“Mark Cross was someone who made us all a little better.”
That’s how one of his former York Lions teammates described the late Humboldt Broncos assistant coach at his celebration of life in Strasbourg on Saturday afternoon.
The 27-year-old was one of 16 people who died when the junior hockey team’s bus and a semi collided on its way to Nipawin for a playoff game on April 6.
While the Strasbourg Recreation Centre air was heavy with emotion Saturday, the light-hearted stories shared lifted the spirits of more than 2,000 jersey-wearing people in attendance.
Each friend, former teammate and coach reminisced about everything from Cross’ charismatic wit and determination to his love for late night toaster strudels and Fast and Furious marathons.
On and off the ice, his former coaches and teammates talked of how they’ll always think of him as a fearless leader who could instantly put anyone at ease — sentiments echoed earlier this month when 980 CJME spoke to Cross’ cousin, Scott Golding.
“He could just connect to people in a way that you just don’t see all the time,” Golding remembered.
As the service wrapped up, Cross’ former teammates, along with a few Humboldt Broncos players, formed an honour guard towards the exit as his family left the arena.
The crowd then chanted “go Broncos go” 16 times in respect of each person lost in the tragedy.
Cross’ memorial marks the last of many in the past 10 days.