Nemeth family thanks Bear Clan for support, as 'celebration of life' planned for teen
Published Friday, February 26, 2016 4:22PM CST
Last Updated Monday, February 29, 2016 10:07PM CST
A Winnipeg family in mourning stepped out Friday night to thank a group who helped search for their missing son.
The family of 17-year-old Cooper Nemeth showed their gratitude by making dinner for the Bear Clan before the volunteers started their evening patrol.
Four nights a week, Bear Clan members search the streets of downtown Winnipeg looking for the city's missing and murdered. They also act as a watchful eye for those living in the community.
“We did what we did because it was the right thing to do for us here so that we can sleep at night… it had a real benefit for their family as well, and our community and our city at large,” said James Favel, a Bear Clan member.
Favel said during the search week, tens of thousands of people joined the group on social media to stay connected to efforts and lend a hand.
“That’s a tangible example of the readiness our community has to mending fences,” said Favel.
On Friday, the group kicked off their duties at the Bell Tower located on the corner of Selkirk Avenue and Powers Street in the North End.
Each week, people from the community – and beyond – are invited to take part in Meet me at the Bell Tower; a movement focused on uniting neighbours in an effort to end violence.
This week, a special tribute was held for the Nemeth family, who were in attendance.
Earlier in the day, the Nemeth family announced they will hold a “celebration of life” for the Cooper, who was found dead six days after he went missing on Feb. 14.
The ceremony is planned for Monday, Feb. 29, starting at 3 p.m. inside Calvary Temple at 440 Hargrave St.
In an obituary posted online, the family thanked the people who helped search for the 17-year-old boy, as well as police and others who provided support.
“As a family, we cannot express how overwhelmed we are from the support from so many people throughout the city of Winnipeg and beyond. It was truly a showing of how a community can come together to help each other in their time of need,” read the statement.
Instead of sending flowers, the family said people can make a donation to the Dianne Woods Memorial Player Assistance Fund (Hockey Winnipeg), KidSport Winnipeg or by contacting Favel with the Bear Clan Patrol.
People can add condolences to the online obituary.
Read the full obituary below:
“Obituary of COOPER JAMES NEMETH
It is with a sad heart that we announce the sudden passing of our son, grandson, great grandson, nephew and friend on February 14, 2016. Cooper was born on March 23, 1998 in Winnipeg, MB. Most people would know Cooper as CIP, a nickname that stuck with him for many years. He attended St. Alphonsus during his early school years and was set to graduate in June of this year from River East Collegiate.
Cooper lived for the sport of hockey. He started his hockey career at the age of 5 for the Gateway Flyers and continued to play hockey throughout his life for the River East Royals and Marauders, along with multiple spring teams, and most recently the River East Marauders Midget AA team. Cooper played on multiple championship hockey teams throughout his career and lived for the sport. Outside of hockey, you would find Cooper on the soccer fields at Gateway from when he was 3 years old until he was 10. He also played football for the East Side Eagles for 2 years. Tying into his passion for hockey, Cooper also played ball hockey for 3 years. Cooper had a passion for sports and always brought life to the teams he played for.
Cooper will be sadly missed by his parents, Brent and Gaylene, his sister Kiana and his brother Cody. Cooper will also be missed by his Grandparents Jim and Irene, Janet and Stuart, Norm and Brenda, his Aunties Laresa (Brent), Terry, Angie (Vic), as well as his great grandparents Paula and Anna, cousins and many, many friends
As a family, we cannot express how overwhelmed we are from the support from so many people throughout the city of Winnipeg and beyond. It was truly a showing of how a community can come together to help each other in their time of need. We would like to thank the Winnipeg Police Service for all their hard work over the past few weeks, especially Detective Sergeant Shaunna Neufeld for her support and around the clock efforts in our time of need. We would also like to thank our close friends for ensuring we had what we needed and taking to the streets in the masses. Words cannot express how thankful we are for all of you.
A celebration of life will be held on Monday, February 29th at 3:00 p.m. at the Calvary Temple located at 440 Hargrave Street.
In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made in Coopers name, to the Dianne Woods Memorial Player Assistance Fund (Hockey Winnipeg), KidSport Winnipeg or by contacting James Favel with the Bear Clan Patrol.
All our lives will never be the same. We will heal and adapt over time, but we know now there is a community and a family that will be doing the same. We love you Cooper, more than we can ever say or show. You will be by our side every step we take.