I would like to first offer my condolences to Dan, Marianne, Michele, Lauren and Dominic. I shared a wall next to Heather's office as Graduate Academic Administrator. Although our offices were separate entities, we were engaged with processes that sometimes crossed over with the Undergraduate Office. Many times I would stop by looking for candy or she would stop by our office, but she was much more disciplined than I was so she often was not looking for the candy. We would always have conversations about how the day was going and life, in general, and share a laugh or two or three!! As mentioned by so many people who knew Heather, she was so kind, sweet and gentle. She was always so willing to help any of us who might stop in to ask a question or clarify a student issue or just beg for food. It was always a pleasant experience. Heather was so humble and unassuming.
It was devastating to learn of Heather's diagnosis, but then, as we all probably thought, 'we are in Boston, she will have the best at MGH, they will come up with something for her', she is young and healthy. We were hopeful. I had a couple of e-mail exchanges with Heather and, as always, Heather was sweet, upbeat and hopeful. Then, we received the news that Heather had passed away which was totally shocking to everyone. How could this have happened and so quickly?
The realities of life are difficult realities and sometimes the outcome cannot be altered, but I think it would be such a better world if we can take away from Heather's short but well lived life, her positive, gentle, kind and humble spirit. She had a gentle spirit that benefits everyone. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to have shared that wall with Heather for so many years. She was a wonderful person who will be greatly missed by all of us in MechE who worked with her so closely. I was very fortunate that our paths crossed even for only a few years. Heather will never be forgotten by all of us who had that privilege of knowing her.