The Fairview High community is mourning the loss on one of its own after alumnus Oliver "Butch" Mousseau passed away Friday from complications of an on-ice accident during a college hockey game he was preparing to work last week in Michigan.
Mousseau, 48, was a well-respected official throughout the state's hockey community, working from youth leagues to the collegiate and professional level for the past 20 years.
He passed away Friday at a hospital in Grand Rapids, Mich., where he was put into a drug-induced coma to try and help reduce swelling on his brain after hitting the ice head-first during pre-game warmups of a Western Collegiate Hockey Association semifinals contest that was played in the city last Friday.
While on-ice officials are required to wear helmets during the game, it is not required during warm-ups.
Mousseau, who settled with his family in Erie, has ties to Fairview both in the past and in the present. His son SJ is a junior at FHS and a member of the Knights junior varsity baseball team.
"One of the things that's so challenging is that we're on spring break, so we're not able to be together as a community right now but rather we're fragmented," Fairview athletic director Terrin Kelly said Friday night. "What I do know right now is that ... I have (the varsity baseball team) down in Arizona, and they're doing their best to support SJ through text messages and phone calls. There's a real sense of team beyond baseball there, and I'm proud of what they're doing. It's just such a tragic thing for a young man to deal with, but his teammates are supporting him and the family and that's powerful."
While the Knights have been down at a tournament in Arizona, they've also been wearing arm bands sporting a "B" on them.
Kelly said he hopes the team can continue to wear that apparel throughout the season, but there are other plans in the works to honor him as they return in-state to play next week.
"We're going to have to make sure (arm bands are) okay with CHSAA, but I don't imagine any problem with that," Kelly said. "There's other preliminary stuff that hasn't been decided but that does include doing a dedication during a home game.
"We'll be able to convene on Monday and see what we can do to support the family as much as possible."