Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Lovely Lynda is gone

Family members of Lynda Heaps have spoken of their loss after the death of the popular teacher earlier this month.

ESTELLE GRIEPINK December 18, 2013 4:56am

Lynda Heaps battled breast and liver cancer in the year leading up to her death.

The warm, generous spirit of Lynda Jane Heaps shone through from a young age, her family says.

The News spoke to parents John and Jenny and sisters Susan and Wendy following Ms Heaps’ death on December 7 aged 38.

When she was in primary school, she spotted a clump of white irises growing wild near her cubby house.

She promptly dug some up and brought them home for her mother, who has kept them alive to this day.

Thinking of others before herself was simply in her nature.

Later in life, the beloved teacher used her own money to buy things for her students and preferred to spoil her family with every gift on their Christmas wishlist than just the one.

Ms Heaps was the daughter of John and Jenny and big sister of Wendy, Susan and Karen.

Mr Heaps was a lecturer at Dookie College and the family grew up at the campus.

The sisters had a close bond and spent their weekends riding their bikes, swimming in the pool and playing at the tennis courts.

Ms Heaps attended Currawa Primary School and Shepparton High School.

The history buff was set on studying an arts degree majoring in history at La Trobe University, Bendigo but after one year she was not satisfied and transferred to teaching.

Her decision led to an outstanding career that touched many people in the region.

She began teaching at Ardmona Primary School before moving to Mooroopna North Primary School.

She was a gentle, caring teacher and also a steadfast friend.

Mooroopna North principal Geoff Newman told mourners at her funeral Ms Heaps shared everything with her colleagues.

She bought them gifts for no reason and never forgot to send them a postcard on one of her many trips overseas, he said.

Her family said London was Ms Heaps’ favourite city.

During one visit, she sent a photo of herself beaming as she leant out of a red telephone box to all the family.

The pose became a family tradition, with members making sure they took similar photos during their own jaunts to England.

Ms Heaps’ passion for music — especially Bon Jovi — and sport often drew her to Melbourne.

Drives to the city for the Boxing Day cricket Test were a family tradition and her sisters would listen as Ms Heaps and her dad discussed every blow of the game on the way back.

No-one could fault Lynda on her knowledge of cricket and football.

She had an uncanny talent for remembering sporting facts from as long as 20 years ago.

For the past year, Ms Heaps struggled through a battle with breast and liver cancer. But she was determined to maintain her zest and passion for life right until the end.

Ms Heaps wanted to return to teaching at the beginning of this term to say goodbye to her Year 6 students, who she had taught since Prep, but could not do so because of her health.

The doting aunty of Patrick and Georgina was also hoping to live to meet Susan’s new baby and see Australia win the Ashes. She had tickets for one of the Tests against England.

Ms Heaps’ life was cut short on December 7 — she had tickets to see Bon Jovi in Melbourne that night.

Her family will remember her as ‘‘an extremely kind, generous person who would do anything to help anybody’’ and ‘‘the best sister you could ever hope to have’’.

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