JA Snow Funeral Home

339 Lacewood Drive, Halifax, NS


Heather Marie MacNeil

April 17, 1961January 12, 2020

of Halifax Nova Scotia, passed away on January 12th, 2020 after a courageous fight with breast cancer.

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.


  • Celebration of Life Gathering Saturday, January 18, 2020


Heather Marie MacNeil

have a memory or condolence to add?

Darlene Ashe

January 18, 2020

My deepest condolences to all of Heathers family. I was shocked and saddened to hear of Heathers passing. I worked with Heather years ago and continued to see her throughout the Health Centre in the following years. She was always the same pleasant person.

May the strength of family and your wonderful memories of Heather guide you through this difficult time.

Tim Keddy

January 18, 2020

Sooo sorry to hear of your loss, our loss! Growing up beside each other, our two families truly were one! I was soo lucky to have Heather as a big sister and have thought of her sooo often over the years. Thinking of you all!

Elva Mitchell

January 18, 2020

It was so sad to hear of the passing of our Heather. I worked in the laboratory at the IWK for over 20 years, some of it in the haematology dept. We could always count on Heather for assistance, advice and especially her wit. To you, her family, I offer my sincere condolences and my wish and hope that she stays with you in spirit forever.

Jennifer Bathurst

January 18, 2020

Sending my love and sincere condolences to Raymond, Kayla, Alyssa, her beautiful grand-babies, extended family and friends.
I started working in the lab approximately 20 yrs ago. Heather started asking me to go to breaks with her, and I got to spend time away from the lab getting to know her and sharing our personal lives with each other. She was all about her family that’s for sure!
She would always check in with me to see how things were going with my family as well. She was so thoughtful but yet funny at the same time. We used to commute to work together and we shared so many jokes and laughs, it was very therapeutic after a long day. She had the best laugh ever. I can still hear it.
She wasn’t just someone I worked with. She was an amazing friend and an all around special person. Her work ethic was off the charts and she turned into the best manager you could go to with anything, anytime. I will miss her so very much. Sending love, support and hugs to her beautiful family during this very difficult time.

Evey Lewis

January 16, 2020

I worked in the Pathology with Heather for 3 years. I remember her as being a very kind person. My sincere condolences go out to her family and work mates. I’m quite sure she will be missed.

Shannon McIntyre

January 16, 2020

Kayla, Derrick and Family we are so sorry to hear of the passing of your mother. Our thoughts are with you during this time.

Shannon and Robin

Cindy Rodway

January 16, 2020

I worked with Heather for 18 years at the IWK. Her dedication to the health center, the children and families we cared for and mentorship of co-workers was golden. Heather touched many lives over the years, I am sad she lost the battle but not without an amazing fight. Please know, I am thinking of each family member, friend and co worker , I share in your grief and have many memories of Heather. I know there are many heavy hearts today, I remember when I lost my precious mom , someone told me "sometimes God takes them home to give them a rest" . My hope is, these words will bring you comfort in the days ahead.

Sending much love and hugs from across the sea, Newfoundland 💖

Patricia Smith

January 16, 2020

Retired from IWK in 2012 but saw Heather often in the departments I worked in (ER, Day Surgery, 6Link ). Such a nice person always friendly. Condolences to her family this time.

Freddie and Connie bartlett

January 16, 2020

So sorry for your loss such a big hole in your hearts. We are thinking of you!

Freddie and Connie Bartlett

Joeanne Coffey

January 16, 2020

Heather was such a fun-loving, gentle soul; we had so much fun in our younger days working together in the hematology lab. My deepest condolences to her family, her workmates at the IWK Hospital, and her many friends.