The Nelson family were touched by the North Otter elementary school community's installation of a park bench in memory of Coleton Wayne Reid Nelson at the school's new playground. Coleton's parents Brenda and Wayne Nelson (at right) were joined by their daughter Chrystie McClurg and her family

Coleton Nelson remembered at North Otter ceremony

The Nelson family were touched by the North Otter elementary school community's installation of a park bench in memory of Coleton

The annual Colton Nelson Memorial PeeWee Tournament returns all day, Friday, Oct. 23, 2015 to Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015 at Aldergrove Arena

Twelve-year-old Coleton Nelson was killed on Feb. 18, 2011, when the car he was riding in was struck by a truck at an Aldergrove intersection. The driver, Coleton’s 18-year-old cousin, and one of his friends, also 12, were both injured in the crash.

Coleton Wayne Reid Nelson wasn’t the fastest kid on the ice, but the tall, lanky 12-year-old was a very, very smart hockey player with a good wrist shot who was especially talented at faking out his opponents.

A former coach says Coleton was usually good for two to three goals a game.

“The kid could score,” Tim Stephenson says.

Coleton played for three Aldergrove teams, the peewee Aldergrove Chiefs, the bantam Aldergrove Bruins and he was an affiliate player who filled in on the peewee Bruins rep team.

His father Wayne loved to watch his boy play, attending every game and practice he could.

His mother Brenda says hockey was the most important thing in Coleton’s life.

“It was his second family,” she says.

Coleton was also an expert-level BMX bike racer who mastered snowboarding in one lesson.

“He was good at everything,” his mother says.

His nickname, “Hockey10kid” came from the number on his jersey. He had many others.

His mother called him “Bunny love” and “mujjjaa” a pet name he earned for his ability to make squished-up faces when he was little.

He was the youngest of three kids and the only boy. His older sisters Chrystie, 21, and Alecsa, 18, adored their younger brother. Coleton was their buddy, one they loved “to the moon and back.”

On the ice, he was a confident, cheerful player. Off the ice, he could be a little shy sometimes, but he was coming out of it. He was about a head taller than most kids his age, and probably would have topped out at 6’4”.

He was more comfortable outdoors playing sports than he was studying in school.

The Grade 7 student at North Otter Elementary loathed band practice, in part because he was supposed to wear a dress shirt and pants, something he firmly, but politely, declined to do. Dressing formally was a pet peeve of his.

He even refused to don a required dress shirt and tie when he played for the rep team, reasoning, correctly, that they would be unlikely to send him home for ignoring the off-ice dress code.

A “Coleton Nelson Memorial Tournament” was established by the Aldergrove Minor Hockey Association board of directors. So was a scholarship.

Christmas was Coleton’s favourite time of year, which is why the family organized “Coleton Clause,” a fundraiser to provide gifts for children in need. The “Coleton Clause” fundraiser assists families who use the Abbotsford Community Services Christmas Bureau.

The Nelson family also contributed to the new North Otter elementary school playground, and were pleased to see a park bench installed there in his memory by the school’s Parents Advisory Council.

Children enjoyed the new playground equipment at North Otter elementary school.

Kimberlly Okrainetz of Super Save Gas and her children seated on a bench dedicated to Super Save for their donation to the new playground equipment at North Otter elementary school. The official opening ceremony on Friday (Sept. 25) paid tribute to the many donors who raised the $83,000 required for the modern equipment, which was installed last month by a volunteer crew.