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Alan Thicke emceed good friend Ed Snider's memorial service

TV fans mourned yesterday when news broke that perennial sitcom dad Alan Thicke passed away at the age of 69 from a heart attack. Reports stated that Thicke was playing hockey with his son Carter at the time.

Thicke was a noted hockey fan and became good friends with Flyers founder Ed Snider. Thicke often participated in Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation events, including a celebrity golf tournament last year that raised a reported $1.6 million for the charity that may have included some light roasting. Defenseman Nick Schultz fondly remembered Thicke "roasting himself and Ed a little bit, just about how old they were, marrying younger women, things like that" at the tournament.

Ike Richman, vice president of public relations for Comcast-Spectacor,  said that Thicke "knew how important the foundation was to Ed Snider so it became important it to him." Richman added, "Anytime he would need anything, [Scott Tharp, president and CEO of the foundation] would call [Thicke] and he would be happy to help."

Thicke paid tribute to Snider in April on Twitter:

Garrett Getlin Snider, Ed's grandson, remembered Thicke fondly as a friend of his grandfather who emcee'd the memorial service the family had for Snider earlier this year in Montecito, Calif., where both Snider and Thicke had homes (Oprah is a neighbor). It was Thicke's job to welcome the intimate crowd and keep the service moving, Snider said. "He facilitated one of the most beautiful memorial services I've ever seen."

"He kept it about granddad as a person, about loving an individual person," Snider said. "Everyone was struck by the way in which he honored granddad."

Snider said he could not remember specific anecdotes that Thicke told but added that there are two types of friends: "Some of our friends are people we like to go out with and have fun with. Other friends really know who we were and value us as people. I observed my grandfather's friendship with Alan to be the latter."

Snider added, "He was a beautiful friend and a kind person, and I feel terrible for [Thicke's wife] Tanya and his family."