Nancy HEATH

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HEATH, Nancy Lynn
1945 – 2014
To Laugh or To Cry
Standing at my window, gazing out at the golf course where so often I have been reprimanded by the Course Marshal for chucking beer over the fence to friends, the doctor's prognosis rolled in my mind. Damn, I thought I had beat the ugly Cancer Monster… I thought of my parents, Jack and Beth Carruthers, the gift of life they gave me, and the brilliant life gifts they gave me – a fierce drive to look after oneself, strength, courage, capacity to love, and laugh. They gave me sisters, MJ who added Sid, Betty who brought Roy, and a brother Kent who added My. My siblings gave me "my children" Beth Ann and Dale, Sydney and Jody; Brad and Shannon, Lola and Michael; Shawn and Susan, Justin and Nate; Craig and Nut and Alysha; Chris and Kodi, Tye and Ryder; Stephanie and Melinda. And so, in the end, my siblings hold the responsibility for my "Favorites List." When Jack left our family far too early, and Beth later remarried, we were transported from Summerside, PEI to Calgary, AB. My love affair with Calgary began when I arrived at 13 and what a love affair it has been. At a time when jobs were scarce and a family value driving me to be independent, I did the only logical thing at 17 – I lied. I dropped out of high school when a little white lie about my age secured a prestigious job as an Information Operator at AGT. And thus began my career of 37 years with AGT/TELUS. It's a long time to stay with one company, however my successes kept giving me so many opportunities to work in different departments and on different projects that it has been a variety of careers rolled into one company. To attempt to put into a few sentences about the rich tapestry of my career only scratches the surface of the depth of meaning for me. Pride swells within me when I think of two particular projects I was involved in. The first was setting up AGT's Action Centre for Alberta. As a specialized group at that time I advocated my staff to "wear sandals" as I was convinced they walked on water. I had the latitude to empower and encourage them and am delighted to have heard not that long ago the impact I had on my staff as their manager. Secondly was the three year project for the 1988 Olympics, a work team that excelled, contacts that were both infamous and fun, a successful project accomplished – truly a highlight of my work career. Satisfying as the work was, the whip cream on the Irish coffee for me with AGT/TELUS was the friendships which grew to Family. For years I have enjoyed the warmth, caring, and hours and hours and hours of wine and laughter. How lucky I have been to have so many remarkable people I call friends. As I think about the path I have walked through the medical facilities, I have had exceptional partners. To talk about "medical staff" seems cold compared to the warm, caring team who has given so very much along the way. They have been my specialists who gave me hope, encouragement and truth. Thank you to the Tom Baker Cancer Team, Dr. Alexander Patterson, Breast Oncologist; Dr. Stephanie Wilson, world renowned Radiologist; Dr. Theresa Trotter, Radiology Oncologist; Chemo Nurses and all other Nurses, hospital and Home Care staff who gave me warmth and your humanity. How fortunate I have been to have Jon Mintoft as my friend, partner and lover. It was going so well – until this last short time when he became The Handler, cramped my living space, fed me oodles of healthy items and supplements, and refused to install my newly acquired Car Lashes on my car because he had to drive me to and fro. As my reverie breaks I realize the doctor's words were clear – only a short time left. And I faced the decision for my final days – To Laugh or To Cry. LAUGH, of course – as though there were another choice for me…. A Celebration of Nancy's Life will be held on her Birthday – Thursday, April 10, 2014, 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Earl Grey Golf Club, 6540 - 20 Street S.W., Calgary, AB. Please forward condolences through www.hffs.com. In lieu of flowers, you may wish to direct a gift to Cancer Research in Nancy's name.

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Calgary Crematorium & Funeral Services
3219 - 4th Street N.W.
Calgary, AB T2M 3A6
403-299-0111
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Published in The Calgary Herald from Mar. 11 to Mar. 12, 2014
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