Family members, friends, and hockey fans St. Ann's Church in Dorchester, Massachusetts to remember the late Jimmy Hayes, who passed away suddenly last week at the young age of 31.
He leaves behind his wife Kristen as well as two young sons, Beau and Mac. And it was Kristen who gave a touching tribute to her late husband.
"My dearest Jimmy, I cannot believe I am standing here a month after our three-year wedding anniversary. You were simply the best. There's no other way to put it," the mother of two said.
"The boys and I were your whole world. Every morning you would wake me up with 'Hi big momma' or 'Big momma looking hot.' You said you felt bad that the boys will have the hot mom in the pickup line at school," she said, in a lighter moment from her speech.
"I will try my best to fill your shoes, but I know it's nearly impossible," she said, adding that, as of late, it is "the little things I will miss most, like the sound of your voice … and the high-five at 8 p.m. after the kids were in bed."
An autopsy was completed on August 25, though the official cause of Hayes' passing still isn't known.
"Beau looks at the background of my phone [with a picture of Jimmy] before he goes to bed and says, 'Goodnight daddy. I love you,' " Kristen continued. "You were my soulmate and the best dad to Beau and Mac. I will make sure they know our love story."
Kristen added, "Heaven has gained an angel."
His brother Kevin, a forward with the Philadelphia Flyers, also delivered an emotional speech.
"As a brother, he built us up every way he could. He brought joy and laughter into every interaction," he said. "As a brother, he built us up every way he could. He brought joy and laughter into every interaction."
As part of the memorial, several local fans organized a sticks raised tribute:
We're still stunned by the tragic passing of Hayes, and our thoughts and prayers for comfort and healing go out to those who knew and loved him the most.