Frank Peter Heller
1961 – 2024
While on his winter travels, Frank passed away unexpectedly January 4, 2024 in Dakhla, West Sahara, south of the Moroccan border. He had just turned 63 years old.
Frank was born in Montreal, Quebec to Peter and Ingrid Heller of Vancouver, BC. Frank and his family moved to Coquitlam in the 1970’s and he graduated from Centennial High School. Frank was an environmentalist from a very early age. As a young teenager he joined Ducks Unlimited and spent his weekends volunteering with Salmonid Enhancement Projects. He enrolled in the Fish, Wildlife and Recreation program in 1983 at BCIT.
Frank worked for the Greater Vancouver Regional District in Matsqui and Belcarra Regional Parks before moving on to The Ministry of Forests in the Chilcotin. Frank was dedicated and innovative in his work as a Watershed Restoration officer. He loved his work and cared deeply about our environment. He dedicated his working life to protect & enhance our rivers, biodiversity and wildlife for all to enjoy, as he did.
In 2008, he was ready for a change and took a temporary assignment with the Ministry of Highways, and at the same time started dating Tracy. They had known each other since 1984 while enrolled at BCIT Forestry. Although Frank and Tracy worked in separate parts of BC, they made a long-distance relationship work for several years before they could coordinate their careers and share life together in Merritt, BC. Frank and Tracy were married in 2015 on the big island of Hawaii. A paradise that they loved and visited often thereafter.
Frank was a seasoned traveler and had many adventures all around the world starting at the age of 18 and until his passing in 2024. He was curious about other cultures and enjoyed meeting new people and learning new things. His most recent trip would start in London, England, then WW1 memorial sites of the Normandy coast in France and then on to Morocco. Ultimately, he wanted to see gorillas in the wilds of Congo. He was an avid and deeply enthusiastic gardener. Frank loved his dogs and could be seen taking them for a daily swim in the rivers near his home in Merritt. He recently returned to duck hunting, mostly to enjoy a quiet walk along the Nicola River.
Frank is survived by his wife Tracy Coombes of Merritt, his daughter Jennifer (David) Singleton of Merritt and his son Kevin Heller of Vancouver, sister Christine Ross of Tsawwassen, nieces Amber Ross and Savannah Ross and Parents Peter and Ingrid Heller of Vancouver.
There are no words to convey the true virtues of Frank and how deeply he will be missed.
A celebration of life will take place in spring of 2024.