People wishing to bid farewell to Ben Stelter, who grabbed this city by the heartstrings with his love of the Edmonton Oilers and his courageous fight against brain cancer before passing away on Aug. 9, will get that chance this Friday. Fittingly, it’ll come right outside Rogers Place.
In addition to having the celebration of Ben’s life live-streamed from Hope City Church at 11:30 a.m., it’s been announced that the Stelter funeral procession will leave Park Memorial Funeral Home at 10 a.m. and travel along 104th Ave. past Rogers Place. Fans are being asked to arrive by 9:45 a.m. and gather outside of Ford Hall.
Ashif Mawji, a friend of the Stelter family, organized the event outside the rink as part of the procession’s journey to the church. A team spokesperson has indicated members of the Oilers will attend in a show of support. Given the unquestionable impact Ben had on this city during the Oilers’ stretch drive and into the post-season, I can only imagine the turnout we’ll see Friday.
“I’m always going to think about him after a win,” said Connor McDavid, who first met Ben last fall. “There’s that video of him saying ‘Play La Bamba, baby’ I think that’s when I’m going to think about him.
“It’s something I certainly won’t forget. He was an amazing little guy who lit up every single room he was in. He certainly lit up our room when he came in there. Obviously, a terrible day and we’re thinking about the entire Stelter family.”
“This is so great. Ben would absolutely love this,” Ben’s dad Mike said of Friday’s public farewell via Twitter. Those that can’t make it to the passing of the procession outside Rogers Place can view the live-stream of his service.