'Take care of yourself'

Jeremy McGoran was remembered during a public service attended by hundreds, Monday at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.

The former local radio personality took his own life on June 9, losing a public battle with depression, leaving behind his wife, Mare, and six-year-old son Thomas.

The majority of the eulogy was delivered in the same format Mare McHale has shared her family's life with the world over the past few years, through a YouTube video.

The pair met in Prince George in 2005, both working in radio. McGoran grew up in Langley, but had been in Northern B.C. since 2002, taking his first radio job in Smithers.

A video collage played during the service showed McGoran’s wide reach, with former Northern B.C. radio colleagues, coworkers in Penticton, classmates from BCIT, fans of Mare’s YouTube channel from all over the globe and local listeners sending in short video clips about what Jeremy meant to them.

They shared stories about a man who loved music, the Detroit Red Wings, his friends, and family. But most of all, McGoran touched people he never met when he began speaking publicly and on-air last year about his battle with depression, aiming to lift the stigma around mental illness. 

“I cannot even fathom his reach, and I wish he knew it, and I wish he saw that,” Mare said. “I know that the way which Jeremy left us, is not his legacy, his legacy is how many people he helped.”

The best way for anyone to honour McGoran, Mare said, “is take care of yourself.”

“Jeremy would not want this for you. He had so much care for other people who were struggling like him, so much love, take care of yourself. This is not OK. I feel a real responsibility to say that," she said.

The service closed with a video McGoran made last fall during a trip that was a lifelong dream of his, seeing the Red Wings play in Detroit at Joe Louis Arena. Shaky handheld camera footage followed him walking up the arena front steps, and beaming in the stands of the hockey rink.

At the end of the video, he urged viewers to jump, and take that “bucket-list” trip of their own; “figure out a way to get it done.”

The Gaslight Anthem’s The ‘59 Sound, a song chosen by McGoran, ended the memorial.

McGoran was a board member for the local chapter of the Canadian Mental Health Foundation, which is holding its annual “Ride Don’t Hide” event on June 25.

An online fundraiser for Mare and Thomas is also running.

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