Remembering our Colleague Mark Heeler
Like many of you, my heart has been heavy this week with the news of Mark Heeler’s passing. If you have not yet heard, Mark passed away on Saturday December 1 after battling with cancer for the last seven months.
Mark was a highly valued member of the Queen’s community. Those of us in the Faculty of Health Sciences knew him best as the Director of Strategic Planning and Partnerships at the Canadian Cancer Trials Group, a role he had held since 2014. But he had held a number of roles at Queen’s since 2005.
He began his time at the university in the Faculty of Law, where he was first the Associate Director of Special Projects and then the Assistant Dean of Strategic Development and External Relations. Between his time in the Faculty of Law and the CCTG, Mark was the Executive Director of the Office of the Principal from 2008 to 2014.
Mark’s time in his position at the CCTG was far too brief, but it was long enough for him to create a lasting legacy. As a leader of the unit’s rebranding effort, Mark helped give the CCTG a new identity. He led the CCTG communications strategy, and helped ensure that the research done in Botterell Hall would be known by people across both Queen’s and Canada. And, as a leader of the CCTG philanthropy efforts, he helped make the research unit a source of impactful giving.
Janet Dancey, Director of the CCTG, worked with Mark closely and has reflected on his passing in a message to the CCTG community. In that message, she notes that “the impact of initiatives Mark led and the relationships he created will extend well beyond the all too short time he spent with us. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to work with him and to benefit from his skills and experience.”
I could not agree more with Janet’s words. While I am deeply saddened by Mark’s passing, I am also immensely grateful that we in the faculty were able to work with Mark while we could.
The CCTG will be making a donation to the War Amps of Canada, Child Amputee (CHAMP) program to honour Mark’s memory.
A memorial service will be held at James Reid Funeral Home, 1900 John Counter Boulevard, on Friday December 7 at 2:00 p.m. A reception will follow in the James Reid Reception Centre.
You can learn more about Mark’s life and legacy by reading his obituary here.
Especially for someone so young, Mark made enormous contributions to Queen’s in his time here, and he will be dearly missed by us all. Please keep him and his family in your thoughts during this time.
Richard K. Reznick, MD
Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences