Adam Johnson memorial service: Fallen hockey player is remembered

Adam Johnson memorial: Fallen hockey player’s devastated fiancee says she will ‘never stop’ thinking about him as family and friends celebrate his life

  • Adam Johnson’s life was celebrated on Monday at Hibbing Memorial Arena
  • He was laid to rest a day before in a private ceremony in Hibbing, Minnesota
  • provides all the latest international sports news

In a heart-wrenching celebration of life service, fallen hockey star Adam Johnson was remembered by his family and friends on Monday afternoon.

The Nottingham Panthers hockey player, just 29, died last month after his throat was slashed in a tragic on-ice collision.

And at Hibbing Memorial Arena in Hibbing, Minnesota – where Johnson played his high school hockey – his fiancee and countless others memorialized him after he was laid to rest on Sunday.

Johnson’s fiancee, Ryan Wolfe, read aloud a letter addressed to the man she planned to marry – calling him her ‘everything.’

‘You’ve been so amazingly supportive and kind to me since the day we met,’ she said, with her sister alongside her. ‘And I couldn’t have been more grateful for it. I always thought that maybe if I was lucky enough, after a lifetime together, that I might start to be more like you. 

Adam Johnson’s fiancee, Ryan Wolfe, said that the fallen hockey player was her ‘everything’

Johnson and Wolfe, who planned to get married, are seen in an undated photo

Johnson, 29, was killed after having his throat slashed by an opponent’s blade during a game

Friends and family gathered at Hibbing Memorial Arena to memorialize Johnson on Monday

‘You’re such a special person, you have the best sense of humor, the biggest heart, the quickest wit and the kindest soul. You’re unbelievably loyal, dedicated and smart. You’re so, so smart. 

‘Whether it came to school or life in general, you just seem to have it all figured out, which gave me so much peace and comfort, and made me feel like we could do anything, or be anything, and we’d be OK. We’d be happy.

Wolfe mentioned that her late fiancee had discussed plans with her of running a farm or starting a coffee shop.

‘I just hope in heaven they let you have your farm, and all the cows and chickens your little heart desires.

She ended her speech, ‘To me you were everything. you were my home, my best friend, my sounding board, my rock, my safe haven and the love of my life.

‘I’m never gonna stop thinking about you, missing you and loving you until we can be together again. Love you.’

Wolfe’s sister said that she’d ‘never seen her happier then when she was with [Johnson]’

Wolfe’s sister added, ‘Adam brought a beautiful light to every moment spent with him. We will all miss Adam’s smile and laugh, but what I will miss the most is seeing how happy Ryan was with Adam. I have truly never seen her happier then when she was with him.’

Panthers CEO Omar Pacha and assistant coach Kevin Moore were also in attendance.

‘As much as Adam would come across quiet, he was very caring and loved around his teammates,’ Pacha said. He was appreciated by them all so much… but the coaching staff probably a bit more. 

‘How can you blame them? The best player on the team, working hard, contagious smile with zero ego and loved coming to the rink every single day

Pacha continued later on, ‘Always humble, always polite, always grateful: that was our No. 47.’

Other speakers included the Winnipeg Jets’ Neal Pionk (a former youth teammate of Johnson’s), college teammate Parker Mackay, college coach Scott Sandelin and family friend Grant Clafton.

Nottingham Panthers CEO Omar Pacha (left) and assistant coach Kevin Moore spoke

University of Minnesota-Duluth head coach Scott Sandelin was in attendance as well

And family friend Grant Clafton also delivered some touching words at the podium

Clafton, the coach of the Grand Rapids (Minnesota) High School hockey team called Johnson a ‘joyful grump.’

However, he latter added that, ‘Over the last few years the joyful grump just became joyful. And we all know Ryan was the reason.’ 

In addition to those in attendance in person, over 4,400 people were at one point tuned into the livestream of the service.

In his obituary, his family wrote, ‘He was many things to many people, but to those who were lucky enough to be loved by Adam knew he was thoughtful, patient and genuinely authentic.

‘He loved his fiancee, family, and friends above all else. His loving and quiet demeanor will be eternally missed.’

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