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Canton – Detroit Red Wings legend Gordie Howe’s son, Murray Howe, said he wanted his father to be remembered not just as a hockey star, but as a tremendous person.

He read from his book “Nine Lessons I Learned from my Father,” published last fall, and discussed his father’s life during a signing at Waltonwood Cherry Hill, a senior living community, in Canton Saturday.

“My father loved hockey almost more than anything, but he didn’t want to make a big deal of it,” Howe said. “He wanted to be remembered as a good father and humanitarian. He was the most patient, toughest, and selfless man to me.”

Murray Howe, a Toledo radiologist, answered questions from an audience of 60 fans, most of whom remember cheering for No. 9 in Olympia Stadium.

“The book is called nine lessons because he was number 9, but in reality, there’s probably over 9,000 lessons in the book,” Howe said. “I learned everything from my father from how he talked to how he lived.”

Delora Pierce, from Clawson, said one of her favorite memories is going to her first Wings game with her husband, Richard, in 1968.

“My husband was his biggest fan,” said Pierce, 67. “He took me to my first game, we had standing tickets, and I didn’t know anything about hockey. Everyone was cheering for number 9 and I asked my husband who that was and everyone around us thought I was crazy not knowing,”

The legend’s son also mentioned the Gordie Howe Bridge saying he’s honored, but doesn’t think it will be complete by 2020 as planned.

“When my grandmother Katie emigrated from Germany, she landed in Windsor and it became her home... in a funny way it’s a bridge between our two homes,” he said.

Many wondered who Gordie Howe admired. His son said his father’s favorite player was Bobby Orr, who is quoted on the back of the book “You can’t talk about how great Gordie was as a hockey player without also mentioning what a great person he was. He was the best player ever and an even better person.”

Howe said he’s devoted to aiding seniors with Alzheimer’s because both of his parents dealt with dementia. A portion of proceeds from sales of the book went to the Alzheimer’s Association — Greater Michigan Chapter.

Sue Bellaire, of Plymouth, was the first in line for the book signing and bought seven copies at $25 each.

“They’re for my family, brother, son, husband, and my brother-in-law is named Gordie after him,” Bellaire said. “We all grew up loving hockey and when I saw the book was coming out, I knew it would be the perfect gift for all.”

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srahal@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @SarahRahal_

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