June 15, 2023
Osgoode Professional Development has lost a valued team leader, cheerleader, and beloved friend. On May 20, 2023, at the age of 46, Heather Gore Liddell passed away unexpectedly from interstitial lung disease, the same disease that claimed her mother’s life almost 20 years ago. Although no one can be sure, it seems that her bout with COVID in May/June of 2022 played a factor in triggering the disease.
Heather joined OPD in June of 2005 as Program Lawyer, working on continuing legal education programs. Having earned a JD degree at Osgoode, she was thrilled to return as a staff member. Heather was a creative ‘people person’, and ideally suited to creating CLE programs. She was a shrewd businessperson and exceptional people manager. She brought these and other talents to bear as she progressed to Senior Program Lawyer; Manager, CLE Programs; and finally, Director, CLE Programs. She was active in several professional associations, including the Toronto Legal Professional Development Consortium, and the Association of Continuing Legal Education of America. She completed a Certificate in Adult Education from OISE, University of Toronto, as well as York University management and leadership programs.
A Celebration of Heather’s Life was held on June 9 in the Moot Court at Osgoode Hall Law School. It was a joyful event, with family and friends sharing memories of Heather’s legendary shopping exploits and road trips, clips of her star turn on “Say Yes to the Dress”, a drag queen, and a visit from an ice-cream truck to provide refreshments. Heather’s ability to connect with people of all kinds, and her tremendous warmth and kindness, were on full display. It was a one-of-a-kind memorial for a one-of-a-kind person.
Heather leaves her spouse, Peter Liddell; her father, Craig Gore; her sister, Kerry Haines; her nieces, Holly and Morgan; and extended family, plus a large chosen family. She also had an immense and well-nurtured network of former classmates and professional colleagues.
An Osgoode JD student bursary has been created to honour Heather’s memory, and it will be awarded annually to a student with financial need and who faces visible and invisible obstacles like income; mental health; racial, cultural and gender inequalities; or physical and learning challenges. Donations can be made to the bursary here.
Osgoode will match all donations made until June 30, 2023.