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October 10, 1951 - January 1, 2024

Heather Ann Desjarlais passed away peacefully with her children beside her just after the New Year rang in at the Red Deer Hospice, on January 1, 2024 after a heroic battle with cancer. Heather was born on October 10, 1951 and grew up on a small farm near Talbot, Alberta with her parents, her older brother and sister.

Heathers love for life began early with her tremendous love of animals and sports. She was involved with 4H, winning countless awards, basketball, hockey, barrel racing and even later, Derby Car Racing to name a few. Music and horses were a huge passion throughout her life.

Her home told this story with it being filled with Elvis and Western memorabilia. After the tragic loss of her father in 1969, the farm had to be sold. Heather married October 17, 1970 and had four children. After living in Coronation, Stettler and Calgary as well, they found a small acreage near Gadsby, Alberta. The acreage was the almost perfect place to raise four children full of horses, cows, chickens, rabbits, pigs, goats and even her favourite goose.

Her husband needed to work away from the farm to make ends meet. The life of a farm wife was far from an easy task, but many know she was a 'getter done' woman! never afraid to get her hands dirty.

Heather suffered the tremendous loss of her brother on August 29, 1982 and on August 12, 1983 the loss of her mother, followed by divorce by the end of August. This meant selling the animals and leaving the acreage.

After a few more chapters and moves, Heather landed in Red Deer where she met some more special friends. She had so many and loved them so dearly. With love and support of these friends and her complete determination, she found Jesus again and was baptized in 1992.

Even through endless hardships, she always chose to see the love and beauty of life. Her beautiful smile and contagious laugh was evidence of that. Heather finally called Innisfail home and met and made many more beautiful friends. Friends and family were so cherished, and she always made time for us all whenever she could.

Heaven has gained an angel! Heather is lovingly remembered by her son, Kelly (Anne) Desjarlais, her son, Marty, her daughter, Kim Desjarlais and her son Mark (Candace) Desjarlais and her grandchildren Cheyenne, Valissa, Frankie, Jesse, Keeana, Justice, Felicity, Makayla, Taylor, Nicholas, Jozlyn, Austin Jazmyn, Bradyn and Journee as well as numerous great grandchildren.

Heather was predeceased by her parents, Francis and Irving Gardner, her brother John Gardner, an infant sister and her grandson, Josh Burns and her step father, George Gale.

A Memorial Service will be held at Living Stones Church, 2020 40 Ave., Red Deer on Friday January 12, 2024 at 1:00 p.m.

If desired, Memorial Donations may be made to the Red Deer Hospice Society at 99 Arnot Avenue, Red Deer, Alberta T4R 3S6.

The family would like to thank the countless Doctors and staff 'Earth Angels' at the Red Deer Hospice, your loving care and support through these last few months will never be forgotten.

Condolences, memories and photos may be shared and viewed at

Arrangements in care of: Heartland Funeral Services Ltd., 4415 - 49 Street, Innisfail, Alberta. Phone: 403.227.0006

 Heartland Funeral Services Ltd.

Service Details

Celebration of Life
Friday, January 12, 2024
1:00 PM
Living Stones Church, 2020 40 Ave., Red Deer

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