Kisses to the sky

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Katie Brickman
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Stewart family appreciates support of community

For 14 years, Courtney Stewart’s life included her three children and her husband Ken.

The Stewart family — Ken (back left), Courtney and their children — Hannah, Hailey and Hunter. The family is grieving after the loss of Ken in a single vehicle accident in November. Submitted photo

By Katie Brickman

She, along with the kids, are learning how to move on after Ken died at age 29 in a single vehicle accident in November.

“I’ve just told them that they won’t see their dad again and I’ve explained that they won’t see him again, but he is always going to be with them,” said Stewart. “They are always going to have the memories of their dad and they know how much they loved him and how much he loved them.”

All three children are under the age of 10  — Hunter is nine, Hailey is six and Hannah is four-years-old.

“Hannah really doesn’t understand it. Hailey has the gist of it a little bit that she is not going to see her dad, but it has been the toughest on Hunter,” explained Stewart.

“He was really close to his dad. Even when Ken was away at work, we would call him in the morning before school, so it is really tough on him.”

At the age of 28, Stewart now must deal with her own grief but also stay strong for her children.

“There are lots of emotions running through — there is a lot of hurt, even mad at times. There are a lot of tears. It's really hard with him gone,” she said.

Family and friends have surrounded Courtney and the kids since Ken’s death. Two steak dinners and a lacrosse memorial tournament last weekend were held to raise money in trust for Hunter, Hailey and Hannah.

“It has been great. We have always had great friends and family throughout this whole time. My kids even have their friends that are willing to do anything for them. It's actually pretty amazing how many people we have there for us,” said Stewart. “Without friends and family, I don’t think we would be able to get through this very well.”

Almost 80 former and current Moose Jaw lacrosse players came out to play in three pick-up games at YaraCentre and over 100 spectators came out to watch last Saturday.

“It was amazing. Bobbi (Ingalls) and Frank (Davolos) put on a great fundraiser,” said Stewart.

“Honestly, seeing Hunter play for his dad was tough, but amazing.”

Hunter wore Ken’s jersey (#28), as well as his gloves and used his stick.

“He wanted to play for his dad and he wanted to wear his stuff,” said Stewart. “Ken has always played lacrosse, so it brought back a lot of memories from when we were younger. I was happy and sad, but I was really happy to see Hunter play for his dad.”

Prior to the memorial classic, Hunter played his first hockey game since the accident happened.

“He scored four goals and with each goal, he kissed his hand and blew it up to his dad,” explained Stewart. “When he got off the ice, he said ‘daddy would have been proud.’”

The family will continue to live in their house in Moose Jaw. A friend of Courtney’s, Crystal Bickford, made the family a shadow box including Ken’s wedding ring and pictures of him as a father and husband.

“He was a great dad, a great husband, he was just an all-round great person. He was loving, caring and fun to be around. He lit up the room with his smile,” said Stewart. “I always know that there are three pieces of Ken here.”

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