Clarence Boulet
 1957 ~ 2004


The Prince Albert Herald headlined that "Councillor Boulet dies", and it went on to report that "Prince Albert has lost one of its greatest supporters"While this of course is true, for those of us lucky enough to know him personally, we have lost much more that that.

Everyone that knew him describes him in a similar way - to say that Clarence was strong minded, had a strong personality, was strong willed.  Again, this is all of course true, but he was also a wonderful person, and I was proud to call him my friend.

Clarence Boulet was only 46.  We was a father of two, a husband, a self made businessman, a new city councilor, a pillar in his church, and was the biggest of hockey fans.  He died Saturday March 20th in Saskatoon hospital after a battle with Cancer.

November 2003 was both the best of times and the worst of times for Clarence.  While the month would end with a diagnosis of terminal cancer, early in the month he was elected councilor of Ward 4 in Prince Albert, a start in politics that he had long talked about trying.  Of course, once he had made the decision that he was going to run, it was a forgone conclusion that he would win the election.  There simply was no antonym to the word 'win' in Clarence's dictionary. 

Fellow councilors report that "it was a dream come true" for Clarence.  His family was also proud of him, and of how happy being a councilor made him. “Being a councilor was something he knew he would be very good at doing it,” wife Jayne said. “He really, really enjoyed doing it. Whether a task involved business, family, church or community, he put his whole heart into it. He was just so positive.”

Bruce Vance, marketing director for the Prince Albert Raiders, said in the recent Herald article that Mr. Boulet was among the first to welcome him to the community. “He was at the Raider office at about nine o’clock in the morning because he heard there was a new marketing guy, and he had to be the first one through the door and he told me all about his business,” Vance said.  “It made quite the impression on me that he was gregarious and outgoing and he was very, very strong-willed and got a lot of things done.”  Bruce recalls his friend as a “fun guy” who “spoke from the heart all the time. He wore his heart on his sleeve. He didn’t really hide much. He told you what he thought. He pushed and pushed until he got things done.”

Clarence helped resurrect the Friends of the Raiders and served as the group’s past president this year. He also started the Prince Albert Hockey report, which promoted minor hockey locally.  “The Raiders were the love of his life,” Jayne said. “He would have done anything for them.”  The family plans to honor him by buying a seat in his name at the Comuniplex through the Prince Albert Raiders "Bring Back the Magic" campaign.

Clarence presenting an
award to Mike Gauthier in
January 2004, on behalf
of the City of Prince Albert
for Gauthier’s part in the
World Under 17 Championships.

Clarence was very proud of his two children.  When Jody was playing with the Melville Millionaires, Clarence would drive to Melville to watch the game, take his Jody out for a meal and then drive back home.  I'd see Clarence and he'd ask me "so, what did you do yesterday?", just baiting me to answer, and reciprocate the question.  He'd then tell me about the kamikaze trip to Melville and back, plus every highlight of the game.  I'm sure there must have been some other Millionaires on the ice with Jody, but to listen to Clarence, Jody had the other team single handedly surrounded. 

And then there was his beautiful Leanne, playing soccer and volleyball, with Clarence attending everything possible, and then some.  I remember one trip to Alberta in particular, where we went on and on about how proud he was of the girls team.  He had so much trust in his kids as well.  I remember one time he was telling me about a job Leanne had in Alberta - I would have panicked to have my baby girl that far away from home, but he had the quiet confidence that she'd be fine, and it was the rest of Alberta that better watch out.

Clarence's devotion to his Church and to his God was just as strong as his devotion to his family, his job, and his passion for life in general.  Clarence was an member of St Mark Parish, and of course was not just satisfied with attending regularly like the rest of us are.  He again dedicated himself to doing the best possible job for his Lord, participating with readings, administering host to those unable to attend, and even cooking at Pancake Breakfasts and Fall Suppers in the Church basement.

I remember joking with Clarence one time that he 'made the best pancakes this side of 6th avenue', and if you know where St. Mark's is located, you'll have an idea of the kind of abuse Clarence had to take from idiots like me.  He just smiled and poured another dozen delicious circles of batter on the grill.

We will all miss him.  Knowing Clarence, that seems such an understatement.  I will certainly think of him often, and I will smile.  How can I not?

- Todd Chamberlain


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