Advertisement

Fallen paramedic Leigh Schroeder remembered at Regina memorial

WATCH: “Our Leigh would have been overwhelmed with your kindness,” said Leigh’s mother Gwendolyn Schroeder through tears as she and Leigh’s father Rudy thanked the several-hundred person strong congregation for joining them.

Under a light afternoon snowfall, hundreds of paramedics, firefighters and police officers lined the entry road to Regina’s Living Hope Alliance Church.

Dressed in their finest uniforms, they raised their arms in salute as symbols of Leigh Schroeder — a Canadian flag, picture, Bible and stethoscope — were carried by in an ambulance to the church doors.

A procession of first responders carries symbols of Leigh Schroeder, a paramedic who passed away in the line of duty, towards a memorial service at the Living Hope Alliance Church in Regina.
A procession of first responders carries symbols of Leigh Schroeder, a paramedic who passed away in the line of duty, towards a memorial service at the Living Hope Alliance Church in Regina. Connor O'Donovan / Global News
A procession of first responders carries symbols of Leigh Schroeder, a paramedic who passed away in the line of duty, towards a memorial service at the Living Hope Alliance Church in Regina.
A procession of first responders carries symbols of Leigh Schroeder, a paramedic who passed away in the line of duty, towards a memorial service at the Living Hope Alliance Church in Regina. Connor O'Donovan / Global News

READ MORE: Memorial service planned for Saskatchewan paramedic killed in on-duty crash

Leigh, a 28-year-old paramedic, died in the line of duty while responding to a call near Beauval, Sask., last weekend. His life was celebrated and remembered Sunday in front of family, friends and fellow first responders.

“Our Leigh would have been overwhelmed with your kindness,” said Leigh’s mother Gwendolyn Schroeder through tears as she and Leigh’s father Rudy thanked the several-hundred person strong congregation for joining them.

Story continues below advertisement

“As we begin a new chapter in our lives, we will not forget you, but we will begin each day opening our hands, hearts and minds, letting love find us and grace shine in.”

Leigh, who worked with the Meadow Lake EMS unit, was travelling north on Highway 155 when his ambulance collided with a truck. The RCMP said the highway was partly covered with ice and slush at the time.

Twelve-year-old Jerome Coulineur and one-year-old Kinzey Iron-Couillonneur were riding in the truck and also passed away in the collision.

READ MORE: Family mourns 2 children, paramedics mourn one of their own after Sask. crash

Delivering his eulogy, Leigh’s older brother Ryan recalled fond memories teaching his younger sibling how to catch a baseball, and drive stick. He also highlighted his brother’s penchant to serve others.

“I think you figured out from an early age that the life you would choose wouldn’t have you as the focal point,” Ryan Schroeder said. “I’ll miss you, little brother.”

A tribute to Schroeder by a group of his friends revealed his commitment to faith, friendship and hard work.

“He was the kind of a friend who would come on our ski trip even though he didn’t snowboard or ski. Leigh was dependable. He was always there with his truck to help a friend move,” said one friend. “All the good memories in my life happened with you. I can’t quite fathom that those memories are all I have left.”

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Sister remembers 12-year-old brother killed in crash near Beauval, Sask.

Pictures of Schroeder with friends, family and from throughout his life covered the front of the memorial service program.
Pictures of Schroeder with friends, family and from throughout his life covered the front of the memorial service program. Connor O'Donovan / Global News

The memorial program described Leigh as a laid back, happy baby born in Regina on March 23, 1991. He grew up in Saskatchewan with his two brothers, enjoying frequent visits to his family farm and family camping trips to Cypress Hills.

After receiving a diploma in Biblical Studies from Bethany College, and becoming a journeyman electrician, he decided to pursue emergency medical services and became a primary care paramedic in 2018.

In his spare time, he enjoyed working on his truck, maintained a gun collection and volunteered and served on the board at Camp Katepwa.

The program also included the words, “If We Never Meet Again This Side of Heaven” by one of Leigh’s favourite artists, Johnny Cash.

Soon we’ll come to the end of life’s journey
And perhaps we’ll never meet anymore
‘Til we gather in Heaven’s bright city
Far away on that beautiful shore
Story continues below advertisement
If we never meet again this side of Heaven
As we struggle through this world and its strife
There’s another meeting place somewhere in Heaven
By the side of the river of life
Where the roses bloom forever
And where separation comes no more
If we never meet again this side of Heaven
I will meet you on that beautiful shore
All they say we shall by the river
Where no spurn clouds ever darken the sky
And they say we’ll be happy in Heaven
In that wonderful sweet by and by
If we never meet again this side of Heaven
As we struggle through this world and its strife
There’s another meeting place somewhere in Heaven
By the side of the river of life
Where the roses bloom forever
And where separation comes no more
If we never meet again this side of Heaven
I will meet you on that beautiful shore