SASKATOON, Saskatchewan — Gordie Howe’s ashes will be interred in a statue at a Saskatoon arena.
A Saskatoon official said Wednesday that the city has received permission from the province to inter the cremated remains of Howe and his wife, Colleen, at the base of a statue that honors him.
The family made the request this month, but the city needed to apply to the province to have the statue at SaskTel Centre and a small portion of adjacent area declared a cemetery.
Howe was born in Floral, Saskatchewan, but his family moved nine days later to Saskatoon, where he grew up before embarking on a record-setting hockey career. He died on June 10 at the age of 88.
Howe’s son, Marty, has said some of his father’s ashes will be spread in Michigan’s Bear Lake, where a similar service was held for Colleen after her death in 2009. Howe spent the bulk of his career with the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings.
“His favorite spots are going to have my mom and dad, and Saskatoon was one of them,” Marty Howe said.
Saskatoon spokeswoman Catherine Gryba explained at the time of the request that the city would take appropriate steps to safeguard and respect the ashes. They are to be encased in a special concrete vessel with a commemorative plaque on top to protect them.
Numerous facilities and a street in Saskatoon have been named in Howe’s honor, and a proposal after his death to name one of the city’s bridges after him also is going ahead.