With broken hearts we announce the passing of Heather Jane McCormick on September 27, 2020, in Queens General Hospital, Liverpool. Beloved wife of Ian A. Zimmerman; cherished daughter of Joanne and the late Dr. C. Wm. McCormick; sister of James Andrew McCormick; and devoted daughter-in-law of Barbara Zimmerman. Heather’s wish was to spend her last days at her beloved cottage in Port Mouton. To say Heather bravely fought cancer for many years is a great understatement. With her positive attitude and loving, supportive husband, a fun-loving nature carried them through many obstacles. They fought the good fight together; making a point of travelling, going to the opera, and enjoying evenings with friends. Just two years ago they vacationed on the west coast of the United States of America, going to the redwood forests, into the mountains, touring Mendocino, and other areas. Heather was born in Halifax but spent her early years in Middleton, and London, Ont., where her physician father completed his studies. She excelled in academics, both at school and university; first graduating with an Arts degree from Dalhousie University, then spending a summer in Art History at the University of Cambridge in England. Bitten by the art history bug, and mentored by Marie Elwood, then Chief Curator of the Nova Scotia Museum, she enrolled at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, where she completed a Bachelor of Fine Art. The bright lights of New York, N.Y., beckoned, which she followed with great enthusiasm, obtaining a Master’s degree from Bard Graduate Center, then enrolling in the PhD programme. Her dissertation was research on the life and career of one of New York City’s great sculptors and carvers, Ernst Plassmann. During this time, she became very close to Plassmann’s great-grandaughter who travelled, along with her husband, to Heather and Ian’s wedding in Annapolis Royal. Her career blossomed in New York. She co-wrote a book entitled “Vasemania” which chronicled the mania for vases in the 19th Century. Following this, and while fighting cancer, she became Project Editor of The History of Design, 1400-2000, a Foundational text for first year students of Bard Graduate Center and other Design History programmes. She will be so deeply missed by her mother, Joanne; her brother, James (Andrea) McCormick; cherished nephews, Will and Tom McCormick; her uncle, Carman (Elizabeth); and aunt, Jane (Dr. Micheal) Reardon; cousins, Simon and Emily McCormick, Dr. Laura Reardon, John Reardon, Marc Reardon, Dr. Ashley McCormick, Luke McCormick, and their families. She will be sadly missed by best friend, Juliet Elwood Graham and family; Bard classmate, Jenny Pitman. Many thanks for expert and kind guidance from Dr. Bruce Colwell, Halifax, and of Queen’s County Hospital, liverpool, the wonderful Dr. Debra Gowan, Natalie Brooks, Marianne and the team from Victorian Order of Nurses, Drs. Farrell and Blackadar, the kind 2nd floor nursing staff, notably Alyssa and Hilda for outstanding care. Due to COVID-19, a celebration of Heather’s Life will be held in the spring. Donations in Heather’s name may be made to the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, or because Heather’s favourite animal was the elephant, the Mara Elephant Project, which promotes co-existance between elephants and communities in Kenya. Online condolences may be sent to www.chandlersfuneral.com
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Ron & Barb Campbell
Ian, Joanne & Family,
We are saddened to hear of Heather’s passing.
Please accept our sincere condolences.
To Ian, Joanne, James, Barbara and other family members……Mary and I are so saddened with the loss of Heather. We send our deepest sympathies to each of you.
We first met Heather nearly 12 years ago when Ian and Heather became our annual summertime visit – next door neighbours on Carters Beach Road in Port Mouton.Those visits became more frequent over the years. We so looked forward to spending time with Heather, Ian, Joanne and Jim, and with Barbara.
Heather was so special, her smile, her gracious ways, her positive demeanor, her quiet knowledge and insight of so much, her strong attraction to the ambiance of the Mouton, and to nature and to birds….she saw so much beauty in the simple things of even her backyard. Several years ago, when the beach volume visitors to Carters Beach accelerated and impacts were felt by the neighbourhood, Heather assumed another perspective, and taught me of the need “to share the commons”.
When we visited New York several years ago, Heather was a trooper in helping Mary lug our suitcases on the subway to Harlem where we were staying (while Ian and I were at a Mets game). I also clearly recall how motherly Heather was in taking our hands down to the subway after a pizza one evening, to show us which trains and tracks to take to get us back to our apartment. She was so caring and considerate in times like these.
What I will most remember of Heather is the strength, courage and integrity she displayed during her last few weeks in the Mouton. She taught us all not to fear the inevitable and to smile and share moments with others til the very end.
We will miss Heather dearly but she will always be closeby in our hearts.
Heather was precious, cry for her but remember how beautiful life is when we are surrounded with the memory of her presence.
Dear Joanne&James, we were so very sorry to hear of Heather’s passing. We have fond memories of Heather from the time we first met her in London , when she was in elementary school . What a lovely lady she grew up to be, such a positive person.Our thoughts are with you at this most difficult time.
Pam & Allan Purdy
Dear Joanne & James ,
With great shock I read the obit of your beautiful daughter & sister, Heather. What a shining light she was . So sad for such a young life to be taken so soon. Stu & the rest of our family join me in sending our deepest sympathy & love to all your family. We last saw you all at a wonderful birthday celebration at the Mount for you Joanne that Heather & James hosted … Cherish your memories
Margi & Stu Huestis , Jamie ,Kelly . Leigh , David & Gordon
Dear McCormicks and friends of Heathers:
I remember Heather well and I always found her to be a bright and happy person. I haven’t seen her for many years; but I’m saddened to think of her being taken too soon.
When I think of Heather I think of sunshine.
I think of her positive attitude and willingness to always think of others first.
I think of the love she showed and expressed for her husband and family, of the respect and admiration when she spoke of their accomplishments and adventures.
I think of her attention to the beauty in nature and small objects and dishes and household utensils. Her cottage is a statement to her appreciation for artists and craftsmen and the joy they brought to her. I think of handmade quilts and hooked rugs, vases and unique pieces of folk art. I think of pies baking and antique wallpaper, of her ability to identify birds both by the colour of their plumage and their call.
I think of her determination to get up and do what she had in mind to do whether it was to plant a shrub, weed eat the yard, or install a shelf or a faucet.
I think of morning coffee times discussing local events in Port Mouton, New York and faraway places. How time was swallowed up as we sat talking about politics, art, music, relationships with friends and family, religion, spirituality, great finds in thrift stores and the best recipes.
I think of courage, beauty, strength and love. I greatly miss my dear friend and neighbour, though her spirit will always live in my heart.
Dear Joanne, Ian, and family,
We were so very sorry to learn about Heather’s passing. We send our deepest sympathy to you all.
Jennifer (West) Neville and family
Heather Jane Troop
Ian, Joanne & James, Sincerest condolences. I’ve been thinking a lot about Heather Jane lately and remembering some of the best times of my life. I have a lot of walls and I don’t always make the best of friends but Heather Jane just softly infiltrated my defenses and helped me in an important time in my life. She and Joanne & family were so kind to me – I find it hard to grapple with a world without her but I’m sure my struggles don’t even compare to yours. Please know that she will always be in my thoughts and I will forever be grateful for my time spent with her.
Barbara Shenton and Norm Christiansen
As one of the art school group of friends we met in NYC thanks to Christopher Johnson, we always enjoyed seeing Heather at parties and gatherings we attended through the years she lived in NYC. We got to know Ian a little bit too during that time. Norm and I are saddened to hear about Heather’s last years, working though the difficulties cancer causes. Sending all of those close to Heather big hugs of support and the wish that your best memories of her get you though these sad days.
Tom and Elma Hickman
Dear Joanne, James and the McCormick and Zimmerman families,
Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this heartbreaking time. We only met Heather Jane as a baby during visits to Annapolis, but she certainly grew up to be an amazing woman. Take comfort in all the wonderful memories you have of her.
Tom and Elma
Dear Joanne, Ian, James and family,
Noah and I are so very sorry to hear of Heather’s passing. Heather was a beautiful soul. We always enjoyed seeing her when she came to visit on Marlborough Avenue. She always had a ready smile and such a warm affect – the type of person that you like immediately. She was so very proud of you, Joanne, and obviously thoroughly enjoyed hosting your birthday at the Mount with James. Heather will be greatly missed. Sincere condolences to you.
As one of her yoga ladies in Brooklyn New York I would like to send my condolences to her family and friends. She was always upbeat, willing to do everything, and as we had discussions with coffee before exercise time she always had heartfelt and interesting and informative things to share. I will always miss her.
Howard & Charlotte Callahan
Howie and I feel very fortunate to have met Heather. We only wish that we had had more opportunities to have known her better. Ian, Joanne and Barbara were people that we knew because of Heather – people who surrounded her with love. It’s a blessing to know that she passed in peace in a place where she wanted to be. Our thoughts are with you and family at this most difficult time.