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Brantford bids farewell to Canada’s hockey dad

 

Brantford bids farewell to Canada’s hockey dad

John Best

It was a fitting send-off on Saturday afternoon in Brantford, Ontario where the life of Walter Gretzky was celebrated and remembered.

Gretzky passed away late Thursday following complications from Parkinson’s Disease. He was 82.

St.Mark’s Church where the Gretzky family worshipped

An emotion-filled Wayne Gretzky gave a eulogy at the funeral service held at St. Mark’s Anglican Church on Memorial Drive. He said, “I am so proud of the fact that so many people have reached out and given such great tributes because he deserves it.”

And while the inside of the church was not very full due to COVID restrictions, the sidewalk outside the church was busy. Hundreds of people lined the street outside the church, many with hockey sticks, to pay tribute to “Canada’s hockey dad”.

Brantford Police Honour Guard for Walter Gretzky

As the funeral procession commenced down Memorial Drive, folks tapped their sticks in a salute.

Tribute paid at Walter Gretzky’s parting spot at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Complex

The procession continued through the parking lot at Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre and past Walter’s specially reserved parking spot, a spot that will now remain unoccupied. It has now become an outdoor memorial, with flowers and hockey sticks left as a sign of remembrance.

STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY KEVIN GEENEN

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