Detroit Red Wings' forward Gordie Howe is seen, Nov. 1967.  (AP Photo)

Detroit Red Wings' forward Gordie Howe is seen, Nov. 1967. (AP Photo)

2016: The year the world lost its heroes

The world lost another legend.

Gordie Howe, Mr. Hockey, one of the greatest to ever play the game, passed away from “old age,” his son Murray Howe told The Associated Press.

“Mr Hockey left peacefully, beautifully, and [with] no regrets,” Murray Howe texted AP.

Growing up in the Detroit area, it was impossible for me to escape Howe’s impact. From him taking an interest in youth hockey and signing autographs for the fawning masses at local rinks, to neighbors remarking on their Gordie Howe-style of raking leaves by utilizing both hands to get the job done — similar to how Howe switched his stick to put himself in the best position to score in front of the net — Mr. Hockey was everywhere.

But above all else, Howe was a professional. He loved and respected the game and appreciated it like most who played — even joining his son, Mark, for a skate with the Detroit Vipers, a minor league outfit, at the tender age of 69 in 1997. The appearance capped a playing career that started in the 1940s.

The year 2016 will forever be remembered as the year the human race lost too many legends: Howe, Muhammad Ali, Prince, David Bowie.

The world will forge on without the heroes of prior generations.

All of these men were unwaveringly principled.

Ali proved it by standing up in the face of government oppression.

Prince and Bowie refused to allow society to define them.

Howe will always be remembered for how he respected and loved the game that did so much for him. Bestowing us with an enduring model of gratitude and humility.

May we never forget the lessons of those who transcend time or era who’ve passed.

Rest in peace to all.David BowieGordie Howejacob c. palmerMuhammad AliPrincethe sideline

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