Turner Valley: April 28 Day of Mourning

Every year on April 28 we pay our respects to, and remember, the thousands of workers who have been killed, injured or suffered illness as a result of work-related incidents.

Sadly, Alberta lost 162 men and women to workplace injury or illness in 2018.

On April 28, we remember. Take a moment to honour lives forever changed.

Keri Halsey’s Story

Keri Halsey believes with all her heart that she will see her husband Glen in Heaven one day. But she would give anything if he was still of this earth. Glen died in a workplace accident at the age of 47.

Friends and family by the hundreds filled the church in Red Deer for his memorial service, which was live-streamed for those unable to attend. The sight of so many people filled Keri with pride, knowing they had gathered to honour her husband. It also brought into sharp and painful focus the enormity of her loss.

“Glen was my person,” she says. “How do you put a loss like that into words? You really can’t. It’s hard to lose that. But I’m so thankful, too, that it’s something I had. Not everyone can say that.”

The outpouring of love and support, Keri says, was a reflection of the respect and esteem in which he was held by those who knew him.

Glen was clear in his advice to friends, but gentle

“Glen touched so many people’s lives,” says Keri. “The memorial service was a true celebration of his life, and he would have wanted it that way.”

Keri says nothing meant more to him than his family—together they had four children—but friends could count on him for wise counsel.

“Glen was always willing to help people work through things,” says Keri, “but he wasn’t afraid to be an honest voice. He would speak the truth, but with kindness. He had an opinion, and that’s why people looked to him. He was a leader.”

Their relationship was rooted in friendship and admiration

She says she met Glen when they both attended a youth ministry more than 25 years ago.

“He could make me laugh like nobody else could,” she says, a smile in her voice. “There was so much about him I admired. He was my soulmate.”

They were friends first, a bond that grew over time, along with their deep and abiding faith.

“Glen’s faith defined him,” says Keri. “He always said he felt closest to God when he was outside in nature.”

That love of nature took him to lakes in Alberta and B.C., where he loved nothing more than to dangle a fishing rod in the water. Keri says in recent years he had started taking their son along on his annual fishing trip with his brothers, carrying on a family tradition that began when Glen was just a boy.

Grieving his loss, but celebrating a well-lived life

“They always came home with fun stories, and great memories,” she says. “It was his dream to buy a fishing boat so that he could take all of us out fishing with him more often.”

Even though he’s gone, Keri says, he is all around her—in the house that they built, in the faces of their children and, more recently, in the chords produced by a guitar.

“Glen had a passion for music,” says Keri. “For him, worship and music went hand in hand. Our son is a drummer, but lately he started picking up the guitar and playing around with it, like his dad.

“It’s so nice to hear that sound again.”