1955 - 2017 (62 years)
||Marie Leclerc |
||30 Nov 1955
||misfortune, accident, story |
||Roseville, North Dumfries Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada
|died in car accident |
|Eby ID Number
||8 Dec 2017
||Roseville, North Dumfries Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada
||16 Jul 2019 |
- Tragic crash binds church and family in grief
ROSEVILLE Pastor Randy Magnus never met Marie Savaria but he will preside over her memorial.
Savaria did not attend his Roseville United Brethren Church. She died there, after losing control of her Nissan Rogue and crashing so hard into the historic church that it can't be repaired.
The country church had just been renovated. All that was left to do was to mount the cross above fresh paint and new wainscotting. Instead, the church will now be demolished after 136 years.
But that's not what this story is about. It's about how a stunned congregation and a grieving family have chosen to support each other in a terrible time, to help move past a trauma that binds them.
"I'm so numb and in so much pain, nothing can help me," said Kelly Henderson, Savaria's grieving daughter. "But if it had to happen anywhere, I guess I feel blessed that it happened at a church with people who are so loving and supportive."
Savaria, of Kitchener, drove frequently past the Roseville church on Fischer-Hallman Road.....
On Dec. 8 Savaria was driving to Brantford to visit her elderly mother at a nursing home there.
A month earlier Savaria had blacked out at home, falling and dislocating her shoulder. Doctors couldn't tell her why she lost consciousness. She scheduled a medical scan Dec. 12 to shed light on what happened. But in the meantime she felt fine.
Police and a coroner have investigated the crash. It seems that just after 1: 30 p.m. Savaria blacked out again. Her foot pressed on the accelerator as she slumped, unconscious. The SUV veered into a ditch, flew into the air, and crashed past a culvert before smashing into the church at more than 100 km/h.
"I thought it was a bomb. It was such a loud explosion," church janitor Chris McElroy said. He was standing on the church stage when the SUV hit the wall just metres away.
The impact shifted the heavy stage which in turn hammered the opposite wall like a battering ram. Both walls shifted, dooming the church.
Stunned, McElroy ran outside where he helped pull Savaria from the smoking wreckage. Rescuers worried it might burn. Her wrecked Nissan fell onto his car parked beside the church, damaging it but not severely.
Savaria was declared dead at the scene. McElroy saw no sign that she suffered. Hours later he drove home in a rented car, trembling as the trauma hit him, struggling with sights and sounds he's still replaying.
The news reached Henderson in B.C. where she lives. She flew to Ontario to meet with Waterloo Regional Police. Last Sunday an officer drove her to the church. She needed to see where her mother took her last breath.
She wondered if the congregation would be angry. She knows her mother would have felt awful about the damage done to their church.
But what the congregation offered was support and prayer.
Some cried with her. Pastor Magnus led a circle in prayer. A man explained that he helped pull her mother from the car, to put her on a blanket on the ground. Henderson weeps, recalling their conversation.
"I just thanked him for being there with her so that she wasn't alone when she died."
The church has moved its services into the basement of an adjoining church building that's undamaged. "Our church is more than a building," a sign says. "It's the wonderful people who worship here."
The one-in-a-million tragedy has shocked the congregation. The country church dates to 1881. It was built by Lutherans, sold to Methodists and then to the United Brethren, who bricked over the wood frame in 1919. Descendants of its builders still live in the area. It will be missed.
"There's grief over the loss of the building, of course there is," said Gerry Drews, who chairs the church board. But the building is insured. There's money to rebuild, possibly elsewhere on the church property, not so close to the busy road.....
Outhit, J. (2017). Tragic crash binds church and family in grief. TheRecord.com. Retrieved 16 December 2017, from https://www.therecord.com/news-story/8000403-tragic-crash-binds-church-and-family-in-grief/
Savaria; (Leclerc) Marie
Passed away suddenly on Friday December 8, 2017 at the age of 62. Loving daughter of Kathleen and the late Emile Leclerc. Beloved mother of Kelly (Pokonzie) and Jason Henderson. Cherished Nana to Liam, Cael and Bailie. Dear sister of Kathy (Rob) McMullen and loving aunt to Alyson (Jesse) and Eric and special cousin of Linda Ward. Marie had a dedicated career in Healthcare, starting at St. Joseph's Hospital in Brantford, the Brantford General Hospital and most recently at Grand River Hospital, Kitchener where she retired two years ago. Marie will be lovingly remembered by her daughter Kelly and her family and by many close family and friends who shared in her life. In honoring Marie's wish, cremation has taken place. A Celebration of her life will be held at the Dunsdon Legion, 9 Toll Gate Road, Brantford on Saturday December 16th 2017 at 1: 00 pm with a reception to follow immediately after the service. As an expression of sympathy, donations to Roseville United Brethren Church, 2729 Fisher-Hallman Road, Ayr, Ontario N0B1E0 or to St. Joseph's Lifecare Foundation, 99 Wayne Gretzky Parkway, Brantford, Ontario N3S 6T6 would be appreciated.
On line condolences may be offered at www.thorpebrothersfh.com
When tomorrow starts without me
And I'm not there to see;
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
All filled with tears for me.
I know how much you love me ...
As much as I love you;
But when tomorrow starts without me
Please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name
And took me by the hand.
And said my place was ready
In heaven far above;
And that I'd have to leave behind,
All those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away,
A tear fell from my eye;
For all my life, I'd always thought
It wasn't my time to die.
I had so much to live for,
So much left to do;
It seemed impossible,
That I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays,
The good ones and the bad;
I thought of all the love we shared,
And all the love we had.
If I could have stayed
For just a little while,
I'd say goodbye and hug you
And maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realized
That this could never be;
For emptiness and memories
Would take the place of me.
And when I thought of the things
That I would miss tomorrow;
I thought of you, and when I did,
My heart was filled with sorrow.
But when I walked through heaven's gates
I felt so much at home;
As God looked down and smiled at me
From His great golden throne.
He said, "This is eternity
And all I've promised you;
Today your life on earth is past,
But here it starts anew."
"I promise no tomorrow,
But today will always last;
And since each day's the same here,
There's no longing for the past."
So when tomorrow starts without me,
Don't think we're far apart ...
For every time you think of me,
I'm right here ... in your heart.