City pays trib­ute to a hockey hero

Lo­gan Boulet laid to rest

Lethbridge Herald - - FRONT PAGE - Dale Woodard sports@leth­bridge­herald.com

Lo­gan Boulet is a hero. On Satur­day af­ter­noon, a jam-packed Ni­cholas Sheran Arena gath­ered to cel­e­brate the life of the 21-yearold hero who touched count­less lives with his in­fec­tious smile, quick wit, in­tense work ethic and an abil­ity to make ev­ery­one around him feel wel­come.

Boulet was one of 16 mem­bers of the Hum­boldt Bron­cos hockey team who died in a hor­rific bus crash April 6 as the team trav­elled to Ni­pawin to face the Hawks in a play­off game.

In a mov­ing two-hour ser­vice, fam­ily and friends filled the floor of the arena and packed the seats to stand­ing room only to hon­our the de­fence­man who, even in his fi­nal hours, ul­ti­mately helped oth­ers in need as an or­gan donor — he had signed his card one month prior to the crash af­ter his 21st birth­day.

Af­ter the crash last Fri­day, Boulet sur­vived long enough to do­nate his or­gans to six pa­tients be­fore be­ing taken off life sup­port.

On Satur­day, seven speak­ers took the stage to share “The Story of Lo­gan Boulet” as Jared Hei­dinger, Norm McDougall, Doug Paisley, Noah Post­man, Greg Thomp­son, Neil Langevin and Kevin Higo re­flected on the multi-sport ath­lete.

And as Hei­dinger — a teacher — noted, some­times a hero doesn’t re­al­ize he or she is one.

“They just live their life and they have a char­ac­ter about them­selves and they’re just a per­son go­ing through life do­ing their thing and then a sit­u­a­tion comes along where they make a choice and this choice of ac­tion has reper­cus­sions that af­fect many peo­ple,” he said. “Even the very fu­ture changes be­cause of these he­roes. In this way, Lo­gan’s or­gan and tis­sue do­na­tion de­ci­sion was made be­cause it was his de­sire to bring pos­i­tiv­ity into peo­ple in the event he passed. He wasn’t try­ing to be a hero.

He was just mak­ing a choice and grow­ing with the char­ac­ter he al­ways demon­strated. Through his char­ac­ter, Lo­gan al­ways was in­spring to me in life and will con­tinue to in­spire me in his pass­ing.”

Boulet was born March 2, 1997, the son of Ber­na­dine and Toby and the brother of Mariko.

He at­tended Dr. Gerald B. Probe Ele­men­tary School, G.S. Lakie Mid­dle School and Win­ston Churchill High School.

In ad­di­tion to hockey, he also played rugby, soc­cer, bad­minton and curl­ing.

He spent his last three hockey sea­sons play­ing in the Saskatchewan Ju­nior

Hockey League, first with the Kin­der­s­ley Klip­pers be­fore spend­ing the ma­jor­ity of his time in Hum­boldt.

He also had a cre­ative side, drawn to mu­sic and art, which al­lowed him to cre­ate with his tal­ents.

McDougall, Lo­gan’s un­cle, re­called Boulet’s en­ergy as a child

“It was a whole lot of fun watch­ing him play. I re­call his mother, Bernie, scold­ing him for rolling around on the floor and he pointed an ac­cus­ing fin­ger at me and an­nounced ‘He’s wind­ing me up,’” said McDougall, draw­ing a chuckle from the crowd.

Paisley, Boulet’s coach dur­ing his time in Leth­bridge, re­called a rock-solid de­fence­man with a solid 200-foot game. He also played with an edge. “I ac­tu­ally talked to him about ton­ing his own game down against team­mates in prac­tice. We were a lit­tle con­cerned we’d have to break up fights be­cause of how mad guys would get at him for forc­ing them to com­pete that hard,” said Paisley.

Post­man re­mem­bered many of Boulet’s an­tics rang­ing from trips, camp­ing week­ends, board games and rugby games.

“Lo­gan was al­ways out for fun and had the best sense of hu­mour,” said Post­man. “We’ll al­ways re­mem­ber that in­fec­tious laugh and con­stant smile. He lived life squeez­ing out all the good­ness.”

Thomp­son fondly re­mem­bered Boulet’s sharp sense of hu­mour.

“Once I got past Lo­gan and the hand­shake and him call­ing me ‘Mr. Thomp­son,’ I soon re­al­ized Lo­gan had an amaz­ing sense of hu­mour,” he said. “First and fore­most, he al­ways laughed at my jokes. Even when my own kids would roll their eyes I would ei­ther get that in­fec­tious laugh of his or, guar­an­teed, I’d get some sort of quick re­tort back that was right there on the spot. It was amaz­ing.”

Langevin, Boulet’s god fa­ther, re­called an in­stance in which Boulet got in a con­fronta­tion at school, land­ing a punch on his ag­gres­sor.

Langevin said he talked to that same per­son two years later, who said he ad­mired Boulet for stand­ing up for him­self.

“Even peo­ple who got punched by Lo­gan loved him,” said Langevin, draw­ing more hearty laugh­ter from the jammed arena.

In ad­di­tion to a duet of “Cir­cle of Life” by Cathie Martin-Weersink and Colleen Martin as well as “Heaven Needs A Hero” by Jo Dee Messina, stu­dents at Win­ston Churchill — led by teacher John Dick — took cen­tre stage, hoisted two fin­gers high in the V-for­ma­tion and led the crowd in “The Churchill Vic­tory Song.”

Langevin also got in­volved in the crowd par­tic­i­pa­tion, di­vid­ing them in half and hav­ing one half yell “Lo­gan!” be­fore the other side chimed in with “Boulet!” sev­eral times be­fore the arena stood for a minute-long stand­ing ova­tion.

At the en­trance of the arena, lines of hockey sticks greeted those ar­riv­ing, while in the lobby a dis­play of Boulet’s art and fam­ily pic­tures as well as an im­pres­sive hockey card col­lec­tion was set up.

Af­ter the ser­vice, Langevin read a state­ment.

“On be­half of the Boulet fam­ily, we would like to thank our fam­ily, friends, com­mu­nity and all oth­ers for their in­cred­i­ble sup­port they’ve pro­vided to our fam­ily in our dark­est hours. We are hum­bled strong with other fam­i­lies af­fected by this ter­ri­ble tragedy. Lo­gan was the light of our life and con­tin­ues to be a bea­con that will guide many oth­ers. The self­less and em­pa­thetic self will live on in the thoughts and ac­tions of so many he has in­flu­enced. In the com­ing days we will con­tinue to mourn and grieve, but know that Lo­gan is still in your hearts and thoughts. We know the sun will come up to­mor­row and wish all oth­ers our love and sup­port.”

Her­ald photo by Ian Martens @IMarten­sHer­ald

Pall­bear­ers carry the cas­ket of Lo­gan Boulet to the wait­ing hearse, fol­lowed by Lo­gan’s par­ents Toby and Ber­na­dine and sis­ter Mariko, fol­low­ing the cel­e­bra­tion of life ser­vice Satur­day af­ter­noon at Ni­cholas Sheran Arena.

Her­ald photo by Ian Martens

Former class­mates, teach­ers, friends and fam­ily stand along­side Lo­gan’s cas­ket as they sing “The Churchill Vic­tory Song” dur­ing the ser­vice.

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