Gordie Howe died today. Many Canadians and hockey fans are reflecting on his life today as I am. Public personalities, whether in politics, sports, or entertainment, do not always hold up as role models for ordinary people. Gordie Howe was one of those who did. Here are nine ordinary values that Gordie Howe embodied that I also value in life.

  1. Longevity: He was the only hockey player to play professionally in six decades of his life.
  2. Humility: He was a small town prairie boy born in Floral, Saskatchewan and never forgot those roots.
  3. Loyalty: He was a one woman man married to Colleen for 56 years until she died a few years ago. I drive by the school named in their honour on a regular basis.
  4. Family man: Colleen and Gordie raised four children. He even played professional hockey with his two sons Mark and Marty.
  5. Tenacity. The “Gordie Howe hat-trick” is legendary: a goal, an assist, and a penalty.
  6. Gentleman: He carried himself with dignity off the ice.
  7. Balance: He was the complete package. As a hockey player, he had talent, intuition, and physicality.
  8. Consistency: He was in the top five in scoring for 20 straight seasons.
  9. Legacy: Wayne Gretzky chose his number 99 based on Gordie’s number 9. He was a true Canadian icon.