Mourners hear Alberta avalanche victim had great love for the outdoors

LETHBRIDGE — Mourners at a funeral for an Alberta man killed in an avalanche while snowmobiling in British Columbia heard about the man’s love for the outdoors and for his family.

Shannon Reynolds

Shannon Reynolds

LETHBRIDGE — Mourners at a funeral for an Alberta man killed in an avalanche while snowmobiling in British Columbia heard about the man’s love for the outdoors and for his family.

More than 300 people attended the service Tuesday for Kurtis Dean Reynolds at a hotel in Lethbridge, the same room where he and his wife got married.

Reynolds, who was 33, died when a wall of snow came down on about 200 people at an unsanctioned snowmobiling event on Boulder Mountain near Revelstoke March 13.

He was there with his friend and business partner Shay Snortland, of Lacombe, who also died in the avalanche. Thirty-one others were injured.

An avalanche warning had been in effect for the area at the time.

Friend Richard Ment, who grew up with Reynolds in Coalhurst, talked about their fluorescent-coloured clothes that was even more fun because Reynolds was colour blind.

His voice catching, Ment talked about how they went from riding BMX bikes and wearing Air Jordan shoes to discovering girls and getting their drivers licences.

Sisters Serena Wesley and Sandy Regier described a brother who was a handful right from the start. He loved to climb and figure out how things worked.

“He had curly pumpkin-orange hair and you never saw him without a smile as a baby. He was quite the ham,” Wesley said.

An avid hockey player in his youth, their family life revolved around the hockey rink and watching hockey on television at home. Reynolds studied heavy duty mechanics at Lethbridge College, met Shannon and the two moved to Taber when Kurtis started working as a swamper and four years later they married.

“They started their life together in this very room,” said Regier.

Regier said Reynolds’s two boys, Kadin, 9, and Kole, 5, “had the best of everything.

“Kurtis would work for days without sleep and still manage to make it home for special days like Halloween. His boys were his world,” she said.

In July 2007, Kurtis started working for K&S Oilfield Hauling, where he met Snortland. He lived in a trailer for a year before his family joined him in Strathmore. Besides being a dedicated worker, Kurtis enjoyed camping and mudbogging.

Regier relayed memories from family members. Kole said he would remember his dad teaching him baseball and riding the go-carts with him at Disneyland.