Heather “Noeleen” Healey (1930 – 2017)

Helensville resident Heather Noeleen Healey (Noeleen, formerly Lane, nee Downs) passed away on November 22, 2017, aged 87.  Noeleen was well known in Helensville and beyond as an inspiring teacher and mixed media artist. As a teacher she first specialised in home economics, then later branched into teaching art, first in high schools and then, after she’d retired, at home and in the community. She got her start in the art world by attending an evening art class at Kaipara College when she was 30.
As a witty, brave and innovative artist she took pride in making her own rules rather than following current fads and fashions. She was inspired by nature and loved the winding Kaipara River, saying in a 2015 interview “I’ve printed the river, painted the river, done clay work on the river and written about the river. I’m still working on my masterpiece and it’s always to do with the river. Twelve years ago, I start knitting the river and the piece is now as long as Shelley Beach Wharf, I won’t ever finish it.” In 2015 she marked her 85th birthday exhibiting 85 works at the Art Stop gallery.
Noeleen is survived by her sons Graham, Collin, Murray, Noel and Rex, 17 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.

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