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Queen’s remembers Mark Heeler

Director of strategic planning and partnerships for the Canadian Cancer Trials Group and former executive director of the Office of the Principal died on Dec. 1.

The Queen’s community is mourning the passing of Mark Heeler, who died Saturday, Dec. 1 following a seven-month battle with cancer.

[Mark Heeler]Dr. Heeler held a series of positions at Queen’s University including assistant dean at the Faculty of Law, executive director of the Office of the Principal, and, most recently, director of strategic planning and partnerships for the Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG), a position he held since 2014.

The impact of initiatives Mark led and the relationships he created will extend well beyond the all too short time he spent with us,” says Janet Dancey, CCTG Director.We are grateful to have had the opportunity to work with him and to benefit from his skills and experience.”

From 2008 to 2014, Dr. Heeler played an important role in the Office of the Principal, working directly with former principal Tom Williams and current Principal Daniel Woolf. He was chosen as the director of the Special Projects, Strategic Policy and Programs Division of the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU), at the time making him the first university executive chosen for an MTCU executive exchange, lasting six months, in more than 15 years.

“Mark was a key figure in the Principal’s Office throughout my first term,” says Principal Woolf. “I relied on his fearless advice, his political acumen, and his ability to get things done efficiently. He remained a close friend well after his departure from our office for CCTG. Mark had the better part of a career still in front of him, and it is terrible that this, and his life, have been cut so short. Julie and I send our deepest condolences to his wife Lynnette and his children.”

Dr. Heeler started his career as a constable with the Ontario Provincial Police before obtaining a doctoral degree from Osgoode Hall Law School. He would then work with the National Judicial Institute in Ottawa before moving to Queen’s in 2005.

Dr. Heeler was the beloved husband of Lynnette and loving father of Evan and Ella.

Flags on campus will be lowered on Friday, Dec. 7. A memorial service will be held on the same day at James Reid Funeral Home, 1900 John Counter Blvd., at 2 pm, with a reception to follow in the James Reid Reception Centre.

For those who wish to honour Dr. Heeler’s memory, donations may be made to the War Amps of Canada, Child Amputee (CHAMP) program.