Eulogies described the special relationship of a fire fighter meeting a lifeguard and falling in love to save lives together.
A public memorial in Cranbrook this weekend paid tribute to the legacy of two pillars of the community.
It was a somber celebration of life Saturday at Western Financial Place as family, friends, fire fighters, RCMP, life guards and members of the horse community gathered to remember Joan MacKinnon and Clayton Murrell.
Rev. Jack Lindquist led the service that saw many individuals take to the stage to reminisce and share stories about their late friends.
They first recognized MacKinnon who was Cranbrook’s Aquatic Supervisor after being hired has one of the first life guards at the aquatics centre in 2001.
She was described as someone who had a beaming smile and was always happy; someone who was not only “consistent” at work but an “outstanding example”.
MacKinnon was said to have trained hundreds of lifeguards during her career and had a passion of working with Special Olympic Athletes.
Her brother Greg MacKinnon described a special relationship between Joan and Clayton; a fire fighter meets a life guard and the two fall in love to save lives together.
Childhood friend Stephanie Lloyd Jones continued on about the strong bond Joan had with her husband Clay, saying he was her Prince Charming on his steed.
Many individuals who spoke at the service not only touched on the love the couple had for each other, but also the passion they had for riding horses.
One of the people MacKinnon spent most of her time with while on a horse was Roping Partner Lisa Reed.
Reed told the audience MacKinnon was always positive and up for an adventure, adding Joan was the most real person she had ever met.
Murrell was a respected captain with Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Service (CFSE).
After joining the department in April 1990, he quickly climbed the ranks.
CFSE Fire Chief Wayne Price described Murrell as a voice of reason and someone who was not only able to get along with anyone but who had the ability to make people feel better after a short encounter.
Price characterized Murrell as a true professional, someone with integrity who expected a high standard from his co-workers and himself.
The department’s Training Coordinator D’Arcy Kennedy says as a captain, there was no way to count how many lives Murrell affected while on the job.
From fire inspections to fundraisers, Kennedy affirms Murrell always showed what it took to be a leader.
Ted Murrell spoke about how proud he was of his younger brother with all the roles he played at the fire department but suggests first-and-foremost he’ll remember Clay for being a family man.
Ted declared Clay was so proud of his children Dycen and Kirsten, who gave poignant but funny speeches themselves.
They talked about how their father was always there for them for support and advice, or just a laugh.
The service also involved a performance of Amazing Grace and the Last Post by members of the Kimberley, Surrey and Calgary pipe bands, a moving slide show of photographs and videos before emergency personnel marched out of the arena and down Baker St.
– Rev. Jack Linquist
– Joan’s brother Greg MacKinnon
– Joan’s Roping Partner Lisa Reed
– CFES department Training Coordinator D’Arcy Kennedy