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In Memoriam

June 5, 2023

Wild Lands Advocate article by: Christyann Olson

Click here for a pdf version of the article.


Hugh Wollis: 1948 – 2022

On a cold October morning, news that our friend and a truly great defender of wildlife had suddenly and very unexpectedly passed away sent a chill of sadness through our hearts and through the hearts of all those who knew him. Hugh Wollis will always be remembered for his passion and the difference he made as he mentored a younger generation, who needed his years of expertise and experience to help them learn and understand how important their conservation work is. Hugh was an untiring defender of wildlife, and the habitat wildlife needs to thrive and be healthy.

There are many who had the chance to know Hugh, including many long-time friends, colleagues and most importantly family; a family that is so proud of him and the things he did for each of them to let them know how much he cared for and loved them.

From the 1980s, when AWA was working to promote directional drilling to save precious alpine habitats, to more recent years when his concerns were about protecting western grebes and opposing a government decision to allow hunting of Sandhill Cranes, Hugh was watching and making his own decisions about how best to defend wilderness in Alberta. He called AWA from time to time to see what he could do to help AWA’s work on various files; he was tireless and always available for a call or a chance to meet. Hugh took a stand and was a role model for those who worked with him and learned from him.

In the months prior to Hugh’s passing, he and his wife Donna, both long-time supporters and members of AWA, made a significant donation to AWA of a piece of land in north-central Alberta. The funds from this gift have made an important difference and are vital to AWA’s ongoing financial strength. AWA and its Board of Directors, staff and volunteers are grateful and humbled by this recognition from Hugh and Donna that enables AWA’s day-to-day work to continue. AWA’s work in defending wild Alberta through awareness and action includes inspiring people to care. Hugh cared in many concrete ways that became inspirational to many. Perhaps even more importantly, AWA has gained immeasurable strength from knowing supporters like Hugh and Donna care and want to see AWA be independent and strong for years to come!

With sincere sympathy to Donna and Hugh’s family in their loss; Hugh will not be forgotten.

Stanley Rosenbaum: 1927 – 2021

Stanley Rosenbaum led a remarkable life of adventure, mountaineering, backcountry skiing and advocating for natural spaces, as well as a career as a semiconductor inventor. A past President of the Alpine Club of Canada, he participated in the Yukon Alpine Centennial Expedition, climbing Centennial Peak during the main expedition. From Ottawa to Edmonton his adventurous spirit saw him leading tours in the Adirondacks and routinely enjoying trips in Alberta’s mountains and on ski touring trails in Kananaskis Country. Stanley and his partner Jean Wilman were keenly interested in wild spaces and routinely enjoyed reading AWA’s Wild Lands Advocate together. We are so grateful for all that Stanley did for wild spaces and conservation and that he included AWA as he planned for his legacy.

AWA is one of several conservation and naturalist groups who received bequests from Stanley. He will always be part of the legacy that keeps AWA passionate, untiring, and dedicated to defending Wild Alberta. We offer sincere condolences to his family in their loss and thanks to Stanley for this gift and for all he gave to conservation and wild spaces through the years.

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