Hockey Player Adam Johnson Honored at Memorial After His Tragic Death

Pro hockey player Adam Johnson, who died at age 29 in an accident during a game, was remembered at a celebration of life event in his hometown.

By Corinne Heller Nov 09, 2023 4:52 PMTags
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Adam Johnson's community is coming together amid their tragic loss.

A little more than a week after the pro hockey player died from his injuries sustained during an injury on the ice, thousands of people—including his fiancée Ryan Wolfe—attended a public celebration of the 29-year-old's life at the Hibbing Memorial Building Arena in his hometown of Hibbing, Minn., Nov. 6. Johnson, who had been playing in the British Elite Ice Hockey League for the Nottingham Panthers, died Oct. 28 in England after his neck was cut by a skate blade during a game against the Sheffield Steelers.

The athlete, who had previously played in the NHL with the Pittsburgh Penguins for two seasons before heading to the U.K., is survived by his parents, Susan Johnson and David Johnson, brother Ryan Johnson, and Wolfe.

During the memorial, which was held at the arena's ice rink, the late athlete's fiancée reflected on their life together through a moving letter. In fact, it was, as she noted, "Similar to something I would have written him for our wedding day."

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"Hi babe. I want you to know how much I love you and adore you," she read. "You've been so amazingly supportive and kind to me since the day we met, and I couldn't have been more grateful for it. I always thought that maybe if I was lucky enough, after a lifetime together, I'd start to be more like you. You're such a special person. You have the best sense of humor, the biggest heart, the quickest wit and the kindest soul. You're unbelievably loyal, dedicated and smart. You're so, so smart."

Instagram (Ryan Wolfe)

Wolfe recalled Johnson's dreams for their life together as a married couple. "The last year or so, you came up with so many different plans for us, from starting a farm, or a coffee shop, or me becoming some big hotshot so you could be a stay-at-home dad with a whole vanful of kids you wanted," she said. "I wish we could've had all of that and more and I pray that in another life, we do. I just hope in Heaven they let you have your farm and all the cows and chickens your little heart desires."

(Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

She ended the note with by sharing exactly what he meant to her.

(Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

"To me you were everything," Wolfe expressed. "You were my home, my best friend, my sounding board, my rock, my safe haven and the love of my life. I'm never going to stop thinking about you, missing you and loving you. Until we can be together again, I love you."

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