Canadian hockey and broadcasting legend Howie Meeker passed away Nov. 8 at age 97.
He will be greatly missed in Campbell River particularly where his Howie Meeker Golf Classic raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Special Olympics for 31 years and Meeker himself was a great friend to Campbell River’s Special Olympians.
Special Olympics B.C. put out a statement on his passing Sunday:
“Special Olympics BC mourns the passing of Howie Meeker, an unforgettable sport icon and an influential and inspiring friend to our movement for more than four decades, who died today at the age of 97.
“Howie Meeker was a Canadian hockey legend, as a player, coach, and iconic broadcaster. For more than 40 years, he was also a powerful champion of Special Olympics athletes and programs, both nationwide and right here in B.C.
“With his influential and generous advocacy work, Meeker helped change the way our province and country see individuals with intellectual disabilities. He has also been a vital supporter of Special Olympics BC – Campbell River athletes and programs for many years, championing them and lending his name and time to their annual golf tournament that has raised more than $750,000 in its more than 30-year history.
“Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with Howie’s wife Leah and many loved ones.”