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News: Friday, June 10th, 2016

Gordie Howe Passes Away

To our dismay, we have learned that Gordie Howe passed away this morning at the home of his son Murray, in Toledo, Ohio, he was 88. Gordie was pre-deceased by his wife Colleen who passed in 2009. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Howe family.

Colleen and Gordie Howe Middle School opened its doors Sept. 1, 2001. At the time the Abbotsford School Board indicated that it has been a primary focus to name new schools after Canadians who are positive and inspirational role models for their students. Gordie Howe was awarded the Order of Canada, and received an honorary Doctorate from the University of Regina [sic], and is recognized as one of the top athletes of all time. Colleen Howe was a long time supporter of many charities and created the Howe Foundation in 1993. The foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all children. "The Howe name stands for a strong sense of family, the importance of positive adult role models and a commitment to the positive development of children" noted School Board Chair John Smith in the Abbotsford Times (June 5, 2001). Mr. Hockey attended the Grand Opening of Colleen and Gordie Howe Middle School, on January 18, 2002,  at which time he reminded the students "don't forget that there will be days that you lose." But, he stressed, losing is a good thing as long as you learn from it (from the Abbotsford Times, January 22, 2002). 

More about Mr. Hockey:

Gordie Howe played 32 years of professional hockey, including 26 years in the NHL (25 of those with the Detroit Red Wings). He then played with the Houston Aeros and New England Whalers of the World Hockey Association (WHA). The Whalers were later absorbed into the NHL after the WHA folded in 1979, so Howe played one last season with them in the NHL (1979–80). He played his final professional game — on a one-day contract — with the Detroit Vipers of the International Hockey League at age 69, which gives him claim to have been the only person to have played professionally in every decade from his teens to his sixties. 

During this time, Mr. Hockey played 2,421 games while amassing 1,071 goals, 1,518 assists and 2,589 points. His combination of aggressiveness, physical toughness and scoring prowess is evident in the continuing widespread use of the expression “Gordie Howe hat trick” — which refers to a player who, in one game, scores a goal, registers an assist and takes part in a fight. He was named to 23 NHL All Star Teams, He won the Art Ross Trophy as leading NHL scorer 6 times, the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league’s most valuable player the 6 times, and won 4 Stanley Cup Championships with the Detroit Red Wings. He retired, the first time, in 1971 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame a year later.

Gordie Howe has been honoured with

  • In 1963; The Lionel Conacher Award, given annually to the Canadian Male Athlete of the Year
  • In 1971; An Officer of the Order of Canada, the highest level of distinction in the Canadian Honours System. Officers (of which no more than 64 may be appointed in any one year) are appointed “for achievement and merit of a high degree, especially service to Canada or to humanity at large.” 
  • In 1972; Inducted in to the Hockey Hall of Fame
  • In 1975; Inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame
  • In 2000; Inducted on Canada's Walk of Fame, which aims to celebrate Canadians who have excelled in their respective fields in order to engage and to inspire the next generation.
  • In 2010; Presented with an Honorary LL.D. (Doctor of Laws), from The University of Saskatchewan (2010). "Beyond his prowess on the ice, Gordie Howe is an international philanthropist. He and his late wife Colleen established the Howe Foundation which raises money for registration fees and equipment to enable children from across North America to play hockey. As a player he was known for always being generous with his time to sign autographs or offer advice to young players. In recent years, he has supported numerous charitable projects ranging from building a new university rink in New England to participating in summer Kidsport events in his hometown of Saskatoon. Gordie also works with BayCrest Hospital that started the Gordon and Colleen Howe Foundation which funds dementia research, and Life Style Hearing to promote better hearing across Canada. Gordie Howe is a role model for generations of Canadians who have seen how he took raw talent and limited opportunities and transformed them into success through his dedication, tenacity, and hard work." (Quote from: http://library.usask.ca/archives/campus-history/honorary-degrees.php?id=541&view=detail&keyword=&campuses=)

(With thanks from: http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/gordie-howe/)