On the day that he would have turned 27 years old, more than 700 people packed into St. Patrick’s Basilica on Kent Street to pay tribute to the Osgoode-born RCMP officer who drowned in a Yukon river three weeks ago.
Michael Potvin had been serving in the community of Mayo, Yukon. While on duty on July 13, Potvin’s boat capsized in the Stewart River. He was not wearing a life jacket and was sucked under water by a strong current as he tried to swim to shore.
His body was not found until late last Friday night.
Potvin grew up in Ottawa and attended Algon-quin College. His father, Mark Potvin, said the family has been contacted by thousands of people offering their condolences.
The nearly two-hour memorial service led by Father Richard Siok featured two eulogies. The first was from Const. Jason Waldner. Later, Michael’s younger brother Sean delivered the second one.
Potvin’s widow, Allison, is eight months pregnant and expecting a son in September. They were married last year.
The family is asking that donations be made to the RCMP Foundation’s Michael Potvin Remembrance Fund to benefit the J.V. Clark School in Mayo, where Potvin “made an impact on many of the children,” his father said.