ForeverMissed
Stories

Share a special moment from Ave's life.

When Ave was little

Shared by maureen mackrory on June 2, 2021
Ave’s mom dad sister and brother often came to visit in our home. Jeanette and Maureen had bought their parents an electrical blanket with two switches for Christmas. One switch warmed up Milly and one switch was lowered to accommodate Jim who was always hot. This was before Ave was in school. He snuck into the bedroom crossed the switches so Jim kept putting his dial down as he sweat and Milly get jacking hers up because she was freezing. They did not discover this until the morning and tracked the trickster down to Ave. He was quite pleased with himself.              Another incident happened when Jim was pitching ball at a ballgame and Jeanette was keeping score for the team. She was also looking after Ave who was about 4 years old. All of a sudden the umpire stopped the game.  Who’s little boy is that pointing to the top of the school fence which was a very high backstop. Jeanette had to convince him to come down carefully. Ave loved to take risks even at a young age.      The last little story is when we were all at the Spratt’s home. Their parents had gone out. Ave disappeared for a very short time without asking. He came back with popsicles for us all. He had used his own pocket money. Right from the get ho he was so very generous. We will never forget him when he was young or when he became the responsible generous man people LOVED

Homily from family mass prior to Thursday's viewing (from Deacon Pat Hessel)

Shared by Laurenne Spratt on May 29, 2021

Ave Spratt – Memorial Mass

It’s unfortunate that our numbers are so limited this evening, but I am grateful for the opportunity to speak more personally with you.

Priscilla, the other night after Mass, we talked about Ave’s passing. I remember that, with a smile on your face, you told me about Ave’s last day, driving the go-kart, indulging his “need for speed.” It was very telling that, while most people in your situation would have been speaking about your own personal grief and challenges, just a few days after losing your husband, you were focused on the fact that, if Ave had to have a last day on earth, this was a good one.

When I asked how you and the family were doing, I got a sense that both you and the family, although terribly saddened by Ave’s death, had already achieved some level of peace. How does that happen? I remember that you spoke to me about your sense that heaven and earth are not distant from one another. If I understood you correctly, you were saying (my words) that, if there is a barrier between heaven and earth, it’s more like an old screen than a brick wall. This is the blessing of faith. And we see it reflected in the first reading that you chose for this evening’s Mass: “In the eyes of the foolish, they seemed to have died, and their departure was thought to be a disaster, and their going from us to be their destruction, but they are at peace.”

I think we take away two messages. First, if by faith, we believe that Ave is at peace, then we can share with him some level of peace and even joy, despite our sadness. And please understand that sadness is normal and healthy and real. Our faith gives us hope, but it can’t entirely insulate us from sorrow. And second is the point that you made, Priscilla – the dead are never far from us. Ave will never be far from us.

I also saw an image of one of your “Ave stories” in the second reading that you chose. You told me that in the year 2000, Ave received his first communion. Afterward, you asked him how he felt when he received the Eucharist. His response: “I felt complete.”

In this second reading, Saint Paul was writing to Timothy. He knew that his own death was imminent, and yet he had a sense of peace. His words speak of a sense of – to use Ave’s word – completion: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Ave’s first communion was not the end of his race, but was the foundation of a spiritual strength that would, indeed, allow him to finish the race.

That’s what I saw in this reading. But I wondered whether you chose it because of Ave’s fascination with actual racing. Was that it? I still remember him telling me: “Life begins at 600 horsepower!”

Father Paul chose the Gospel reading, and I’m happy he chose the one he did. It allows me to make an important observation about Ave – an observation that you, his children – should understand and remember.

Jesus said: “The person who loves their life loses it, and the person who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” When Jesus said that we should hate our life in this world, he wasn’t suggesting that we should make our lives miserable, and that, somehow, we would be better people if we were miserable. Jesus wasn’t saying that. He was exaggerating to make a point, the point being that we can become attached to the things of this world to such an extent that we neglect or lose interest in the really important things. The “things of this world” include material possessions, wealth, power and status. Ave had all of those. Did it make him a bad person that he had, and enjoyed, snowmobiles, boats, go-karts, and an electric car that did 0-100 km/hr in less than three seconds? Of course not. Can you imaging your dad getting off a snowmobile and saying: “Now I feel complete?” Obviously not.

We are called to love God and love our neighbour. Ave vocalized his love for God when he spoke about his first communion, and showed his love for God countless times when he insisted that you come with him to Sunday Mass. Toys are toys, but God is God. And I don’t think Ave was confused about that – at all.

When we speak about love of neighbour, we typically talk about sharing our time, talents, and treasures. And the extent to which we do that is a clear indication of whether our first love is for God or for the things of this world. And here again, Ave demonstrated his love for God by serving his neighbour. I was always amazed that despite his many family and work-related obligations, he had the time – or, more correctly – made the time to lend his talents to various committees and worthwhile causes. He had a real talent for that and he put his talent at the service of others. And, of course, he was also generous in sharing his treasures. There is a school in rural Nepal that would not have been built were it not for the generous support of Ave and your mother. And this is only one of many examples of his generosity.

I am happy to be able to talk to you, his children, about these things. You’ve grown up in a privileged environment as a result of the hard work and sacrifices of your parents. At a time like this, when we recall your dad’s life, it’s important to remember the things that were most important to him: the love of God, family, and neighbour.

Kids, your dad, Priscilla, your husband, was a remarkable man. Have faith that he rests with the Lord, have trust that he will never be far from you, and imitate him in sharing love generously.

-Deacon Pat Hessel
Shared by Dionne Spratt on May 29, 2021
I remember arm wrestling with dad, we’d think we would win and he’d fake us out and crush it (obviously). I remember when we’d play roller coaster in mom and dads bed where we’d latch onto his giant leg and he’d swing us around. I remember his favourite feather pillow. I remember his extremely salty fried eggs which seemed to be the only thing he cooked. I remember his try hard French accent, I remember how excited I would get to go back to school shopping with him, Laurenne and Carleen. I remember NASCAR every Sunday, I remember him chugging milk from the jug and drinking salsa like a champ.

Words cannot express how much I miss him, he was the coolest dude.
He’s gonna have unlimited NASCAR and Chinese food in heaven

Shared by Lorrie Musto on May 28, 2021
Our family was devastated to hear about the sudden passing of Ave. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Priscilla and the kids. His absence to our lake community will surely be felt. We had the pleasure of dealing with Ave when we purchased our last couple of boats. He was always more than fair to us, and most importantly, he was a man of his word. When we were initially doing our research to purchase a new boat, Ave sat down alone with me and asked me why I didn’t care for a particular boat design. I told him my honest opinion. He immediately called the manufacturer in Tennessee and made a genuine request on my behalf. I believe you’d have to look far and wide before you found a dealer with that kind of passion and commitment to his clients and his fellow neighbors. When Ave told you that something would be looked after; it was. He was a man of great integrity. 

All of us on the lake would agree that Ave was a great entertainer! He was the familiar voice of our annual Jackfish Lake BBQ/ boat watersport demo. He did it with his own unique flare and sense of humor. He and Priscilla were always generous hosts to our board and our community. He was a key contributor to our Jackfish Lake Echo, always assuring the board that we could count on his full page advertising spreads, and his informative written articles. The expression “only the good die young” could never ring more true. May you rest in peace Ave, and know that this summer’s fireworks will have a unique brilliance in them, knowing you have the best view of us all.

Mr. Spratt

Shared by Karleen Rhodes on May 28, 2021
I got to know Ave... Mr. Spratt through his two daughters Dionne, and Carleen. Becoming friends with them through one of their families' many forms of ministry. During high school I had the pleasure of spending many fun-filled days and sleepovers at the Spratts home. Swimming, eating snacks made by Mrs. Spratt, and when Mr. Spratt came home getting to go out on the newest model boat. I saw firsthand his pride, love, and devotion he had for every one of his eight children... And somehow as if having eight kids didn’t fill up his schedule he still had his businesses, ministries, and was an incredibly active member in all of his different communities. 

I see here that others have expressed similar sentiments and are sure that all his children's friends past and present have been impacted by Mr. Spratt's dedication and generosity. To most teenagers/kids Mr. Spratts was intimidating (until you got to know him that is).. but behind this serious facade, you could always see the laughter and joy in his eyes (which led to constant questioning.. That was a joke right?). Witnessing Mrs. Spratts and his marriage and commitment, as well as his devotion to his family was an incredible example and I will carry with me for life.

He is already deeply missed, but his legacy will truly live on in each one of his amazing kids. Holding you all close in my thoughts and prayer. It has been nearly a decade since I last spent time with you’ll and ‘The Spratts’ still come up regularly through stories I share.. Eternally grateful for the past when our lives were intertwined and I got to be a witness to your family's and Fathers love. Rest in peace, Mr. Spratt.
Shared by Joe Graumann on May 28, 2021
I first met Ave when I started working with Lyle at Huston Leisure Products back in the early ‘80’s. Ave was working at Spruce Grove Marineland at that time in the watersports department. I remember Ave in those days as this brash young guy, full of confidence, always smiling and laughing, and competitive at everything he did. He came to work with us a few years later - we were a small, tight knit group - Lyle Huston, Jackie St. Pierre, Ave, and myself. So tight, in fact, that we had dealers that actually believed we were a family - Lyle & Jackie were mom & dad, Ave & I the boys! 
We shared many great trips along the way, and many happy times. I think Ave is the one that taught us how to play squint! I’ll remember Ave every time we hit the water at Jackfish Lake, every time we see fireworks light up the sky. 
Our sincere condolences to Priscilla & family, our best wishes in this time of loss.

Kim & Joe Grauman

Missing my Neighbor & Friend

Shared by Roy Rumberg on May 28, 2021
Rosalie and I first met Ave in 1987 at the annual boat show in Calgary. Wouldn’t you know it, we bought our first new boat from Ave. We had options obviously, but he overwhelmed us with sincerity, trust & just being a great guy! He came to our house in Cochrane and checked out our Ski Nautique and when Ave left he had closed the deal on a new Ski Brendella for us. Skip forward 13 years and we bought our present home on Jackfish Lake not knowing that Ave and Priscilla would be our neighbours. What a great 20 years we had being friends and neighbours. I must admit that on the friends and neighbours plan he dug into our pockets several more times (boats,docks, etc. etc)  Ave and I shared the same crazy passion for H.P. and speed! Those of you who were there know how crazy fast our road rally’s were. Year 1 Ave had his Maserati which didn’t fair that well against my Z06. Wouldn’t you know it, year 2 he had a Porsche. (Go figure) Thank Goodness we all had incredible fun  and no incidents. (We officially shut that nonsense down after 3 years)
We miss you so much Av,our memories are written in stone along side your Legacy.

A hallway smooch

Shared by Carleen Reiniger on May 28, 2021
When I was in grade 8, Dad came to pick me up from Duffield school one afternoon. I can probably count on one hand the number of times he did that, considering school was out at 3pm and he didn’t usually walk in the garage door until well after 6pm at the best of times. He worked hard. 

I saw him stroll through the hallway and my heart skipped a beat. My Dad! Here at school! Yahoo! Textbooks in hand, I hurried over to greet him and gave him a kiss on the cheek. We went out to the truck and he kind of sheepishly said, “That was so nice of you to give me a kiss when you saw me. I thought preteens were embarrassed by their parents?”

EMBARRASSED?! I was so confused. I wasn’t embarrassed. I was bursting with pride. Didn’t he know how awesome he was?The tall, handsome, cool, kind guy walking in the hallway was MY dad and wanted everyone to know. 

I couldn’t be more proud to be your daughter, Pops. Then, now, always. 

Shared by Lou Partent on May 28, 2021
I first met Ave when I started at Martin Farm Equipment in 1986. Ave welcomed me into the farm equipment world, he was one of my mentors and over the years.I maintained a ton of respect for him as he moved into the motorsports division growing it to where it is today Martin Motorsports will surely miss his advise and enthusiasm 
Ave loved to sell !! 
My sincere condolences to the Spratt family

A Mentor, An Inspiration and A True Friend

Shared by Krista Sparkes on May 28, 2021
Words have escaped me since Laurenne informed me of Ave's sudden passing.  Since then, I've spent hours playing back memories of time spent together, conversations shared, advice given and laughs had.  Those moments will remain etched in my mind, and I will be forever grateful - both for our friendship and for the influence Ave had on my life. 

I met Ave through business 18 years ago.  He was a powersports industry icon, and someone I came to respect tremendously in a very short timeframe.  Ave was a key member of all the Executive Dealer Council meetings I hosted, and I would strategically plant seeds with him to help steer the dialogue in advance.  Regardless of subject, Ave was the one person in the room others looked to for leadership and guidance.  I recall one particular meeting where the conversation was tough and the group was divided in opinion.  I spoke with Ave on a coffee break and asked if he could help rally the troops and close the meeting with some inspirational thoughts. He winked and told me "I had already planned on it, Kiddo".  In true Ave fashion, he summarized the 2-day meeting in 30 seconds, reminded the audience that they were called upon to be ambassadors, and that they needed to come together & have faith.  His exact words were "Even when the going gets tough, we can't fold up the tent".  When he spoke, people listened.  And when he finished, all were onboard.   He was a true inspiration and a natural-born leader.

Our friendship strengthened when we worked directly together in the marine business.  While we wore different hats and sat on opposite sides of the table, we understood that our #1 objective was to make people's dreams on the water come true.  We would strategize for hours, always looking for ways to join forces and win as a team.  I looked forward to our weekly conversations - which would always start with a quick update on the family, then Ave reminding me to "take time & smell the roses".  I'd chuckle and tell him I was waiting for him to take his own advice, then I'd follow suit.  His contagious big-belly laugh on the other end of the line always warmed my heart :)  

Ave helped shape my career in more ways than one.  When conflicted, I'd reach out for his words of wisdom and he'd help me gain perspective.  We'd review the pros & the cons of every situation and he'd offer his thoughts, one-by-one, then ask me to share mine.  I remember confiding that I was struggling between doing what I knew was right vs doing what was expected - and he told me the answer was easy.  "Listen to your gut, and follow your heart, Young Lady".  I listened.

There are so many stories I could share, but, instead, I will share my list of the "top 10" life lessons learned I from Ave.

1) Always trust your instinct
2) Only partner with folks you trust
3) Fight for what you believe in (even if it means ruffling feathers in the boardroom)
4) Protect your team, at all costs 
5) Be prepared in a negotiation, but know when to agree to disagree and walk away 
6) Never skimp on HP... The bigger the better!
7) Put in the effort, work harder than anyone else in the room
8) Set the example, lead with intention
9) Call a spade a spade, but do it respectfully
10) "Never fold up the tent" and "buckle up your bootstraps"

Ave, thank you for being a mentor, a life coach, a second father (at times), and a confidante over the years.  I look forward to sharing a glass of red wine and some "Alberta beef" with you someday high above the clouds.  Know that I treasured our friendship and appreciated the time you offered, so generously.  I am honored to have known you and will cherish the memories always.

Sending the deepest of sympathies and my most sincere condolences to Priscilla, Laurenne and the entire Spratt family - as well as the extended Martin Motorsports family.  

Love Always,
Krista
Shared by Tyler Roth on May 28, 2021
I have so many great memories of my Uncle Ave, it's hard to pick just one.  There's one that has really stood out for me the last few days though.  I remember one time we played golf years ago.  It was a beautiful summer evening, and my friend Mark was playing with us.  When we got to the fifth or sixth hole, we saw it was a hard dog leg to the left.  Mark and I played it fairly safe and just hit it straight and short.  Then Uncle Ave teed it up and hit the perfect hook around the trees and out of sight!  He set himself up for an easy chip shot onto the green.  We were so impressed.  Mark asked "Were you trying to do that?!"  Uncle Ave chuckled and said "Yep" and explained how he did it.  The very next hole though, he got himself into trouble in some really nasty rough.  He flubbed his first shot about twenty feet.  Then again.  It took him probably 4 or 5 shots to get back on the fairway.  He refused to take a drop though, no matter how hard or frustrating it was.  He was determined to play his way out of it.  It's clear he carried that same attitude throughout life, to work hard and persevere.  To take the good with the bad, and never take the easy way out.  Thanks for living with such integrity, you'll always be an inspiration to me Uncle!

Wedding Prep

Shared by Kim Bremault on May 27, 2021
I first got to know Ave when my husband, Dennis, and I were in Marriage Preparation class at Holy Trinity. Ave and Priscilla were two of the coordinators. This being some 14 years ago, his kids were much younger and I remember being in awe of how calm and collected they always were with them. One story that stands out for me was that Ave discussed how keeping prayer at the forefront was core in their marriage. He said he often prayed a rosary and his children would join in, some actually saying it, or others just climbing on him, but it was so important to his family to have prayer close always. 

Ave has always been kind, caring, and a pleasant smile and ‘how ya doing?’ Every-time we saw him. His children and family are evidence of the good, blessed, and righteous life this man has led and we will miss your gentle smile and generous heart. 

Travelling with Ave

Shared by Sean Hofmann on May 27, 2021
My first day on the job was flying to Phoenix to meet the marine team and test some boats in the winter months.  So I got to airport EARLY to ensure I was on time, checked my bag and got on the plane.  Met some of the team on the plane and before you know it we were on the ground.  

Everyone off the plane and headed to car rental land and then it happened.  I said "I just have to WAIT and get my bag that I checked".  Being new and all I felt like the scene changed and there was some visual stares coming from the team that felt like I did something wrong.  Ave of course had a very fast walk in the airports, by the time the news got to him that the new guy checked a bag, I got the raised eyebrow stare from 200 feet away.  To me it read, "you have got to be kidding me" and in fact that was exactly what it meant.  

From that day forward I travelled light, carry-on only.  Years pass and I received a few more of the eye brow stares but all in great fun and getting to know the great man he was to me.

I will miss the raised eyebrow stare!

Trust

Shared by Gary Pointer on May 27, 2021
In high school, he work at Don Wheatons car dealership. They were moving cars to the Agricom for the annual used car event in the winter. He invited me along to help. Of course I chose the V8 4-speed Chevy Monza first. At the destination, he simply remarked: “when I saw you coming down the hill behind me sideways, I was a little worried”.

That summer, they gave him a Chevy Tahoe to use for the weekend. He then gave it to another one of our friends for the day.

Point of the stories is it’s remarkable how much trust adults would placing him at a young age, and how he would place trust in others of his own age (when he probably shouldn’t have).

12 years later, despite living 5 mins from a Skidoo dealer, I drove to Martin & bought 2 machines from Ave. Even tho we hadn’t been in touch much, felt I should pay back for that & our high school grad party at the farm (which others may chime in on).

Another 16 years hence, I went back to him to buy a ski/wakeboard boat.

A Co worker and a True Friend

Shared by Jackie St Pierre on May 27, 2021
In the early 1990's Ave joined the team at Huston Liesure Products in Spruce Grove..  We were a small group, but even back then a very close group of Co workers and friends. We shared many good times and many new experiences together, one which I will never forget. A Hot Air Balloon ride. After many failed attempts due to weather, Our adventure finally started off at Storyland Valley Zoo in Edmonton. A beautiful night Ave & Priscilla were in one Balloon with Lyle & Rema and Joe & Kim were in a Balloon with Albert & Me. What a beautiful sight as we rose above the city and started floating in a North Westerly direction. We had been in the air approximately an hour and the winds started to pick up so it was time to land. And what a landing it was, our Balloon  bounced along a hay field and the basket finally fell over in a hay swath. The pilot told us to brace ourselves but weren't  prepared for the landing that we had. Poor Kim & Joe, Albert & I were on top of them. But the other Balloon was not in our sights, The van that picked us up to take us back to our vehicles assured us that The other Balloon had landed fine. But,  when we finally caught up to them, we found out it was not such a great landing for them. In Remas words they were dumped out on the edge into a gravelpit. After Ave, Priscilla, Lyle, and Rema joined us in the van a bottle of champagne was cracked open and a fun time was had by all. One of many
adventures with Ave and Pricilla  and the HLP team we will remember forever. Ave had an infectious laugh and a zest for life and family like no other. Always up for a challenge in whatever he did.
Priscilla, our hearts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time.
Ave..
Rest In Peace my friend.

The Man Who Wore Many Hats

Shared by Rob Iwaschuk on May 26, 2021
I tried to recall the events that led to my friendship with Ave and I struggled to piece them together...and then it struck me...it happened so fast there was no real series of events.  Ave would draw you in close with only a few words or minutes with him.  He gave his friendship to you without conditions or you asking for it, yet that bond was invaluable.

When I think back about our lunches together Ave must have brought many hats with him.  He would be my dear friend, life coach, mentor, cheerleader, faith leader and far too often, my therapist!!  I have never met anyone who could do so much for me and my soul every time we were together and expect nothing in return.  I will miss Ave dearly but carry him with me always.

I loved Ave’s passion for everything he did.  We definitely shared a passion for boating and family.  During one of our boat rides (with our family) to test a new model, Ave was so excited to show us how the new boat performed.  Ave told all of us to hold on tightly as he sped up and cranked the wheel hard demonstrating the handling of the boat.  I am sure it was awesome, but I was too busy flying across the boat face first into my sons groin to notice the boats performance.  It was not the landing I was hoping for, but that boat sure did handle just as Ave promised.  

Ave, you gave so much and expected nothing in return.  I will forever be grateful for your friendship and the opportunity to meet and spend time with your amazing family.  You will stay with me as I strive to be the best man I can.

Your friend always

Love,
Rob

23 years of neighbours and friends

Shared by Patty Helten on May 26, 2021
In 1998 my husband Peter and I built a house six lots down from the Spratt family. As other families along the beach, we as well created our own. As the Spratt family grew to eight kids and we having two, so do the memories over the years. 

As everyday living dynamics and some beliefs were different from ours to Ave and Priscilla there was always a common thread...Strong family bond and good friends. Ave never judged who we were or the many parties that happened on this corner of the beach. He always loved, his friends good music & fun. I recall hearing him with the most infectious laugh in the background.

Showing gratitude was significant for him. He worked many hours one winter and felt bad for not contributing enough to the cleaning of the skating path and rinks. Priscilla and him took us to a good ole rock concert at Rexall place. As he was driving and we were passengers he insisted that we not stop having beverages because he wasn’t. I’m sure his bar tab was worth more than the tickets. Lol.... It was a night to remember. 

Giving advice & help....he was a master. Whether it was telling my husband what kind of boat, skidoo, or tractor to buy from Martin or privately or sending mechanical help our way.

Winter lake ice has always been serious business in this corner of Jackfish. Between Ave and Peter there was no messing around. Duelling sweepers and a Zamboni making the perfect ice to skate for all to enjoy was the best satisfaction for him. 

Ave was a huge contributor to this community of Jackfish Lake in so many ways. He never took a seat on our board of the Jackfish Lake Management Association but was always there behind the scenes to help. Without hesitation Priscilla and himself hosted Jackfish Lake Days BBQ a few years in a row. He organized the waterski & wakeboard demonstration and for many, many years always organized the biggest & best fireworks display helping to celebrate the event.

Ave & Martin Equipment were significant sponsors to the Jackfish Lake Echo.  I was President, Communications director and editor at the time. I could always count on Ave to relieve some pressure, give tactful advice about controversial topics and for hammering out a lake article for me before publication during his busy family and working schedule.

Ave will be dearly missed on the shores of Jackfish to my family and all who knew him. 
Sending our most heartfelt condolences to the entire family. 

Rest In Peace Ave 

With love and gratitude,
The Helten-Fradette Family 



Long Long Time Ago

Shared by doug biggar on May 26, 2021
My wife and myself met a young couple living in Spruce Grove, who were newlyweds that had started their family, and we became friends through an acquaintance who Ave was working for at the time, at Huston Leisure Products, of course in the Marine related industry.
I was so impressed with their wedding photos taken in a Ski Boat, they both loved the sport of water skiing , so no photos in a limousine, perfect pictures in something they both had a passion for.
As we became closer friends and started to associate on special occasions I will never forget my wife phoning Priscilla to ask if we needed to bring anything,,,,,,,,,,,,only to be greeted on the other end of the phone with, Spratt Residence Laurenne Speaking (who would you like to talk to) She was barely 2 years old but learning all the good manors that Ave and Priscilla would go on to teach all of their children. We were so amazed and said they will raise a really nice family.
We ended up going on many trips with Ave and Priscilla through the Huston Leisure group and all the staff, they were always business trips with just the right amount of fun mixed in.
We got to golf with Ave and Priscilla in the Rocky Mountains where Ave shot par on the course,so nice to witness.
On these trips Priscilla and Ave would always be the life of the party and not to mention they could together sing, You're The One That I Want,  as good or better than John Travolta & Olivia Newton John. So pretty to watch them do that. The look in their eyes was TRUE LOVE.
Things progress and they moved out to Jackfish Lake, but we had a cabin there so we kept in contact thru lake life and Ave giving our son tips on Skiing slalom course barefoot etc.
I remember a time driving the boat for Ave and going into Lost Lake narrows we almost hit a Deer crossing in front of the boat, but I kept it pinned as we went thru, as I know Ave would have been disappointed should I chicken out and dump him in the mud, he successfully completed the slalom course a half dozen times. (He certainly went hard) just like in everything he did Family ,Friends and work he had a passion for everything.
My wife Paulette and Priscilla always would visit the night away whenever we would meet up, I know they truly enjoyed each others company and it was special. We were always included to anything they did at the lake and always had a great time. So thanks Ave and Priscilla for the memories you let us share with you.
Everybody's gonna miss you Ave.
Condolence's from Paulette and I to all of your family in this difficult time.

A message from Coby Veeken (mother-in-law)

Shared by Laurenne Spratt on May 26, 2021
On a bright, warm and sunny afternoon last Summer, Ave offered to take
us for a cruise around Jackfish Lake in the pontoon boat. We were four
generations on the water and enjoyed a gentle tour and then some time in
a placid bay for a swim ... even without a life jacket, eh, Paxon?!

At Christmas get-togethers, before the gifts could be unwrapped, Ave
organized the family in singing the 12 Days of Christmas – each child
chose their part and cleverly sang at the appropriate time. It was
hilarious! We had so much fun.

Thanks, Ave, for beautiful memories.

/ Coby Veeken (mother-in-law)
Shared by Janet Winters on May 26, 2021
Dear Pricilla and family, 
   My name is Janet Winters. Frank is my husband. Frank retired from Huron Tractor 5 years ago. He attended many Doug Friend meetings and Ave was in his group. We are so sad to hear of Ave’s sudden death. We can t imagine how much he will be missed.
    25  years ago Ave  was with the Doug Friend group in Exeter and we hosted them at our home for Dinner. I had been on a kindergarten school trip all day. I had ordered fresh rhubarb pies, picked up 2 inch thick steaks, baked potatoes, salad and green beans. We set up tables in the back yard. The kids did homework upstairs and ate inside.
   Ave was so kind and polite. He helped me serve and asked our son Harrison about his school trip. Many years later you and I were talking at the Presidents club at Pelican Hill about our children and hard teen years that we were both experiencing. You brought me comfort just being able to talk to someone that had similar issues. That night Frank and I talked about what a great couple you and Ave are.
    We have lost a couple close friends too young. One in his mid 50 s and one 61. We think of them everyday. Their family’s  are surrounded by people who love them. Like them...Ave is a special person and we know he has certainly made his mark on this earth. 
     God bless you and your family at this difficult time.You’re in our hearts and prayers

Friends from Ontario
Janet and Frank Winters
   
   

My personal Coach

Shared by ava spratt on May 26, 2021
My dad and I had multiple things in common but our main one was our love for competition and love for sports. Since I was young, he would always be there at any sport event or game that I would have. He would always give me coaching advice and his old tips and tricks to help me become a better player. 

I remember one volleyball tournament I had, it was in between games and we found an open gym that was in no use. Right away he started throwing balls at me and making me run even though I was extremely tired because he knew that hard work pays off. I distinctly remember thinking to myself “wow I really have the most amazing father”. My team ended up winning the tournament and throughout the game I could hear my dad yelling coaching advice from the stands. Immediately, it gave me the biggest smile on my face because I knew I had the best supporter out there and I know that he will be cheering loud above for years to come:) 

What Ave meant to me (shared on behalf of Jeff Reiniger)

Shared by Laurenne Spratt on May 26, 2021
Ave entered into my life 12 years ago when I first started dating his daughter Carleen. I remember the first time I visited the family with everyone home on a Saturday. Carleen and I were in the basement in her bedroom... door wide open.. Carleen sitting at her desk... and I was across the room sitting on her bed.

Ave walked by the room (I’m sure on purpose) .. and like when a car drives by a good parking spot.. you heard him hit the brakes.. go into reverse ... and come back to the room. I believe his exact words to Carleen were “get that boy off your bed”. Thankfully, he still allowed me to visit the next weekend. Little did I know how profound an impact he would have on my life.

Ave was my friend, my mentor, and grandpa to our children and all I wanted to do was make him proud.

The friend

I recently shared a old text conversation between Ave and I with a colleague and his remark was “it sounds like two college friends planning a golf trip”. We would go to hockey games..often leaving disappointed that it cost us (him) money. Ave loved a good a deal and appreciated value. It quickly turned into a contest who would have the greenest grass, grill a more tender steak and I will always remember the epic ping pong battles.

The mentor

From day 1, Ave always liked the fact that I came from a family business background.  He was a firm believer that those values (an extra level of care, desire to succeed and the practice of ethical business) would translate into me becoming a fine young man. At 18 years old I would nod as he would tell me this but now I truly understand. Every Sunday, we would visit the lake and I would always crave those special moments with Ave in his office. It was like going to school and the topics ranged from succession, how to close a deal, what minivan would best suit my growing families needs but still have curb appeal, politics and how lucky we were to have such wonderful family life. That alone time in his office will be greatly missed

As much as Ave cared about my work life, he cared about my faith. He would often Invite me to early morning men’s conferences. I would often find an excuse or reason I couldn’t attend. However, when he found out that I woke up at 3 am to go the brewhouse to drink beer and watch Canada win a gold medal in hockey.. he told me being at the church by 7 next Saturday should be no problem. Sure enough, I was sitting with him at church next Saturday morning. In the early years, I was also able to volunteer time with him at Camp Arcatheos. By his example, I hope that I too can continue to grow in my faith.

The father and grandpa

Everyone was always intrigued by the Spratt family. How could come someone raise 8 kids? How do they make it all work? How much is their grocery bill every week? The strength of Ave and Priscilla’s marriage is how.

Ave was available for his kids at all times. Sometimes it would be just to talk..and often it was related to car troubles. The 8x multiplier was in full effect for Christmas concerts, sport events and first car purchases and he loved doing them each time.

Watching Ave with his grandkids and seeing how much they loved him was truly special. From camping with grandpa, to driving the boat and making “grandpa fried eggs” they had the best time.

For the last 6 years he threatened to eat all of Paxon’s toes and I wish he had 4 more to try and get all 10. Ave, I will continue my promise to you to care for your daughter and will be there for your family in any way I can.

I’d like to share a text Ave had send me last spring.

Hi Jeff.  Thanks for your call the other day. It was really appreciated.  I apologize I had to cut it short.   We will get through these crazy times with many valuable lessons learned.  I am grateful to you that you have placed you and your family in a good position in life.  You are a good leader and have done well in life.   Many thanks and well done Jeff!

Those words meant everything to me. He was proud.

Your son in law,
Jeff

Shared by Tara S on May 26, 2021
My childhood rings with happy memories at the lake- Ave (and Priscilla) were always such wonderful, welcoming hosts! Learning to water ski from Ave and banana boat rides definitely top the list. Thinking of you all, and praying for your peace. 

My first meeting with Ave

Shared by Michael Epp on May 26, 2021
I was introduced to Ave in spring 2004.  I've always been grateful for my friend, Brent, for making the introduction.  I was shopping for a boat.  Brent said, "you have to meet Ave".  That introduction led to a wonderful relationship with Ave and the whole team at MMS, both Edmonton and Kelowna, that has spanned the years.  Our family has enjoyed a number of MasterCrafts and now, Cobalts, with each boat creating many fond memories for our growing family.  Ave was eager to get to know me.  He understood why my passion for boating was so important.  He guided our family through these past 17 years, ensuring we were always enjoying our boating experiences.  He cared so much for his customers.  Working with Ave has been an incredible pleasure.  He was such a genuine individual.  We wish Priscilla and their children much strength through this very difficult time.  Rest assured, your husband and father made an indelible mark on our family life "on the water".  Sincerely, Mike Epp           

A Medical Professional

Shared by Sterling Spratt on May 25, 2021
Back when I was in grade 9 I decided to go for a snowmobile with my brother and neighbourhood friend around the lake. The ride resulted in me having a major crash and roll over causing a pretty bad tib/fib break on my left leg. Laying on the ground, I pulled out my phone and called dad (starting the conversation with “don’t worry the sled is fine”). Not caring about the snowmobile he calmly settled me down and said he will be right over. When he arrived in his truck, he grabbed the two most sturdy things he could find, a snow brush and the handle from an avalanche shovel. I had no idea what his intentions were with these pieces but to my dismay I learned he was going to slowly move my leg back into proper position and splint it. Through my screaming he was able to properly secure the snow brush and shovel handle while wrapping it with electrical tape (his favourite kind of tape). Once my mom got me to the hospital the doctors and nurses were amazed on how well my leg was secured and asked us to tell him how great of a job he did. I’ll never forget how proud he was of his craftsmanship, and how he just seemed to always have the the proper tools wherever we were, in any situation. Dad I am going to miss you forever but I know your voice in my head and the many many lessons you have taught me will always be there to guide me the rest of the way. I love you so much ❤️

A Gentleman and a Personality

Shared by Graham Hicks on May 25, 2021
Dear Priscilla, family and friends,

Maria and I are sad … and yet so grateful to have had Ave as a dear friend.

I hate to put anybody on a pedestal, but Av was my ideal of what a true Christian gentleman should be, plus a pile of personality on top.

So caring for and proud of his remarkable family, such a profound, deeply intertwined, love-and-religion based partnership with Priscilla, So faithful to the church,  Ave preached the gospel yet rarely used words, followed all the tenets of wealth creation in a fair, deeply honest way, put a deep Christian face on capitalism. And we had so many good laughs together, at times uproariously .
I was lucky enough to call Ave and deep and personal friend. Such enjoyment of each other’s company, enhanced by the parallel friendship of my wife Maria and Priscilla. 

Every few months, Ave and I got together over long lunches at the Homefire Grill, where we’d discourse on things Catholic, business, politics, our personal lives, future plans, comparing notes on how we were doing in our relationships with our loved ones.

He was more interested in hearing about Maria’s and my lives rather than talking about himself – though once prompted, we always did catch up on both sides.

Always, always, always, I left our lunches with an extra spring in my step, revitalized with ideas and encouragement from Ave.I’d like to think he felt the same way.

Our last few conversations were actually of the heart, in a physical sense. At the Homefire Grill, he told me all about his first brush with heart failure, how the angioplasty docs so casually fired off stents into the arteries surrounding his heart. I was fascinated.

Little did I know I’d be calling Ave months later -to tell him, just days ago – that it was my turn to experience the angioplasty procedure. As always, he was reassuring, and we had a good hour-long chat catching up as always.

Thank you Ave.We will miss you incredibly and allow ourselves some regret that we could not enjoy our retirement years together.But I will be eternally grateful for all the wonderful times we had together. And what I learned from you about living a Godly life.

Graham and  Maria and our family.



Just when you think you know a guy..

Shared by Spencer Shaw on May 25, 2021
Ave wanted to take some of the newer marine sales team members on a trip to visit the boat manufacturers in Knoxville, TN in order to further our product knowledge (which could never be enough; there is always more to learn). On the other hand, we, the sales team members were looking forward to a small vacation away from the office and out of country to a much nicer destination. There were a few things we knew for sure:
  • "Work" Ave (as I came to learn as there are a few different Aves) is business first; we are on the clock, we got a job to do- learn.
  • Ave had booked us two vehicles (one for us and one for him as he had meetings while we were going on factory tours).
  • Ave had booked us cabins in Vonore , located between our two factory stops, while he stayed at the airport closer to his meetings.
  • Ave was about an hour away from us. We were alone. The boss is gone. Lets party! Vacation has started.
  • First, we need to make sure Ave thinks we are nestled in and then we can let our hair down.
The plan was simple: Fly in, get cars, Say "Bye Ave, we promise to learn lots see you when we meet back at the air port", stop at the gas station and buy a couple cases of our favorite beverages, enjoy our trip (oh and of course, learn lots). 

Ave, however would not let us drive to the cabins our first time alone. He assured us he NEEDED to ensure we found our way despite our reassurance that GPS and google maps do in fact exist and will lead us there. He also assured us we didn't all need to cram into one vehicle and he had room for at least one of us for the drive (Crap, now we are separated; he may even tuck us in too). All is well, stick to the plan, we may now just have to double back for the beverages.

This is when the wheels fell off of the plan entirely, we were following Ave and he pulls into a gas station and gets out of his car. He approaches our vehicle and says in his usual police officer intimidation impression, "Does anybody want anything while we are here?" 

We then gave the easy reply to keep the plan alive, "no we are all good, likely just get some rest."

Stern faced silence followed by  a smile that could have reached back to Edmonton. Of course, he knew all along.

Ave replied, "Well I am going to grab a Chelada to enjoy. Suite yourselves."

*our whole car on queue*
"On second thought maybe I'll grab something"
 "Me too"
 "Oh, maybe its not too late for one"
"Sure twist my arm".

The plan was dead, but a new plan fell into place and it created an irreplaceable memory. We were able to soak up the rest of the evening with The Man himself, personally escorting us to our cabins, showing us all around the property, filling our ears with his endless stories of his times at these same cabins, and genuinely kicking back and enjoying time with his team.

 Ave wore many different hats and every time he put a new one on my admiration for him continued to grow. Ave was our boss, mentor, leader, role model, but most importantly, a friend. And not always the fun police. There will never be another one like him.

Your friend, 
Spencer
Shared by Marina Spratt on May 25, 2021
I sold my car in the spring of 2020 with a lot of help from dad. He helped me get it listed, he always came with me when a potential buyer came to look at it, and was with me the day it sold. I remember taking the girl for a test drive while dad stayed back and chatted with the buyers boyfriend (who was very excited to talk to dad about dad’s Porsche Taycan that we showed up in). Afterwards, she decided to give me an offer and dad helped me with the negotiation. Dad left a voicemail on my phone later that evening telling me how proud he was of me and selling my car. As someone who doesn’t know a fuel pump from a spark plug, dad of course was always my go-to for anything car related. After selling my car, dad helped me look all summer for a new vehicle and was eventually the one who found my new car. He called me as I was filling up gas and said “hi rinks, can you check this vehicle out?” I asked if I could call him back as I was busy getting gas and he responded “well no actually, this is a steal and I’d like to go pick it up tonight if that’s alright with you”. Knowing and trusting in dads knowledge of all things vehicles, of course it was cool with me! Dad drove all the way out to Hinton that same night and picked it up for me and I’ve been cruising in my equinox ever since. I think of you every time I drive dad

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