Canada Father of Evan Thomas invites everyone to SaskTel Centre funeral

22:46  13 april  2018
22:46  13 april  2018 Source:   Star Phoenix

A father goes to watch his son play for Humboldt. Then, a phone call

  A father goes to watch his son play for Humboldt. Then, a phone call A father goes to watch his son play for Humboldt. Then, a phone callThomas played hockey as a teen for the Moose Jaw Warriors. He knows the pecking order on a hockey bus; rookies in the front, vets in the back.

Plans are coming together for a memorial Monday at SaskTel Centre to honour the life of Evan Thomas , a Saskatoon-born player killed Friday in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

Devoted father of Thomas Ryan and John Brendan Duffy. Loving son of Margaret E. Gallagher-Duffy and the late Thomas M. Duffy. Dear brother of Margaret M. Duffy and Jean (Brian) Duffy-McGlynn. Reposing at The Fredrick J. Chapey & Sons East Islip Funeral Home, 200 East Main Street (1/2 mile

On Monday, Saskatoon’s SaskTel Centre arena will host its second memorial service in 30 years, and its first public funeral.

The previous memorial service was held in September 2016, when the ashes of hockey legend Gordie Howe were set in the base of the statue of Howe. That was a private affair held outside.

Monday’s funeral for Humboldt Broncos forward Evan Thomas promises to be a much different event, as much about honouring what the 18-year-old accomplished as mourning what might have lay ahead.

Sharing a distinction with Howe, known as Mr. Hockey, resonates for Evan’s father, Scott.

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- Scott Thomas , father . "When we pulled up and saw the front of the bus was gone, my head knew, right there," he said in an interview. The coroner met with the families on Saturday at the local funeral home On Monday there will be a memorial for Evan at SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon.

Thank you for visiting the Thomas Funeral Home Website. For over 30 years it has been our desire to offer the families and communities of Wake, Harnett and Johnston counties the very best service in their time of need.

“It makes me feel honoured for my son’s memory, absolutely,” Scott said in an interview at his home Wednesday. “(Evan) spent a lot of time in a rink and when we first started tossing around the ideas of proper venues for him, it was a rink somewhere. We had to be in a rink.”

Thomas said when family members started discussing numbers, they figured as many as 3,500 people might show up. That made SaskTel Centre, with a capacity of more than 15,000 for hockey, the only option.

He said SaskTel Centre officials have been “fabulous” in accommodating his family.

Although the funeral service will focus on the life of Evan Thomas, his father said he wants to make sure everyone who feels they have been affected by the Broncos bus crash knows they are invited. The funeral is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday. Saskatoon Transit is offering special bus service from downtown to SaskTel Centre — an indication that a large crowd is expected.

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“It’s affected hockey people so hard because any Canadian who’s ever played the game, any parent who’s ever put their child on a bus probably realizes that that could have been their son or daughter,” Thomas said. “It could have been their child. It could have been any highway on any stretch of road in any part of Canada. It could have happened. And it was so random and so violent.”

Thomas was remarkably composed Wednesday, although he paused at times and his voice trailed off at others.

The Saskatoon chiropractor has already done broadcast interviews with CBC’s The National and Sportsnet. Evan, 18, also excelled at baseball, but chose to pursue hockey.

Thomas said he cherishes the opportunity to tell his son’s story.

A cluster of vehicles were parked outside the Thomas home in the Silverspring neighbourhood on Wednesday. Friends and relatives were gathered on the main floor and in the basement. Extended family members have come from as far away as Calgary. Thomas’s brother flew in from Tokyo.

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The coroner met with the families on Saturday at the local funeral home, briefing them on what was known at On Monday there will be a memorial for Evan at SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon. Thomas said the event will be to honour his son, and bring together everyone who knew him and their family.

The main floor is running out of space for flowers. On a table next to the living room window stands a photo of Evan skating in his Broncos uniform, along with a package of Kraft Dinner, a football, a brown pair of dress shoes and a brown belt.

Evan’s remains were cremated Wednesday morning, and the family planned a trip Thursday to the intersection of Highways 35 and 335 south of Nipawin. That’s where the Broncos’ bus collided with a semi tractor-trailer Friday afternoon. Evan was one of 16 people on the bus who died as a result of the crash.

Thomas was travelling to the game about 40 minutes behind the bus carrying his son on its way to Nipawin for a Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) playoff game. He was being driven by the parents of Nipawin Hawks goalie Declan Hobbs, on whom Evan was going to try to score.

“I think hockey parents in general follow the bus, especially in the playoffs,” Thomas said. “Nobody wants to miss a playoff game.”

The parents’ vehicle had reached Melfort when Hobbs called to tell them the playoff game had been cancelled. The call was placed on Bluetooth, so everyone could hear when Hobbs told them there had been a “horrific bus accident.”

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He is survived by his wife, Karen; his sons, Mark & Matthew (Stephanie) Ciurca; his sister, Marguerite Legeer; and his grandchildren, Sara, Evan , Brittanee & Merranda Ciurca. Family and friends are invited to call Wednesday, April 11th from 4 - 7 PM at the THOMAS E. BURGER FUNERAL HOME, INC

Hobbs broke down when his father told him Thomas was in the car with them.

Then ambulances started to speed past.

About six vehicles carrying parents and fans stopped within about 300 feet of the crash scene, Thomas recalled. He and Paul Labelle, father of Broncos defenceman Xavier Labelle, tried to approach the scene, but were turned away by police.

Xavier Labelle was originally announced as among the dead, but was later revealed to be alive at Saskatoon’s Royal University Hospital.

Since the crash, he has heard from nearly every general manager in the Western Hockey League, he said. His friend, Calgary Flames coach Glen Gulutzan, texted him. Thomas said he has been contacted by teams from Ontario, “And all they do is cry.”

When former Chicago Blackhawks and Saskatoon Blades coach Lorne Molleken, who coached Scott Thomas in junior hockey, called him on Saturday, all he heard was sobbing. Thomas said. The two men cried together for about five minutes while barely uttering a word.

“It’s ripped the hearts out of so many people,” Thomas said.

Despite the heartache, he “absolutely” supports the decision to continue with the SJHL playoffs, he added.

In the aftermath of the collision, parents of Broncos players gathered in a church in Nipawin to await news, and every Hawks player showed up, Thomas said. Those players deserve the chance to make their dreams come true, he said.

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A widower and father of four, John was an active member of his church. His later life was much West, Silver Spring, MD on Wednesday, February 7 from 7 to 9 p.m. The Funeral Mass will take Webb, Hilary Petropouleas, Evan Owens, Christina Ashby, William, Jr. and Thomas Messett, Rachel

Scott Thomas talks about his son’s fatal injuries in Humboldt Bronco bus crash. Posted: Apr 10, 2018 10:22 PM ET | Last Updated: April 11.

“The game of hockey needs to move forward. My child was such a small piece of the big puzzle. He would absolutely be sitting here saying — knowing my son and his sense of humour — he’d be like, ‘Guys, what are you making such a big production of this for? Like, get on with life. Just go play. Play the game.’

“And so I hope that they proceed as normal. And it won’t be normal. But I hope Estevan and Nipawin have a seven-game series and it comes down to overtime in Game 7, and it’s some of the best hockey that people have ever seen. ”

Evan was drafted by the WHL’s Kooteny Ice and played with the team through the exhibition season last fall before getting cut. He returned to the Broncos to play his first full season with the team.

“He had a pretty average rookie year on the ice, but he certainly loved, loved those boys.” Thomas said. “He absolutely loved (his teammates).”

Thomas said he tried to coax his son home to Saskatoon to watch the Super Bowl and for the Easter long weekend, but Evan chose to stay with his teammates in Humboldt.

Evan will be remembered as an athlete, but there was much more to him, his father said.

His son “frustrated the hell” out of his parents, who were skeptical of his claims that he was doing his homework at school, he said. Then, his marks came back and they were consistently in the high 90s.

“He liked sports. He loved his teammates, but this athletic part of him was the smallest part. His contribution to the world was going to come from between his ears. And he was just starting to find his legs with that. That’s what’s tragic about this for him.”

ptank@postmedia.com

twitter.com/thinktankSK

Funeral being held for assistant coach with Broncos .
Funeral being held for assistant coach with Broncos"Mark was an incredibly hard worker. He was extremely bright. He was one of the most caring kids you would ever meet," said Broncos president Kevin Garinger, who has known Cross since he was a boy.

Source: http://ca.pressfrom.com/news/canada/-70596-father-of-evan-thomas-invites-everyone-to-sasktel-centre-funeral/

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