Steven Heighton

Obituary of Steven Heighton

J. Steven Heighton passed away peacefully surrounded by the people he loved after a brief
battle with cancer on Tuesday, April 19th, 2022, at the age of 60. Predeceased by his mother
Lambie George Stephanopolous (1937 - 2001), he is survived by his father John McEwen
Heighton and his wife Christina; his sister Pelly Heighton and her grown daughters Julia,
Christine and Tarah; former wife Mary Huggard; daughter Elena Heighton and her partner Liam
Fenton; and his partner Ginger Pharand.

To the public, Steve was an inspiring, award-winning author: a poet and prose writer; a
songwriter; a true craftsman; a seeker of human truths. To many of us he was so much more.
What made him a great writer--his intellect, his curiosity, his openness, his energy, his
compassion – made him beloved to his family, friends, and the community who knew him best.
Steve loved to see the world through the eyes of children and delighted in their creative
observations. He often said that the adventure and joy of raising a child – the love he had for his
daughter Elena – was the most important thing in his life. Several of his poems over the years
eloquently express that love.

Steve had a positive effect on everyone who encountered him. The cheery wave of his fedora in
greeting, the warm resonance of his voice – Steve had the ability to make everyone, even
strangers, feel a little better. He had a responsible nature, striving to do the right thing for others,
and this more serious side was balanced with a keen sense of humour, especially in his love of
quirky details and turns of phrase.

Steve’s interests were wide and varied. He was a much-loved and inspiring mentor to many
writers. A dog-walker and a barefoot runner, he was an avid urban forager who was both
outraged and delighted to find neglected apples and berries around town. He was an explorer of
languages and a lifelong traveller who craved the sunshine of Greece. Taking up skating and
hockey later in life helped him finally embrace winter. Steve’s part on a local writers’ hockey
team was a preoccupying passion. Most recently, he brought to fruition the lifelong dream of
creating an album of remarkable songs.

Our memories of Steve are just as varied. But we will always remember him sitting at his desk
or with his guitar, ignoring the phone or a knock at the door, dedicated to bringing exacting
precision to the next story, poem or song. His work brought to the surface the darkness and light
of the world. He was a beautiful soul and we are so grateful for all he shared with us.
Thank you to KGH and James Reid for their compassionate care. A Memorial/Celebration of
Life will be held on Saturday May 28th in Kingston.

Share Your Memory of