Memorial held for Ron and Jackie Legare

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
August 2nd, 2012

Memorial for Ron and Jackie Legare said goodbye to a well loved, generous couple at their memorial service onThursday.

Ron and Jackie Legare, who drowned in a rafting trip on the Kettle River last Saturday, were honoured by friends and family Thursday, Aug. 2 at the Christina Lake Hall.

Friends fondly remember the couple as the first to jump in and help for any community function since they moved to the lake over 10 years ago. Ron, 74, supported community events like Winterfest, pancake breakfasts, and enjoyed golfing with friends.

His wife, Jackie, 71, participated with the community hall auxiliary and was a member of the Moody Quilters along with enjoying outdoor activities with Ron, family or friends. Friends laughed remembering when they played Santa and his elf for Christmas, and particularly noted the Legares’ love for their children and grandchildren.

The Legares were part of a large flotilla of rafts and tubes enjoying what was a normal summer day on the Kettle River. Near the pull out point above the falls, unexpected currents made it difficult to exit the river. Some people were able to swim to shore, but three people did not survive and may have drowned before even reaching the falls.

Originally from Calgary, Alberta, there will also be a memorial held for them in their former home town.

Their tragic accident, coming quickly on the heels of the loss of 11-year-old Richard Fehr in a windstorm just one week ago, has left Christina Lake residents emotional.

“The whole community is affected every time something like this happens,” said Grace McGregor, Christina Lake regional director. “It’s been negative, just sad, emotional. It’s hard on a community – we work well together but these are things you can’t get out of your mind. You just go over it again and again, wishing it hadn’t happened. It’s hard.”

Unexpected currents from high-running rivers are the norm this year and anyone who wants to spend time in the water should continue to be cautious, McGregor added saying there is no easy solution to preventing the deaths that happen on rivers.

“You can’t prevent these things from happening,” said McGregor. “You can post signs along the river for 25 kilometres – you don’t know where people are putting in – you don’t know what their intent is. People always think signs are the answer for every situation. I don’t know if signs would have made any difference here. They knew what they were doing… I assume they got into faster water than they intended right where you’re supposed to bail out and so that changes the picture real fast.”

The 50-year-old Scottish man still missing from the tubing accident is presumed drowned. His family, who were also part of the river rafting party the day of the tragedy, have returned home.

The Legares’ family asks that donations be made to the Christina Lake Fire Department in lieu of flowers.

Categories: General