The funeral for hockey legend Gordie Howe was held at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit Wednesday.
Around 900 people attended the ceremony.
Dr. Murray Howe, one of the hockey great’s four children, told heartwarming and humorous stories about his father as he delivered the eulogy. He told mourners there are “endless superlatives that come to mind when describing my dad.”
He said they include the words fearless, loyal, tough, graceful, playful and thoughtful.
Listen: Eulogy for ‘Mr. Hockey’ Gordie Howe
Saskatchewan-born, former NHL player, Kelly Chase is among those in attendance.
Chase, now a broadcaster for the St Louis Blues, was in Saskatoon for a charity golf tournament before deciding he couldn’t miss the funeral.
“I really felt an obligation to be at the funeral,” Chase said Wednesday morning.
“I said to my wife, ‘You know, I never went to a funeral I’ve regretted going to, but I would certainly feel awful if I wasn’t at this thing…I just know how much he meant to hockey.”
According to Chase, the Stanley Cup was Howe’s trophy because “he really exemplified the league and what players are about.”
Chase said Howe kept an eye on him from the moment they met on the flight to Chase’s first training camp with the Hartford Whalers.
The young player remembers being in a number of fights on the ice that day, while following Howe’s advice to be noticed.
After that practice, he was walking to get on to the bus when Howe caught up to him.
“This big old arm come around me at the front of the bus, and he said ‘Hey kid, they freaking know who you are now,’” Chase said.
The funeral for Mr. Hockey was open to the public, as was the 12-hour visitation at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday.
Howe died last Friday at the age of 88.