September 6, 2023
We grieve the loss of Sam Wilder, K.C., a senior member of the PKF family, a passionate advocate and friend. Sam passed away on September 6, 2023, at the age of 83. He will be remembered for his compassion, his sense of humour and intelligence. We will miss his smile and his presence in our lives.
Sam was born in Winnipeg and grew up in the north end. He attended St. John’s Technical High School graduating in 1957. He received his B.A from the University of Manitoba in 1961 and his law degree from the University of Manitoba Law School in 1965. Sam was awarded the Gold Medal for the highest standing in his law class. Following law school, Sam articled with the law firm of Walsh Micay. He practiced with that firm and later joined the Attorney General’s Department as a prosecutor. In 1967 he and his brother, Joe, established their own firm, Wilder Wilder & Associates (soon to be Wilder Wilder & Langtry) where he was head of the Civil Litigation Department from its inception and until its merger with PKF Lawyers in January of 2020.
Sam received the prestigious designation of (the then) Queen’s Counsel in 1993.
Sam was a caring lawyer and a formidable advocate. During his over 56-year career as a lawyer, he amassed a broad range of experience in all aspects of litigation, including criminal, domestic and civil law.
Sam gave back to the legal community. He was a bencher of the Law Society 1984-1986 and then again from 1993 to 1996. During that time, he served in many positions, including Chairman of the Public Relations Committee, Vice Chairman of the Standards Committee and the Professional Liability Claims Fund Committee, and was an active contributing member of the Discipline, Constitution, Practice and Ethics and the Manitoba Law School Foundation committees. Sam was also active with the Manitoba Bar Association serving in many executive capacities, including President for the years 1981-82. Sam also contributed to the legal community in various capacities with the Canadian Bar Association, including on the National Executive Committee in 1982-83. He served as a board member of the Manitoba Law Foundation and with Legal Aid Manitoba, and was a member of the American Trial Lawyers Association, where he was a frequent lecturer.
Sam also gave back to the community. He actively participated on committees of the Jewish Community Council. He served as Past President of the Jewish Child & Family Services and remained an honourary life member up to his death. He was a past board member, president, and honourary life board member of the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue. He was a board member and executive member of the Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University, the Winnipeg Jewish Theatre, the Manitoba Head Injury Association, and the Winnipeg Squash & Racquet Club. Sam was also an aide to the Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Manitoba, the Honourable Bud Jobin, throughout his tenure as Lieutenant Governor.
Sam is survived by his loving wife, Wendy of 54 years and their three children Lisa, Steven, and Jonathan, and his five grandchildren. Sam is also survived by his brother Joe and numerous nephews and nieces. Sam’s devotion to, pride in, and love for his family cannot be overstated.
Everyone who knew Sam knew him for his kindness, integrity, and compassion. He will be deeply missed.