Edmonton-born and raised Jason Podloski, 46, is being remembered for his passion and skill for music and guitar making.
“He built a guitar for Corb Lund, which Corb is still actually using today,” said his father Peter Podloski from his farm near Vilna, Alberta.
“Corb called us yesterday and expressed his deepest sympathies. And he’s sad that he can’t make it (to the funeral) because Jason was a very good old friend of his.
“He says he will cherish that thing (guitar) because it’s one of his best pieces of equipment.”
In fact, that guitar is the one pictured on the cover of Lund’s latest album Things That Can’t Be Undone. It was used for his recent shows in Texas, Missouri and Oklahoma, songwriting sessions in Nashville and it’s the one Lund will use for his western Canada solo tour in November.
Lund’s team said the guitar Jason made is the singer’s “go-to acoustic guitar” and he affectionately nicknamed it “Juanita.”
Jason was one of the three people who died following an ammonia leak at the Fernie Memorial Arena on Oct. 17.
Wayne Allan Hornquist, 59, and Lloyd Stewart Smith, 52, were also killed.
Jason was working as an air conditioning and refrigeration technician with CIMCO Refrigeration.
“Whatever happened is beyond our control. We don’t know. We won’t know for quite some time. But it was an accident,” Peter said.
“If there would have been any ammonia in that building that was strong enough, they wouldn’t have walked in.”
Jason grew up in Edmonton’s Clareview neighbourhood and was the oldest of three children. The two boys played hockey growing up.
“For 18 years, we were rink rats from Mundare to Barrhead to Gibbons to wherever there were hockey tournaments,” Peter said. “The importance was our boys and hockey and our hockey family. We kept the boys busy.”
One of Jason’s first careers was making and selling guitars from his shop in Edmonton called Minglewood Guitars. However, with the cost of labour and supplies, he struggled to keep the business afloat, according to his father.
“Sometimes they’re great sounds sometimes they aren’t. Sometimes he’d throw away some guitars because when he’d build them out of different kinds of wood, the sound wasn’t there.”
Jason spent time in B.C. before moving back to Alberta to work with his brother for CIMCO in Calgary. Jason lived in Turner Valley.
“He worked very hard with that, being 42 years old when he started a new career — his new adventure and being an apprentice. It was hard to get back into the books. And then his eldest child arrived.”
Jason was a father to two boys, Everly and Wylan, aged four and two.
“Jason left a numerous impact on everybody. Whoever he came in contact with, your life will go on forever in our hearts. ”
“We love you son. Until we meet again. God bless you.”
A funeral service is being held Saturday Oct. 28 at 10:30 a.m. at the Holy Cross Ukrainian Catholic Parish in Edmonton.
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