Since the news of Deanna Rindal’s passing, tributes have been pouring from all over the curling world.
“There have been a number of athletes from around the province that have been talking about what Deanna meant to them on Facebook and Twitter and we also saw a lovely dedication from (three-time Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion) Rachel Homan’s team on Monday,” CURLSASK president Christy Walker said.
“Deanna was just one of those people that you just radiated to. She had a personality that you couldn’t help but want to be around.”
Rindal, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 56 after a battle with cancer, was the chief umpire for CURLSASK and had been involved as an official for curling events since the 1987 Canadian Junior Curling Championships at the Prince Albert Golf and Curling Centre.
“One umpire got ill and couldn’t make it,” Rindal said during a 2017 interview with the Daily Herald.
“They asked ‘Well, who do we have that could take their place on short notice,’ and that’s when I got involved in my first national event.”
Having been born into a curling family, Rindal played the game through high school and reached the provincial junior finals in 1983.
She enrolled in an officiating course once her competitive days came to an end, which set on her on a path to eventually be an umpire at numerous national and international events.
“My philosophy is that if you play the game by the rules and you have fun, you never have to encounter me as an official,” Rindal said in a 2017 interview.
“I have the greatest seat in the arena. I enjoy watching everyone play, whether it’s the junior curlers just starting out or the elite athletes from around the world.”
Among the major events that Rindal officiated were the 2013 Canadian Olympic Curling Trials in Winnipeg and the 2015 World Women’s Curling Championship in Sapporo, Japan.
She was honoured for her work in 2017 as she was inducted into the builder category of the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame.
“Deanna was very respected for what she did in curling, but she was involved with a lot of other sports as well,” Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame vice president Bruce Vance said.
“Her husband Bryan coached many softball teams over the years and she was always behind the scenes doing all types of things. She was a major event chair for any curling or ball tournaments that came through Prince Albert, which she did with a smile and a laugh at all times. She was one of those people that you always wanted to see when you were at an event.”
While Rindal’s presence in the local and provincial curling scene will be nearly impossible to fill, Walker believes that her legacy will last for years to come.
“Not only did she help mentor a lot of the current umpires in our province, but she also helped them understand what it’s like to communicate with everyone both on and off the ice,” Walker said.
“She also taught the athletes what is acceptable behavior, while letting them play the game as well, which I think is why there was such respect for her.”
A celebration of Rindal’s life will take place at the Messiah Lutheran Church at 11 a.m. Thursday.
Donations in her memory can be made to the Prince Albert and Area Community Foundation or to the Messiah Lutheran Church.