Brad and Krista Howe were devoted and caring parents who will be greatly missed, say family members who have rallied to care for the five children the Red Deer couple left behind after they were killed in a weekend car crash.
“Family members are dealing with the loss as well as can be expected,” says a statement released through the RCMP. “Extended family is currently arriving from various locations across North America.”
The children, one boy and four girls ranging in age from four to 14, are being looked after by aunts, uncles and grandparents. Brad, 34, and Krista Howe, 35, had three children and were guardians for two.
The funeral service is Friday at 1 p.m. at the Harvest Centre in Westerner Park.
The Howes died early Sunday when their small car was hit by a pickup driven by a suspected drunk driver on 30th Avenue at Ironstone Drive. The couple, who were both wearing seatbelts, were pronounced dead at the scene by fire-medics.
Corinna Seitz’s lasting memory of Krista Howe will be of a mother tirelessly devoted to her children.
“She was very warm, very accepting. She always seemed very happy,” said Seitz, who has known Krista since their daughters were in elementary school together. The two girls are now in the same high school math class.
“She was very focused on her kids. She was always making sure her kids were happy and she put her kids’ needs and her family’s needs above her own.
“She was just an amazing woman.”
After meeting Brad Howe, Seitz liked him immediately.
“There was just something about him, he’s very likeable.
“I liked watching him with the kids. Even the little ones, they were little babies, he just adored them.
“They were just incredible people. They just had this glow about them that attracts people to them. It’s hard to explain.”
Seitz said she “went completely numb” when she found out the Howes were the victims of the crash.
“It’s not far from our place, so it was just like it really got to you because it could have been anybody out there right then.
“The tears are there. It’s very upsetting.”
The tragedy has struck a chord with scores — many of them strangers — who have inundated a Facebook online memorial page with heart-felt condolences for the family and the couple’s children. Many have offered prayers and some have called for a stiff jail sentence if the accused is found guilty.
Posted photos showed the fun-loving side of the couple. Pictures of Brad with a giant cowboy hat, and Krista and her curling teammates dolled up like Cyndi Lauper for a bonspiel have been added to the site by friends. The couple, who worked as engineers at Nova Chemicals and MEGlobal Canada Inc., were also given credit for bridging the gap between the two chemical companies and inspiring an annual slo-pitch tournament and a curling bonspiel.
A trust fund has been set up for the children at Foam Lake Credit Union in Saskatchewan. The family has advised donations can be dropped off at any credit union in Alberta and Saskatchewan in an envelope addressed to Foam Lake Credit Union, Brad and Krista Howe Memorial Trust and transit number: 80838-889. The account number is 820000016171. For information, call the credit union at 1-306-272-3385.
A 22-year-old man from a small community 175 km southeast of Stettler faces a number of charges including two counts of impaired driving causing death. Chad Mitchell Olsen, of Sedalia, remains in custody and is due back in Red Deer provincial court on Friday.