Morinville – A man remembered for his love of life and his ability to spread that love was laid to rest Saturday. The funeral of Morinville Jets Captain Nick McRae was held at the St. Albert Parish to allow sufficient room for mourners to pay their respects to 21-year-old Riviere Qui Barre resident, killed in an ATV accident south of Edson Sept. 3. Family, friends and members of the Morinville Jets organization filled the St. Albert Parish, its balcony area and outside veranda.
McCrae, a carpenter by trade, was buried in his red, white and blue Morinville Jets jersey. Team mates lined both sides of the aisle prior to the funeral mass, their jerseys folded and lying on their arms. Those jerseys were donned by the team at the conclusion of McCrae’s eulogy, delivered by former Morinville Jets Coach Scott Rodda, a man who knew McCrae on and off the ice.
Although Rodda’s words spoke of McCrae’s involvement in hockey, it spoke in a broader sense to the qualities he possessed that made him a success on and off the ice. McRae is remembered as a man who worked hard at whatever he put his mind to, be it school, work or the many sports he excelled at. Rodda recalled to those gathered to honour McRae’s memory the young man’s infectious laugh that always came from deep within his belly, his love of practical jokes, and his ability to lead and inspire others.
That leadership will be honoured and remembered this season when the Jets officially retire McRae’s Number 11. In addition to retiring the number, players will wear a small No. 11 on their jerseys this season.
Jets President Brent Melville said McRae will be greatly missed by the entire Jets family. One member of that family is Roland Blackburn who played a role in getting the player to the team four years ago. “When you saw him on the ice, you were just proud Nick was wearing a Jets jersey,” Blackburn recalled after Saturday’s funeral.
McRae’s last season with the Morinville Jets was the 2011/2012 season, the best in the team’s history.