Procession to honour children lost in crash

By Eric Shih
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Two children who died in a highway crash last week are being remembered as always smiling and spreading light and joy to everyone around them. 

A procession for Callie Joseph, 15, and her younger brother Evan Joseph, 11, took place Tuesday afternoon from Kenora to their home Iskatewizaagegan 39, also known as Shoal Lake 39 First Nation.

Ontario Provincial Police said after the three vehicle-collision, just east of Dryden, the two children were taken to hospital, where they were pronounced dead.

Treaty 3 Police Service and Ontario Provincial Police will lead a procession from Kenora to the children’s home community.

In a Facebook post, the police service said the course will begin at the Kenora Recreation Centre at 2 p.m. CT and will follow 1st Avenue South to Matheson, then 2nd Street South to Main Street South and continue to the Roundabout and onto Highway 17 until reaching the community.

According to an obituary for the children, wake services will begin an hour later at David Kejick School, with a traditional funeral held at the school today at 10 a.m. CT.

In the obituary, Callie and Evan were described as vibrant, kind, happy and amazing people. 

“They loved life, their family, and friends, and would do anything for them. They were always smiling and would spread light and joy to all those they met and hung around with. They loved gathering with all their family on birthdays, holidays, and ‘just-because’ days,” it said. “They were raised by loving and devoted parents who gave them the world, but also taught them to be humble, caring, kind, respectful, and appreciative of everyone and everything around them.”

The two children excelled at sports including the sport they loved, hockey.

The tragedy was marked by Hockey Night in Canada this week, with host Ron MacLean remembering the children during an intermission on Monday night.

Photos of the children in hockey gear were shown with MacLean narrating the segment and talking about them being huge Winnipeg Jets fans.

“I wanted everybody to be there for Cal and Serena. The parents of these two incredible hockey players,” he said. “Callie number 4, 15-year-old who is at the Pilot Mound Hockey Academy. It’s a U18 female prep team. Sensational player. She was a standout at St. Thomas Aquinas as well.”

MacLean also described Evan and a great hockey player with the Under-13 Kenora Thistles team.

He said the family was on their way to a hockey tournament in Thunder Bay when the accident happened and they had planned to attend the Jets playoff game on Monday in Winnipeg.

“So we’re all in this together to try and share some hopes and hearts and healing for the Josephs. And our absolute heart is with you Kenora on this night,” he finished.

A GoFundMe campaign was organized for the family, which has now reached over $87,000.