Heather was born on April 17th 1961 in New Ross, Nova Scotia to Mary B & Stuart Russell. She graduated from the IWK School of Medical Technology in 1981 with a diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology. Heather worked at the IWK Health Centre in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine as a hematology specialist and in later years, the Manager of the Core Lab. She was passionate about her work and advocated for the patient and families, delivering the best lab service possible with her team. Heather had a wealth of knowledge and worked with many internal interdisciplinary teams as well as at a provincial level and maritime level. She was a chief shop steward with NSGEU for 30 years, working tirelessly for her members and creating collaborative relationships during her tenure. As a member on the IWK baseball team, her tenacity shone through on the field as it did in her everyday life.
Heather was a determined, compassionate woman with a kind heart and welcoming home. She went above and beyond to ensure everyone around her was taken care of. Especially her husband and daughters, whom she loved and supported unconditionally. She cherished time spent with family and friends, whether it was just grabbing a coffee, family BBQ or a day at the beach. You could typically find her making someone laugh with her candid personality and witty one-liners! Heathers most recent joyous moments was the birth of her grandchildren, Everett and Savanna; her ultimate pride and joy.
Heather is survived by her husband, Raymond Joseph MacNeil (Halifax, NS); children, Kayla Russell (Derrick), Dundas, ON and Alyssa MacNeil (Nick) of Spaniards Bay, NFLD; siblings, Gary (Edith) Russell, New Ross, Lynn McGill of Bridgewater, Shirley Russell, Sheila Carbino, Wendy Russell, and grandchildren, Everett Welsh & Savanna Roberts.
Heather is predeceased by her parents Mary B and Stuart Russell; siblings Gerry Russell, Halifax, NS; Perry Russell, New Ross, NS; Elizabeth Glavin, Coldbrook, NS; and in-laws, David McGill, Deborah Russell, Flora and Andrew MacLellan and Sandra MacNeil.
Heather’s unconditional support, quick wit and timeless advice will be dearly missed. As Heather would say “It is what it is”.
A celebration of life is scheduled for January 18th 2020 at JA Snow Funeral Home from 3pm-7pm. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Heather's life. In lieu of flowers, you may send donations to the VG 7A Palliative Care Unit in Halifax, NS.