It is a very sad day in the world of female hockey and for all the friends and relatives of Marty Sexton, who was killed in San Antonio, Texas, on Feb 16, 2015 as he attempted to cross a highway on foot and was struck by a vehicle. Marty, who was 51, was also a prominent and well-liked Stonewall businessman, and lovingly cherished by Diane, Jodi and Allison. Everyone loved Marty – he was everyone’s friend.
As we all know, Marty put his heart and soul, along with thousands of hours of volunteer work into his passion - promoting the development of female hockey, across the board! Hundreds of female players and families were given opportunities to be on a team, attend a tournament, perform in a showcase, or enjoy a hockey trip/tour all over the world because of his efforts. His generosity was endless, and his intentions were selfless; players were also assisted by Marty, as he humbly ensured that financial challenges would not hinder a talented female player from any development opportunity. He was always working on programs and strategies to take the level of female hockey development a step higher - just look back ten years and see how far female hockey has come in Manitoba and abroad!
Marty Sexton made female hockey development happen in our province, and everywhere else, too! He supported a strong female program in his hometown of Stonewall, and had hockey connections in every village, town or city. He could rattle off the names of all the hockey movers and shakers around. He was very instrumental over the past 14 years in overseeing the Royals hockey program – a program where many players, especially from rural areas, would benefit from this program as it was a step up from the development many were able to receive in smaller communities - this summer program inspired and encouraged these rural players immensely; and these players carried back these skills and this intensity to their community teams. Thus, a win-win situation for all!
Marty was also instrumental in the creation stages of the Two Nations Female Hockey program – once again, a pioneer who blazed the trail so others could continue to have development opportunities in Canada, as well as into the United States. Two Nations offered top notch competition, the strongest teams, and many of the best players in North America who continue to benefit from the Two Nations hockey program today. A trailblazer in this genre, he remained positive and optimistic that his efforts would surpass the many, endless roadblocks put in his way – but in the end, the girls came out victorious!
Marty loved to see the girls and families having fun, making new friends, and enjoying social times together - those values were a priority for him, and used to measure the success of these programs as well.
Just this week alone, we recognized nearly 75% of Team Manitoba at the Canada Winter Games in BC were ROYALS players, or played on teams in the Two Nations hockey program, or other tournaments he organized. Take a look at any NCAA Division 1 or Divison 3 team, the CIS teams, or the college teams and you will be hard pressed to not find a Manitoba female player who participated in the programs Marty Sexton created – and he did this so our female players could learn the game, love the game, and live their dreams!
What an amazing legacy he leaves for every female hockey player and family.
And really, at the end of the day, it is not relevant of how much you accomplished, how wealthy you are, how powerful or famous you became...as people basically remember HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL.
Marty Sexton respected, and was respected, by each person he met – and he had an incredible gift to make each player, parent, grandparent and friend to always feel very, very special. That is his greatest legacy of all.
His memorial service will be held Monday, Feb 23, 2:00 pm at MacKenzies Funeral Home, 433 Main Street, Stonewall, Manitoba.
Tribute submitted by Cindi Rempel Patrick, a very grateful Royals and Two Nations hockey parent and family
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