B.C. Mountie loved life, prized her family and community service: funeral told | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. Mountie loved life, prized her family and community service: funeral told

A supporter leaves a candle amongst others on a memorial during a candlelight vigil to remember West Shore RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett at Veteran's Memorial Park, in Langford, B.C., on Sunday, April 10, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
April 13, 2016 - 5:31 AM

COLWOOD, B.C. - An RCMP officer who established herself as an investigator in a small town detachment was remembered Tuesday for the impact she had on everyone she met.

Const. Sarah Beckett, 32, who died on duty last week when her cruiser collided with a pickup truck in the Vancouver Island community of Langford, was also described as a loving wife and mother with a quirky sense of humour and a commitment to service.

The 11-year member of the force left behind a husband and two sons aged five and two.

"Goodbye, Sarah," said former colleague Staff Sgt. Phil Lue in an emotional message at the packed Q Centre hockey arena in Colwood. "Your memory will always stay with us and you will be missed."

Lue said when Beckett arrived at the Port McNeill detachment on the northeast end of Vancouver Island she quickly "established herself as the alpha dog."

But even though her skills as a rookie officer were impressive, it was her sense of humour and larger-than-life personality that drew people to her, he said.

"She could sound exactly like a seagull," said Lue, recalling how her calls always drew hordes of birds.

Lue said Beckett was "kind, generous, sweet, loyal and loving."

Her godfather Jack Hayden said Beckett wanted to become a paleontologist — seeing the movie "Jurassic Park" 14 times — before deciding to follow her grandfather and become a Mountie.

"She lived for her family," Hayden said, adding that besides her love for her two boys and their dog Maximus, Beckett prized her life with her husband Brad, who she met and married in Las Vegas.

"You warned me this day may come when we first met each other," her husband said in a message read by Hayden. "I would still take this journey 1,000 times with you."

Hayden said Beckett had an infectious laugh and her colleagues nicknamed her Backup Beckett after she backed into a fire truck with her cruiser.

Beckett served at Port McNeill for five years after finishing her training in 2005. She also served with an RCMP investigations unit in Victoria before transferring to the Westshore detachment in Langford, a suburban community just west of Victoria.

She previously pumped gas, managed a Petro-Canada station and worked as a server, often amazed at the great tips she made because she "spilled so many drinks on customers," said Hayden, who knew Beckett since she was born in Calgary.

Her parents and sister prized public service, Hayden told the mourners, which included Premier Christy Clark and NDP Leader John Horgan.

RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson described Beckett as smart, strong and fun.

"She loved this job because it played to her strengths: her perceptiveness, her personal acumen, her confidence, her resolve," he said.

"She was outraged by injustice and fought to make it right. She had no time for complacency and didn't abide it. She had a knack for interviews and it followed a gift for engaging people. She was, in short, the archetypal modern Mountie. We will miss her."

Before the service, the clicking sound of boots marching on wet blacktop punctuated a grey, drizzly afternoon as a procession of law enforcement officers arrived for Beckett's funeral. Hundreds of people lined the procession route as a hearse made its way to the service.

A riderless horse signifying a fallen officer was part of the procession as officers marched in the sombre but colourful tribute to one of their own.

Beckett's coffin, draped with a Canadian flag, was carried into the service by RCMP officers dressed in their traditional red serge uniforms.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said Const. Beckett backed into a fire hydrant.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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