Cover photo for Heather Myrtle Armitage's Obituary
1930 Heather 2024

Heather Myrtle Armitage

February 7, 1930 — June 24, 2024

Armitage, Heather Myrtle (nee McAllister) February 7, 1930 - June 24, 2024

Heather, (94) passed away peacefully early in the morning of June 24, surrounded by her loving family.Heather will forever be known for her sweetness. How fitting that she was born in the town of Sweetsburg, in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. The only daughter to Andrew Douglas and Myrtle Alice (Peron) McAllister. Heather leaves behind her devoted husband of over 65 years, Kingsley Warwick Armitage. Predeceased by her brother Russell and her beloved sister in law Betty McAllister. Also waiting to welcome Heather home are Kingsley’s siblings Robin (Lu), Bill (Shirley), Roly (Mary and Karen), Frank (Kay), June Pye (Brian) and Peggy Scott (George) and grandson Maxwell James Armitage.

Family meant the world to Heather. You couldn’t have asked for a better Mom. She will be deeply missed by her children, Blair (Kerry), Neil, Fay (Thom), and Jim (Laura).To her grandchildren Andrew (Kristen), Kayla (Kevin), Matthew (Norma Jean), Hannah (Murray), Emma (Mustafa); Claire, Ava (Alan), Petra, Willem (Megan); Michael (Amy), Alexis (Jared), and David; and Great grandchildren Heather, Ben; Miles, Benson, Sybill; Kenny, and Daisy, time with Gramma at the ‘cottage’ represented fun: mystical forest adventures, egg sandwiches by the beach, epic easter egg hunts, tickle trunks, brownies (more later about brownies), and boisterous versions of Happy Birthday that always brought smiles and laughter. Her many nieces (loving Godmother to Joanne) and nephews on the Armitage and McAllister sides of the family always treated her with great warmth and affection. She loved every one of them fully and completely.

Heather’s parents farmed in the idyllic community of Sweetsburg on the outskirts of Cowansville. She often shared wholesome memories of swimming with her older brother Russell, cousins (in particular Doreen, Winston, Florence, and Alice) and friends at the covered bridge or fishing in the lazy Yamaska River that flowed by their home. The family moved to Leitrim, Ontario along with her Aunt Verda when she was still young. She was a proud Lisgar High alumnus, enjoyed skiing at Camp Fortune, and went on to live near her job with Metropolitan Life and later as a legal secretary with a local law firm, in an apartment on Nanny Goat Hill at the northern foot of Bronson Ave, with her friend June. June’s brother Kingsley arrived in the early morning hours one day, looking for a place to rest, mom answered the door and love bloomed from this chance encounter. When Heather and Kingsley married, the adventure began with their honeymoon: New York City, Rio di Janero, Lima, Mexico City, Acapulco, California and home. As newlyweds, they settled in Regina, Sask. As a vibrant outgoing couple, they were quick to make friends. Russ and Pearl Haines and Gary and Ingrid Shillington remained lifelong friends despite physical distances. Heather and King would eventually make Kanata, Ontario home and it was there that they raised their family. From winter trips to sunny shores, a lengthy tour through France, Italy and Switzerland, Heather loved to travel the world. Family trips by Winnebago, car and train for summer conventions created many fond family memories. She loved the summers on the eastern shores of Constance Bay - we moved in the afternoon school let out and moved out Labour Day - where a string of swimming, bonfires, burgers, and doughboys ruled the calendar. Mom was always keen for laughter and family escapades.

As kids moved away, and life on the Ottawa river took hold, Heather’s treasured family grew. She thrived in her role as ‘Gramma’ . Heather was an avid reader and gardener, and the river home was ideal for both. A seamstress of extraordinary talent, largely inspired and trained by her aunties, she produced exquisite dresses - including Laura’s wedding dress and bridal party dresses and suits for Fay’s wedding - for special occasions. She was a self taught gourmet cook, and a baker par excellence; there was nothing she would do that wasn’t done with the utmost care. The family always knew they were in for a special treat when Sunday dinners were served with her exasperated declaration “It’s a disaster!” at the cottage, in an almost uninterrupted string for many years. No birthday went without either brand new recipes, or repeat performances of the favourites requested by the person of the hour. At one point, Neil and Blair wondered if she could bake a pie inside a cake. On their almost-shared birthday, she produced a decadent two layer chocolate cake, with pecan pies embedded in each layer. “Who makes the best cakes?” But her brownies were her signature treat. Deep rich chocolate with walnuts, just underbaked enough, the recipe evolved over the years as she worked on perfecting it. Frozen rafts of carefully wrapped brownies were a special gift to any who received them. There are some who claim brownies stolen from the basement freezer, eaten while still frozen, were the best of all. The sweet girl from Sweetsburg has left us with the sweetest gift: she has chosen to share her coveted brownie recipe with family and friends. In some cultures, you may hear “May her memory be a blessing” as an expression of condolence. In that respect, anyone who knew her will at least have that blessing - and recipe - in common.

The family wish to thank Dr. Stecher and the West Carleton Health Team for their care. In lieu of flowers, Heather volunteered for Save the Children and the Canadian Cancer Society, and actively supported the MS Society of Canada, the Kidney Foundation of Canada, and Autism Canada. She would be very pleased to have any of those charities or a charity of your choice supported in her memory.

Heather will be interred at St. John’s Anglican Cemetery in South March on August 9, 2024, at 10:30 am with a graveside service for all who wish to attend. Following will be a reception at the ‘Cottage’ at 350 Berry Side Road at noon, where brownies baked as closely as possible to how the master did them may well be available. 

Service Schedule

Upcoming Services

Burial

Friday, August 9, 2024

10:30 - 10:45 am (Eastern time)

St. John's Anglican Cemetery

325 Sandhill Rd, Ottawa, ON K2K 1X7

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Celebration of Life

Friday, August 9, 2024

12:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

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