‘I hope he doesn’t elbow too many angels’ – Eulogizing Gordie Howe

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The hockey world gathered for Gordie Howe’s funeral on Wednesday, with thousands paying their respects to “Mr. Hockey.”

The service included an emotional eulogy by his youngest son, Dr. Murray Howe, who combined humor and reverence for his dad, who passed away at age 88. When Murray asked Gordie what to say at his funeral, No. 9 responded “Finally, the third period is over” and “I hope there is a good hockey team in heaven.”

Speaking of which, there was a great line relayed by TSN:

Once in heaven, the funeral’s celebrant priest joked: “I hope he doesn’t elbow too many angels.”

Murray provided an eloquent account of his father’s life and impact, yet Mark Howe also captured the essence of the legendary player.

(The full eulogy is on NHL.com.)

Along with hundreds of fans and supporters, some of the biggest names in the sport attended Howe’s funeral.

Wayne Gretzky was honored to be one of the pallbearers, for instance.

Gretzky wasn’t alone.

Fellow “Production Line” member Ted Lindsay attended Howe’s funeral. So did Scotty Bowman, Guy Lafleur, Chris Chelios and plenty of younger players:

Not surprisingly, NHL bigwigs were also there.

Howe’s funeral service serves as a reminder that “Mr. Hockey” made a huge impact on the sport, even for people who only got to see him play on YouTube.

The funeral took place in Detroit.

Here’s a little more information via the Associated Press:

Murray Howe has said his father’s remains will be cremated. The family requested donations be made to the Gordie Howe Traumatic Brain Injury Initiative, the Howe Foundation or the Gordie Howe Fund for Alzheimer’s Research.

More on Gordie Howe

His bond with Wayne Gretzky

Remembered by Obama, the hockey world

Wild facts about “Mr. Hockey.”