Whether it was at the rink or on the baseball diamond, Kalvin Odland was as dedicated a volunteer you will ever meet.
On Feb. 3, the 49-year-old died as a result of a motor-vehicle collision on Highway 545, near Highway 25, as the SUV he was traveling in was involved in a head-on collision with a pick-up truck. Odland was pronounced dead upon arrival at Chinook Regional Hospital.
“It’s still setting in for me,” said Mike Broderson, the current president of Vauxhall Minor Hockey. “The whole community is still in shock.”
Broderson has been president of the association for two years, and said the board really depended on Odland, a man with 20-plus years of experience.
“He went through a half-dozen groups of parents with minor hockey, so all of us new guys really leaned heavily on him,” said Broderson, who added Odland had no kids of his own left in the minor hockey system. “It’s been a huge asset to have him stay involved. He was a level-headed board member and when he talked, everyone listened.”
Lynda Unruh, who has sat on the minor hockey board with Odland for years, said his involvement in the sport started when his youngest son was five. He coached pre-novice hockey that year, and his dedication to the sport, and his community, never wavered.
“I think guys like that just can’t be replaced,” said Unruh. “He hasn’t had a kid involved in hockey here for six years and he was still sitting on the board. He just wants what’s best for the kids and what’s best for minor hockey.”
Unruh said Odland still attended minor hockey games, when he wasn’t watching Internet feeds of his daughter’s university games as a member of the Dartmouth hockey team. But his involvement in hockey went well beyond the minor hockey board table. Odland was still the general manager of the Southwest Tigers “AAA” girls hockey program, and he was a Hockey Alberta female hockey board member.
Baseball was another passion for Odland, who was a board member for the Vauxhall Academy of Baseball, when the program first got off the ground. He has served as president of the Vauxhall Spurs American Legion baseball program, and was instrumental in helping the team secure the rights to host the district tournament during his tenure.
Unruh added Odland’s involvement in sports in Vauxhall, and the community in general, will leave a large hole in the hearts of many.
“He will definitely be sadly missed by a lot of people.”
An overwhelming show of support was evident at Odland’s funeral on Monday afternoon in Vauxhall.