George Wallace Whyte was born on May 19 1926 on Sinclair Road, Torry.
He’s memorialised on the Greyhope Bay bench shared with so many others.
Always known as Wallace, he was one of nine children for hardworking housewife Mary and her carpenter husband Edward.
He was a regular at Victoria Hall Sunday School and attended Victoria Road Primary but from a young age was known for his cheeky personality and propensity to “abscond”.
“The story goes that my dad was always running away from something or other. He left school early and as part of the war effort was sent down the mines – but kept running away and coming home.
“He tried fishing and came back because he was seasick, and he really never settled in the army either,” said Debbie, Wallace’s daughter.
A move south
However, it was when Wallace left Scotland for a new life in Bedford that he finally settled down.
Working in steel erection until 1986, he then became a driver for a double glazing firm until he retired.
It was on a building site café where Wallace met love of his life, Liverpudlian Shirley Ford. Born on June 9 1936, Shirley became Mrs Whyte on Christmas Eve 1954.
Together they had three children: Debbie, Carron and Eddie, seven grandkids and eight great-grandchildren.
Though Wallace built a life south of the border he relished his annual visits to Torry.
“Whenever dad went home he would always go round the Bay of Nigg, sit on the bench and talk about his memories growing up in Torry,” added Debbie, “back in thickest of Doric accents too.”
His brother Thomas Whyte added: “Wallace was the loveliest man. He would make everyone laugh and certainly kept everyone on their toes growing up. But you wouldn’t find a nicer man.
“We always looked forward to him coming back to see us year after year.”
A place to remember Wallace and Shirley
So when Wallace passed away in 2015 after a stroke, it was a natural fit for a memorial to be added to his favourite bench in the place where he grew up.
Shirley’s name was also added to the plaque, because of Wallace’s devotion to his late wife who died in 1998, the week before their granddaughter’s wedding.
Now the bench in Torry where her parents are memorialised is a place of comfort for Debbie and her siblings.
“Whenever we are there I go up there. Sometimes I leave flowers, sometimes we just talk. I have a connection to my dad on that Torry bench for sure.”