Police officer came as far as Alberta to Nelson in order to honor the life of Nelson Cst. Wade Tittemore, who was honored today at a memorial service at the Capitol Theatre.
Tittemore, 43, was fatally injured in an avalanche just north of Kaslo on Jan. 9.
Nelson police chief Donovan Fisher says it was inspiring to see such a great turnout, and the service captured Tittemore’s life.
“It was very true to Wade’s spirit,” Fisher says. “Obviously it is a sad occasion. There were some sad moments but there was a lot of humor with it too.”
Fisher says Tittemore was very vibrant and had a great personality which showed in his work ethic.
“Wade was one of our office pranksters, but in a positive way,” Fisher says. “He kept everybody going, and kept it light, everyone loved working with him. It was nice that we could spin on the celebration of life in the final farewell.”
According to Fisher, Tittemore was next to go through training that would allow him to be promoted to the rank of detective, so they decided to provide him and his family with the honor during the ceremony.
“We promoted him to the rank of detective,” he says. “He was next in line to go to the GIS, detective’s position in the department and he worked very hard at that. He was a very skilled officer, so we thought it was only fitting to promote him to the rank of detective and present it to his family.”
Fisher says he is grateful to everyone who pitched in to help support the family, and the department, and although people will still need to grieve, the healing process can begin.
“The RCMP have been very gracious, and very helpful covering off shifts for our members,” he says. “We will be taking back our role in the city tomorrow, again we have some professional help to make sure everyone is in a good headspace”
Nelson mayor Janice Morrison said the service was moving and heartfelt.
“It was a beautiful service,” she says. “The words of the five people who spoke were moving and funny, we had moments of laughter and honesty.”
Among those who spoke were Tittemore’s sister, sister-in-law, a friend, and Sgt. Nate Holt, who had been his supervisor in Nelson.
Morrison says it was apparent just how many souls Tittemore touched by so many people showing up to honor him.
“The service was full to capacity,” she says. “I think this is a reflection of what this young man meant to so many people in so many communities.”
Representatives from Calgary and Vancouver police as well as from Nelson fire and paramedic services showed up at the service.
The avalanche also critically injured Cst. Mathieu Nolet, 28, who is slowly recovering in an ICU.