Sadly, we have lost another one of our Park Warden Alumni members.  Michel was a member of our society for several years.  He was a generous in his financial support of our Oral History Project.


Michel Joseph Hubert Vallée

January 6, 1950 – January 5, 2022

Michel Vallée, husband, father, brother, outdoorsman, chef, bon vivant, flyfisher and friend, passed away peacefully at Nanaimo Regional Hospital on the morning of January 5, 2022 with family members at his side, one day short of his 72nd birthday.

Michel was born in Trois Rivières, Quebec, to Rodolphe and Eleanor (Levasseur) Vallée, the fourth of seven children. He is survived by his wife Sheila, their children, Nicholas of Nanaimo, Stephen of Victoria, and Alexandra of Nanaimo. He is also survived by his siblings Kathleen Gilfillan (Cliff), Pierre (Bodil), Madeleine, Edgar, and Marie. He was predeceased by his brother Francois (Dianne). Michel grew up near Montreal. After graduating high school, he headed west to Vancouver, finding myriad jobs and networks of friends that ultimately led him in one direction. Everything he did drew him back to trees and the forests he loved, whether it was in government, private industry, education, or professional organizations.

As a young man, he worked on exploration crews in the North, and later, as a National Parks warden, first in Waterton Lakes, then in Yoho, B.C. In Yoho, he lived in a cabin next to Takakkaw Falls, spending many of his days on horseback, ensuring wildlife and tourist welfare. It was in this idyllic setting, he met Sheila (nee McWilliams), his wife of 40 years. After more jobs and schooling, Michel became a professor of forestry at Vancouver Island University where he taught for 30+ years and occasionally served as department chair. Through his long affiliation with the Canadian Institute of Forestry (CIF), he organized and led almost 30 cultural tours for students and fellow forestry professionals throughout Britain, Europe, the United States, South America and New Zealand, creating international community.
In summer of 2020, while undergoing treatment for cancer, he completed work on his cedar strip canoe, which took over the family garage for nearly a year. It was a work of art, and it floated on the water like a leaf. The second canoe, he said with a twinkle in his eye, would be even better.

His family is so grateful to the caring staff at the palliative care unit at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. Special thanks to Dr. Love, Pat, Carly, Angela and Emma.
Thanks also to Bob Priebe, a fly-fishing pal, who made a beautiful urn out of aspen and walnut for Michel’s ashes.   Cremation has taken place, with a small private ceremony to be held as per his wishes. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Michel’s name to Forests Without Borders at   Condolences may be left and information found at