Hundreds packed the baseball diamond at Tsawwassen’s Winskill Park on Sunday, Jan. 28, to remember Kyle Losse.
Kyle, a star baseball player who had recently celebrated his 14th birthday, passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 23. Several days earlier, he had fallen in the bathroom. When his father and step-mother came in, they found him incoherent on the floor with a vape pen beside him.
The family took him to the Delta Hospital, where Kyle was given a toxicology test.
“The only testing they did was a toxicology test, a blood and urine sample, and it came back saying there were no drugs in his system,” Niki Losse, Kyle’s step-mom, told the Surrey Now-Leader on Jan. 25.
“They told me that the types of things out there, they can’t test for everything. So they focused on the fact that he had this e-vape, and they didn’t focus much on his head at that point.”
The potential significance of vaping in Kyle’s death has been expounded upon by some media reports, causing the Canadian Vaping Association to issue a statement reminding people that both Fraser Health and the B.C. Coroner’s Service are investigating the incident.
But at the memorial on Sunday afternoon, that’s not what came to the forefront for Niki. It was the people who came to remember Kyle and support the family, collecting under tents put up to guard against the rain and wearing baseball jerseys.
The celebration of life was filled with family and friends, but also “people we didn’t even know, people Kyle had played against just one time,” Niki said.
“It just means more than anything.”
The memorial was held at Winskill Park, where Kyle had played many times as a member of the Delta Tigers.
“We thought that was fitting because that’s where he enjoyed to be,” Niki said. “We thought that it would be special to celebrate his life there.”
It is also the place where Kyle’s family hopes to carry on his baseball-loving legacy, as they hope to rename the peewee diamond to “Field 14” — Kyle’s jersey number.
Niki said they are also hoping to use funds donated through a GoFundMe page to either create a scholarship or support families that can’t afford to put their kids in sport. Since it began on Monday, Jan. 22, the GoFundMe campaign has raised nearly $19,000.
Throughout the memorial, Kyle was remembered for being “full of life.”
“His amazing smile, his big curly hair, that’s just what everyone always remembered him for,” Niki said. “Everything was just so positive. It really reflected on who he was.”
-with files from Tom Zillich