Club des Kilomaîtres Junior Head Coach Mike Strange died on April 6 of a heart attack. The awful hurt and sorrow after the loss of the 62 year old dedicated and passionate man has been expressed in innumerable messages on social media.
« His presence, personnality, generosity and sense of humor will be greatly missed. Mike was the heart and soul of the club. His athletes were his children and there was nothing too good for them, » could be read on the Facebook page of the LaSalle club.
Mike was a volunteer coach for more than 30 years in the organisation of which he had been vice-president and president. In 2001, he founded the junior branch for the kids aged 6 to 18 recruited in the LaSalle schools.
The borough recognized his outstanding volunteer commitment and generosity by honoring him with the Moulin d’Or in 2010.
« LaSalle lost a citizen, a volunteer and a dedicated coach. He was the type of man who didn’t count his hours and devoted himself entirely to his sport and his athletes, » said Mayor Manon Barbe.
The retired teacher also sat on the board of La Bicoque youth center since last summer.
« Our kids are losing a coach, but also a mentor and an important father figure. Through these young people who have had the chance to evolve with him, he leaves us an invaluable legacy, » says Director Sébastien Babeux.
A physical education graduate at McGill University, Mike Strange has been a teacher at the Lester B. Pearson School Board for more than 35 years, including many elementary schools in LaSalle.
Over the years, he has built a solid reputation in the province’s athletics community, developing young talent in different events in track and field who took part in Jeux du Québec and Jeux de Montréal as well as several other national competitions.
He was the one who introduced DeOndra Green to sprint, now a gold medalist at last summer’s Canada Games.
Mike Strange was also for many years codirector of Course et marche populaires de LaSalle, part of Circuit Endurance du Grand Montréal.
There will be a tribute to Mike Strange on sunday before the 10k departure, at 10am, in Saint Laurent. Kilomaîtres and St-Laurent Sélects will release white balloons to honor his memory. President of Kilomaîtres, Benoit Villien, will speak to thank the community after the multiple testimonies of affection.
He is survived by his wife Gail Samoluk, as well as his daughter Parfaite. The family will receive condolences on Sunday, April 15, and Monday, April 16, at J. J. Cardinal Funeral Home on Lakeshore Drive in Dorval.
Funeral service will held in Cowansville at a later date.