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Date of Passing: May 19, 2021

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With heavy hearts we announce the peaceful passing of Walter Wilfred Nilsson at the age of 95 on Wednesday, May 19, 2021.
He will be greatly missed by all whom knew and loved him. Mourning his passing are his sons, Walter Nilsson (Tanya), Arne Nilsson (Sandy); grandsons, Matthew Nilsson (Marina, Remington and Isabella), Trevor Nilsson and Jason Nilsson. Walter was predeceased by his wife Lorain Nilsson on November 12, 2000.
Wally had a wonderful long life and appreciated all that life had to offer. His favourite interests encompassed Hockey, the Fire Department and Family. Along with his gifts for music he was a talented piano player who enjoyed entertaining family and friends.
Walter served in the Royal Canadian Navy, completing his training out of Digby, Nova Scotia. He joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1942, serving on a number of missions in the North Atlantic until his discharge in 1946. A Second World War veteran Walter then found his calling in the Winnipeg Fire Department and eventually moved to South Transcona with his beloved wife Lorain and their young family in 1960 and where he lived until recently. He was a respected part of the community and helped build the South Transcona Community Club with many family friends.
Wally served 38 years with the Winnipeg Fire Department, he advanced and held leadership roles within the Fire Department including acting Fire Chief before he retired. Although being retired for 33 years we still run into people that have wonderful stories about his humour and they share warm memories of Wally during his long career. He formed many true friendships throughout his life in public service and within community.
Wally will now rest with his beloved wife Lorain who he would always say 'is waiting patiently for him.'
A special thank you to George and John for being such good friends, Wally was grateful to have the best friendship anyone could ask for.
The family wishes to convey their heartfelt thanks and acknowledgement to all of the staff at the Bethania Nursing Home for their compassionate and loving care during his later years in life.

You will be in our memories forever
Dear Father and Grandfather.

Should friends desire to do so, memorial donations made in his memory, to the Fire Fighters Burn Fund would be appreciated.
A celebration of his life will be in our thoughts and prayers. No service will take place and a private family burial will follow.

Family and friends are invited to share
memories and leave condolences by visiting
Wally's memorial page at

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on May 22, 2021

Condolences & Memories (10 entries)

  • Wally was a great man. Smart, funny, courageous and compassionate. When I started the job, Wally was one of the "old guys" kind enough to bestow his knowledge on a young man in need. He helped me learn my job and survive to retire years later. Thanks for the gifts and the memories. Much appreciated. My condolences to his family. - Posted by: Scott Miner (Colleague ) on: Jun 28, 2021

  • Uncle Wally was caring and loving man, many times were spent with Uncle Wally and Aunt Lorraine, either at their house or ours. Always open to trying anything or doing anything. They allowed us to use there yard on the south side for Greg 50th birthday, Always a smile on his face and happy go lucky. Will miss you Uncle, sure you, Greg and Aunt are looking down on us, till we meet again. Darcy, Troy, Tyler - Posted by: Darcy Robert & Family (Uncle) on: Jun 06, 2021

  • Wally and my dad, Bill Phillips, worked together as firefighters in the 1950s, and he was one of the few people who remembered my dad, who died young in 1958. Wally and Lorain were my godparents, and I remember many visits to their home over the years, including Wally playing the piano. Later on, Wally loved to talk about the younger Nilssons' hockey skills. My condolences to everyone in the family - you were lucky to have a wonderful father and grandfather. - Posted by: Bev Phillips (Family friend and goddaughter) on: Jun 05, 2021

  • A perfect gentleman. He was a wonderful firefighter. Not just about getting the job done but the residents affected, the well being of his crew and impact within the community he worked be it North End, downtown or throughout the City. Community, Wally was all about that. He built a legacy in South Side Community Club. Old school volunteerism evident in charitable work with Firefighters. Last time I saw Wally was in TG Smith arena, Steinbach at a tournament for one of his grandchildren. Looked great but said he had given up his pipe. Wally's Pipe another memory. Bless you Wally for all the friends you made will miss you. - Posted by: Michael Robson (firefighter and friend) on: Jun 02, 2021

  • Condolences to the Nilsson family. The “ Viking “ may be gone, but will always be remembered. - Posted by: John black (Retired firefighter) on: May 23, 2021

  • Condolences to Arne and Sandy and family. Walter was our number one (and only) hockey fan for many years. Riels and Canada Movers, etc old timers. Remember many hockey parties in his Transcona yard, drinkin beers around the bonfire. Good times. Walter always had a kind word to say. He will be missed and not forgotten. Rick Fennell, friend of Arne. - Posted by: Rick Fennell (friend) on: May 22, 2021

  • My condolences to Arne, Sandy and family and to all those friends and family who knew and loved Wally. - Posted by: Diana Edwards Surbey (Family friend) on: May 22, 2021

  • Please accept our condolences for your great loss! We have many fond memories of Wally’s love for family, friends, animals, Bridge and hockey. Michelle (Gooding) and Ken Rowson - Posted by: Michelle Rowson (Family friend) on: May 22, 2021

  • I worked a number of years with Wally in the fire department. He had an amazing sense of humour and the ability to see the root of a problem no matter what and come up with a solution. He was a true gentleman. Rest in piece my friend. Jim Hoglund - Posted by: Jim E Hoglund (friend) on: May 22, 2021

  • Chief Nilsson was truly amazing. Prolific, insightful, and full of heart. Totally unflappable in every situation he had the ability to get to the heart of the matter with grace while under fire. Throughout his career his focus was his family, and readily shared his proud family moments. Chief Nilsson is an Officer and Gentleman, Rest in Peace my friend. - Posted by: Stephen Sumka (Friend - Firefighter ) on: May 22, 2021

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