Dr. Heather Dryburgh passed away suddenly after a stroke on December 30th, 2022 at the age of 65. She was predeceased by the love of her life, Dr. G. Edward (Eddie) Ebanks who died in 2021 after 17 wonderful years together. She is survived by her four children, Kathy (Pearson) Buell (Jeff), Kristy Cairns, Jordan Pearson, Kim Pearson and step-daughter Natasha (Ebanks) Richardson (Harry) as well as her adoring grandchildren, Wesley, Annie Joy, Jonah, Meadow, Jackson and Marley.
Heather was born and raised in London, Ontario to Dr. Robert and Joy Dryburgh. She was loved by her close siblings and their partners Sharon and Brian Mahon, Dean and Lynn Dryburgh, and Pam and Kevin Dash. She was the beloved aunt of many nieces and nephews, who she also loved dearly.
Heather’s resilience was an inspiration to many women in her life, after returning to school with four young children. Her determination led her to accomplishing Undergraduate and Masters degrees from Western University, and a PhD at McMaster University. These accomplishments were completed entirely through scholarships and research funding in the field of Sociology. Her love of academia is what brought her and Eddie together, and remained a passion they shared including a wonderful network of friends who they visited in their travels around the world.
Heather moved to Ottawa in 2000, and began her career in the civil service as an analyst at Statistics Canada where she retired in 2020 as the Director General of Census Subject Matter, Social and Demographic Statistics, after many years of accomplishments, growth and life-long friendships made.
Heather was a proud feminist who loved giving back to the community. She had a strong sense of social responsibility to use her skills to advance women around the world. She also focused her academic studies, research papers and many projects on the experiences of women in Canada and globally.
Heather was an athlete who found great joy in the outdoors. She had many adventures with her close friends (WWW) around Ottawa, cycling, skiing and hiking. She also loved playing tennis and this passion led to serving on the board of the OTLBC, which she enjoyed tremendously in her retirement.
Heather always dreamed of a log cabin, and with a handful of library books, a strong will and her family, she built a cozy log cabin on the cliffs of Georgian Bay in Cape Chin that she called Northwinds. Heather enjoyed every summer there with Eddie, her grandchildren, family and friends.
Her life was touched by many wonderful and long-lasting friendships in London and Ottawa. Her contagious laughter, kindness, generosity, and adventurous spirit will be missed. Heather was a wonderful bright light in the lives of so many and her positivity and joy will be her legacy.
A toast to Heather will be held at Pinecrest Visitation Centre, 2500 Baseline Rd, Ottawa on Friday January 6th at 1:00 pm, with a visitation before starting at 12:00 pm. Those who wish to attend virtually can click on the following link at 1:00 pm for the tributes and toasts to Heather. STREAMING of CELEBRATION
Instead of flowers, please consider a donation to Equality Fund (equalityfund.ca) in Heather’s memory.