April 4, 1978 – July 27, 2021
The family of Heather Shaw-MacLaren is deeply saddened to announce her passing in Port Coquitlam on July 27, 2021, at the age of 63 years. Heather was born in Williams Lake and grew up in 100 Mile with her four siblings. She loved animals and worried about everyone else rather than herself.
She participated in many activities in high school and worked in the family service station for many years. She aspired to be an accountant and had completed her first year at Cariboo College in Kamloops, BC. after spending time travelling in Australia with her best friend.
On May 4, 1978, one month to the day of her 20th birthday, she suffered a brain hemorrhage which changed the course of her life and her family’s, but we were very blessed to have Heather with us for another 43 years. These years were filled with many challenges and setbacks but through it all she kept both her positive spirit and sense of humour, characteristics that endeared her to many.
She loved getting out and about, adored coffee, laughed often and gave as good as she got. It was a rare sight to see Heather without a smile on her face.
Heather lived in several different care facilities in the lower mainland but spent 2000 to 2017 living at Rotary House in Burnaby where she had wonderful roommates and staff. During that time, she enjoyed many social activities in the community, family gatherings and went on two cruises with some of her family. In November 2017, she moved to Nicola Lodge in Port Coquitlam.
By that time her mom and dad lived in Langley but visited often and thought that Nicola Lodge would be a nice place to live when they needed more care. Mom asked Heather if she would be okay if they came to live at Nicola and in typical fashion, she replied “Sure, as long as it’s not on my floor.”
In December 2018 and March 2019, Mom and Dad moved into Nicola and all three were happy to be able to visit each other whenever they wanted. Ironically Mom’s room was on the first floor, directly underneath Heather’s. The staff had never had three members of the same family in residence, and they made sure they had lots of time together.
When Mom and Dad passed away within the last seven months, the Nicola “family” were there for Heather. Our family will always be grateful for the wonderful care and friendship given Mom, Dad and Heather by all the staff at Nicola Lodge.
Heather’s life has taught us to be grateful for what we have, be strong when things get tough, work hard, don’t give up, and most of all, get to know the person on the inside and not judge them by what you see on the outside. She inspired us to be better and do better.
Heather will be dearly missed by her sister, Patti Pauquette (Dave), and brothers David (MaryAnne), Ian (Dawn) and Robin (Karen), her nieces and nephews Scott (Caitlin), Lesley (Mike), Danielle (Cody), Kaycee (Adam), Dylan (Tasha), Braeden (Brittney), Brittney (Anthony), and Carly, her grand nieces/ nephews; Chenoa, Thomas, Hannah, Theo, Avery, Adalyn, and Alice (d. 2020), her aunt Sheila (Ken) and her cousin Lynne.
There will be no service and Heather’s ashes will be placed next to her parents at a family gathering later. If you wish to honour her memory, a donation to any charity that assists people with disabilities would be appreciated.
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