliers, he was respected as the creator of some of the finest women's dress shoes manufactured at the time. While he traveled extensively and valued the fullest of days, he refused to become committed to offshore manufacturing as to do so would place further demands on his family life. As well as his personal commitment to "made in Canada", Tom pioneered trend research and overseas sourcing with trips to the ever shifting ground zero of fashion at the time. Carnaby Street, Champs-Élysées, 5th ave. and Monte Napoleon were familiar to him. Though Tom enjoyed fishing and hunting trips with business relations and friends, he preferred the camaraderie - playing cards, the laughs and the cooking - over the actual planned activities. Equally he enjoyed skiing and of course, golf - a passion some might say that was more of a reflection of his ambition and determination. Like everywhere else, "on the course", he managed to make hard work look easy.
Tirelessly supportive of any request of service, Tom served his church and community, as well as his industry, his country and above all; family at any mention of need and Tom considered everyone family. He was equally meandering with his philanthropic efforts. He found himself a friend to the Nepalese, through his beloved brother Bob, the CGA. and a number of foundations in search of a cure. Yet it was education that was paramount to Tom, if he heard a student would benefit from financial support he was there. He knew the struggles an awareness could overcome and with this in mind in 1995, he created a educational fund for the members of the shoe industry.
The charismatic twinkle in his piercing blue eyes will be missed. Thank you for sharing your life with us Tom, we love you.
In lieu of flowers please give generously to the Canadian Alzheimer's Society http:/ /www.alzheimer.ca/en/Get-involved. The family hopes to encourage all who wish to share about Tom at https://www.facebook.com/ThomasWallaceMemorialPage
Visitation: Thursday, April 4th, 7-9 pm
Service: Friday, April 5th, 1 pm
Join the family following the Service for a celebration of the life of Thomas C Wallace.
Mount Royal Commemorative Center
1297 Chemin de La Foret
Outremont QC H2V 2P9
Tel 514 279 6540
Published in The Gazette from Apr. 2 to Apr. 4, 2013