FRIENDS and family of Dana Dueck are remembering a vibrant, friendly person whose love of athletics steered her into a teaching career.
On Sunday, Dueck, 30, was riding a motorcycle east on Highway 17 in northwestern Ontario when it crossed into the path of a westbound pickup truck around 2 p.m., Kenora OPP said.
Two people who were in the truck weren't injured in the collision.
Dueck grew up in Landmark. Dueck's mother, Wilma Keating, said her daughter had a passionate personality that helped her to connect with her many students.
"She touched so many people. She was just a friendly, bubbly, full-of-life person. She was constantly doing something, always doing something for others," Keating said Monday morning from Landmark. Dueck taught physical education and the sciences at Niverville Collegiate.
Dueck was a graduate of the University of Manitoba education program. Keating says her daughter's love of sports led to her career as a teacher.
"She jogged and she ran marathons and she played every sport that ever came our way. She played on a slo-pitch team and she played ultimate Frisbee this summer. She coached all the teams at school. She didn't even look any older than any of them," said Keating.
Dana married Kris Dueck in 2006. The pair would have celebrated their six-year anniversary next week.
According to Keating, Dueck received the motorcycle she was driving at the time of the collision for her 30th birthday at the end of June.
"It didn't make me nervous. We'd always had bikes around and she always was comfortable riding them. It's just awful," said Keating.
Hanover School Division superintendent Ken Klassen was principal of Landmark Collegiate when Dueck was a student. He later hired Dueck as a teacher at both Steinbach Junior High and Niverville Collegiate.
"It is a black day," said Klassen. "She was a younger teacher, and very involved in the life of the school."
Not only was Dueck popular with students, but, "she had a number of friends on staff" who will be hit hard by the news, he said.
Individual and group grief counselling will be available at Niverville Collegiate on July 11 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
-- with files from Nick Martin