August 3, 1963 – January 3, 2021
Heather Nicole Chacounne Stecher (neé Stevens), August 3, 1963-January 3, 2021.
For Heather, service and community was her life’s work.
When she was very young, her family became involved in the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), a volunteer-based historical research and re-creation organization. The name she was known by in the SCA was Melissa Kendal.
Heather’s parents, Gerry and Nancy Stevens (known in the SCA as Gerhard and Amanda Kendal) rose to become significant figures in the group, and Heather followed in their footsteps. In the words of her chosen-brother, Brion Porter (Brion of Bellatrix);
“She grew up in the shadow of tremendous figures, in her mother and father. As such, she found a most elegant way to be the supportive daughter and member of the first family of Lions Gate, [The Vancouver, BC branch] while still stepping out of that shadow to cast her own that stretched throughout the kingdom and known world.”
Heather was recognized as a Member of the Order of the Pelican at the unusually young age of 20 for creating the office and infrastructure of Waterbearers in the SCA, a system that has without doubt saved lives. Two years later she was crowned Queen of An Tir (an area consisting at the time, of BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Washington, Oregon, and part of Idaho), by Clay Carnegie (Arthur de Montegue), and received the rank of Countess, upon her stepping down.
Heather spent decades holding offices in the SCA, running events, and volunteering in every capacity; from security to children’s activities. It is no exaggeration to say that she touched the lives of thousands of people, within the Society.
The SCA was not; however, the only community that she served.
She worked for many years as a nanny, and then as a wedding coordinator.
Heather married Dan Stecher (Siegfried the Immane) in June 1997. They had met through the SCA and shared the same sense of duty, community and service, as well as a great deal of love.
Dan was a retired police officer and Vietnam veteran. His health was sadly impacted by the trauma and torture he experienced as a POW. After he passed away in June 2005 Heather moved to Ottawa to become an anti-torture lobbyist and social justice activist on Parliament Hill; her wish was to make sure that no one suffered as Dan had ever again.
While in Ottawa Heather worked with the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre, the City for All Women Initiative and was recognized as an EPC (Everyday Political Citizen) by the Samara Centre for Democracy in 2017.
Despite struggling with her own physical disabilities, Heather’s hard work and advocacy helped to create Ottawa’s Equipass which allowed increased accessibility for the disabled in the Ottawa public transit system.
Although forced to use a walker, she participated in the 2018 March for Our Lives protesting gun violence in Washington, DC.
Heather touched and helped so many lives all with a cheerful and calm humility. She inspired everyone who met her and warmed the communities that she served with her enthusiasm and genuine affection for the people around her. She will be sadly missed.
She was predeceased by her parents, Gerry and Nancy Stevens, and her husband, Dan Stecher. She leaves behind her brother, Derek Stevens, nephew Izaac (son of Sheri Krantz), niece Annastasia Fairhurst (daughter of Coshana Fairhurst, wife to Paul Vergone), three great-nieces and one great-nephew, her extended family Paul, Stephen and Brion Porter, and literally countless friends, students, colleagues and loved ones.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
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