Our beautiful daughter, sister, and granddaughter Heather died suddenly and was enfolded into God's loving arms on May 4, 2009 at 11:30 am. She was struck by a train in Palo Alto, California where she had resided for almost ten years. Heather was employed as a bookstore manager for Rasputin Books & Music in Palo Alto for almost two years, and had previously worked as a bookstore manager at a Border's bookstore in Palo Alto for six years.
Heather was born on July 28, 1979 in Westlake Village, California and lived in the city of Moorpark for four years until moving to Thousand Oaks with her family in 1983. Heather attended Glenwood Elementary School, Redwood Middle School, and graduated with Thousand Oaks High School's class of 1997. She attended Moorpark College and then moved to Palo Alto to be a nanny for her cousin in 1999.
Heather greatly enjoyed reading and listening to music and loved sharing these interests with her friends and family. Heather will be remembered for her joyful enthusiasm, her beautiful smile, her unique sense of humor, her compassionate nature, and the many generous, kind, and thoughtful things that she did for her friends and family. Heather's brothers and sisters will miss their big sister's regular phone calls and long conversations, and her empathetic ear.
A vigil service was held on the evening of May 13, 2009, and a funeral mass was celebrated on May 14, 2009 at Saint Paschal Baylon Church in Thousand Oaks, California. Heather was preceded in death and was buried alongside her baby brother Christian Leigh at Assumption Cemetery in Simi Valley, California.
Heather is survived by her parents, Tim and Sue Russell of Thousand Oaks; her brother Brandon Russell of San Antonio, Texas, her sister Patricia Russell of Canoga Park, her brothers Jonathan, Zachary, Nicholas, and Alexander of Thousand Oaks, and her sisters Andrea, Kaitlin, and Theresa Russell of Thousand Oaks; her grandparents Carole Robertson, Walt and Joan Robertson, and Roger and Pat Russell of Thousand Oaks; her Godparents Chuck Russell of Seattle, Washington and Anne Russell of El Paso, New Mexico; and her aunts, uncles, cousins, and many close friends.
An art auction in Heather's honor will be held by Rasputin Books and Music in Palo Alto, California on June 5, 2009 with the proceeds from this event to support a battered women's shelter.