Remembering Clayton Pollock

Posted: January 19, 2011

It was only for one short year that Clayton Pollock donned the Clipper uniform, but he had a great impact on all who had the privilege to be on the 2004-05 men’s volleyball team with him, and many others in the Briercrest community.

As captain of that team, I remember Clayton as the ultimate team player. He put great work ethic and effort into every practice and game. He always showed care and concern for his teammates and others. Putting the team first came naturally for Clayton. He was such an easy person to get along with and one of those people that made the team better just by being a part of it – with a positive attitude and a passion that oozed out of him every day. It truly is a blessing to have known Clayton and to have had the privilege of being his teammate.

“When I remember Clayton I think of how he was always happy," said Chris Loewen, another teammate and friend, who played both Briercrest and Team Saskatchewan volleyball with Pollock. “I can never remember seeing him grumpy or upset. He was easy to get along with because of his laid-back personality and accepting nature.  He was a guy you wanted to be around because you could tell he enjoyed life, and knew that God was directing his life.  He had an amazing work ethic and would not stop trying until he had completed the job.  Even if it was months or years since seeing Clayton, it was never hard for our friendship to pick up and continue. Clayton was the type of person you looked forward to seeing again.  He will truly be missed.”   

Briercrest men’s volleyball coach, Nigel Mullan, was in his first year as head coach when Clayton played here. “Clayton had the ability to bring excitement and enjoyment to any situation," said Mullan.  “Through his hard work and desire to be a great teammate, he was a valued member of this program.  There are lots of great memories that I have from coaching Clayton and it often makes me smile when I look back at his time here – he just had an ability to do that.  He will be missed and our prayers are going out to his family.”

On behalf of Briercrest College, Briercrest Athletics, and all who had the opportunity to be Clayton’s teammates and friends, our deepest condolences go out to Clayton’s wife Celeste, who is expecting their third child, his children, Trinity and Kristjan, and also Clayton’s parents, James and Carolynn and his sister Kimberly and her family.

Clayton was laid to rest Monday January 17th, in Moosomin, SK – the town where he grew up. It was a blessing to be at the funeral service, to hear how Clayton has served the Lord in his time since leaving Briercrest and to hear the various stories and memories from Clayton’s life, from those he had impacted. It is incredibly sad to say goodbye, but we look forward to seeing Clayton again one day!

The following is an excerpt from Clayton’s obituary in the program from the funeral:

Clayton James Pollock was born in Moosomin Hospital on May 4, 1985. He attended school in Moosomin, SK, and graduated from McNaughton High School in 2004. After graduating, he attended Briercrest College in Caronport, SK. There he played volleyball on the college team. After a year there he was accepted to SIAST in Saskatoon where he was enrolled in the Heavy Duty Truck and Trailer Mechanics certification. With this he worked for Peterbilt (Saskatoon), AgCom (Melfort), FarmWorld (Kinistino) and most recently Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan in Rocanville.

Clayton was a past member of the Fairmede 4-H Beef Club and the Moosomin 4-H Light Horse and Pony Club. During his time he had the opportunity to travel to Shawville, QC, on an exchange trip.

Clayton was a big fan of the Edmonton Oilers and had a passion for dirt biking. He was active in minor sports such as hockey, baseball, volleyball, track and field, curling and other school activities. He played club volleyball in Yorkton and was a member of the Sask Midget Boys Volleyball team in 2000 and 2001. The team won the bronze medal at the Western Canadian Championships in 2001. He was also a member of the Moosomin Senior Rangers when they won the league in 2004.

On December 15, 2007 he married the love of his life, Celeste (nee Rybinski) and was blessed with two children, Trinity (age three), Kristjan (age two), and expecting a third child in August. They lived in Kinistino where Clayton was a member of the Kinistino Fire Department and the Kinistino Sr. Tigers hockey team. Along with everything else, he enjoyed hunting, skidooing, campfires and fireworks.

He passed away suddenly in Melfort, SK on January 11, 2011 at the age of 25.

Clayton is survived by his loving wife Celeste, his children Trinity and Kristjan; his parents James and Carolynn Pollock; sister Kimberly (Lee) Flannery and their children Dawson, Emmalee and Abbie; grandparents Carl and Marilyn Jocobi; as well as numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and extended family.

He was predeceased by his grandparents Harold and Gladys Pollock.

We don’t know why these things happen, but as we were reminded at the service on Monday by Father Jim Kaptein – God is in control and he does have a reason for everything. Just as He had a reason for having His own Son die for us, He has a reason for what happens to each of His children. We trust that God will somehow bring good out of this sudden and tragic ending to such a remarkable young man’s life, even if we don’t understand why it happened.

Anyone wishing to, may make memorial contributions to the Trust Fund for Clayton’s Children, c/o the Advantage Credit Union, Kinistino, SK.