Christopher R. Wallis died peacefully in his sleep on March 25, 2021, in his 91st year. Chris was recognized as one of Canada’s leading artists in the field of heraldic stained glass. He was born in Earlsfield, London, England, on August 4, 1930 to Ben and Edie Wallis. Chris joined the Royal Air Force and trained as a navigator, then apprenticed as a stained glass artist for 7 years in the studios of Travers and Lee. He worked on the nave windows of Coventry Cathedral prior to emigrating to Canada in 1956. Fiercely proud of his work, Chris designed and created more than 800 windows during his lifetime starting in his studio in London, ON then establishing the Lakeview Studio in 1980 near Grand Bend, with his second wife Geri.
Chris’ achievements are impressive, starting with his work ‘Yellow Sun and Red Sky’ which was exhibited at Expo 67 and the Museum of Civilization. In 1969 Chris was invited to co-create the Environmental Arts Program at Fanshawe College where he taught until 1979. He left to focus more on his studio practices. In 1989 Chris created 10 heraldic windows known as the ‘Inns of Court’ windows at Osgoode Hall and in 1992, two of his windows were unveiled at Rideau Hall in Ottawa by Queen Elizabeth II. In 1993 Chris received the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada medal for significant contribution to Canada, and in 1996 was awarded The Bell Canada Award for excellence in heraldic stained glass. In 2003, Canada Post featured Chris’ windows from St. Stephen’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Calgary, and from St. John’s United Church in Arva on an international stamp series. His work has been photographed by the famous Yousef Karsh.
Chris was a Fellow of both The British Society of Master Glass Painters and The Royal Heraldry Society of Canada, and a Member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.
Chris was predeceased in 2019 by Geri, his wife and loving companion of nearly 40 years, and by his first wife Clarice in 2018, whom forever held him dear. He leaves behind his son Simon, daughters Sarah and Elizabeth and his grandchildren.
A very warm thank you to Chris’ caregivers at The Country Manor Retirement Home in Thedford. Cremation has taken place and a private family gathering will be held in the near future. Charitable donations in Chris’ memory to any Art for Youth initiatives are welcome.
Arrangements are entrusted to Gilpin Funeral Chapel, 123 King Street East, in Forest, 519-786-4964. Please leave a memory or condolence online at www.GilpinFuneralChapel.com