North

Kind strangers help Yukon woman bury her father in favourite team's ball cap

When Teaka Lewis-Clark's dad died last month she went in search of his favourite team's ball cap. The kindness of strangers made her mission a success.

Young Whitehorse man offers his own Boston Bruins hat, refuses payment

When Teaka Lewis-Clark's dad Eldon Clark died last month she went in search of his favourite team's ball cap. The kindness of strangers made her mission a success. (Submitted by Teaka Lewis-Clark )

Teaka Lewis-Clark says her dad Eldon Clark was a big Boston Bruins fan who always wore ball caps.

Eldon Clark died last month, and his daughter thought it would be fitting to bury him with a memento of his favourite team — but it wasn't as easy as walking into a store.

"I was really close with my dad," said Lewis-Clark, who is from Watson Lake, Yukon.

"I spent a lot of time with him so he really was like my best friend … I loved spending time with him. He wasn't judgmental. He always supported me. He was always, always there for me."

Lewis-Clark said her dad grew up playing hockey.

Eldon Clark, second from left, played hockey most of his life. (Submitted by Teaka Lewis-Clark )

"He always told me stories about playing hockey and being around the Watson Lake Hotel and stuff like that," she said.

About 10 years ago, Eldon froze his toes and lost them all. He had to learn to walk all over again and couldn't play hockey anymore.

"But he still loved to watch it," she said.

Lewis-Clark went in search of a Bruins ball cap at a number of stores in Whitehorse, where she was making final arrangements, but she came up empty.

Eldon Clark was buried earlier this month in Watson Lake wearing a Bruins ball cap. (Submitted by Teaka Lewis-Clark )

That's when a community of strangers came together to help her.

Lewis-Clark posted a message on a local Facebook page looking for help finding a Bruins ball cap.

The response was overwhelming, she said.

People began offering suggestions and tagging other people who might know where to find one.

"One girl was trying to help me and she said her dad was a big Bruins fan too and that she's sorry for my loss," said Lewis-Clark. "All of that was nice."

She was at the point of giving up, just hours before she was to leave Whitehorse to go back to Watson Lake, Lewis-Clark received a message from a young man.

Eldon Clark and Teaka Lewis-Clark when she was a baby. (Submitted by Teaka Lewis-Clark )

He had seen the post and met Lewis-Clark to give her his Bruins ball cap.

"I asked him how much he wanted for it because it is pretty much new. He said it was a gift, if it was going to be buried with my father," she said.

"It meant a lot. I'm still very surprised by how much response I got … how nice people were and a total stranger just straight up gave it to me.

"It's meant to happen I guess."

Eldon Clark was buried July 3 in Watson Lake, along with the Boston Bruins hat.

With files from George Maratos

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