Article Source: Global News

source – Heidi Stevenson Chronicle Herald

Heidi Stevenson was a wife, a daughter, an RCMP officer and a rugby coach, but according to those who knew her, her one true calling in life was becoming a mom.

“She cherished Connor and Ava, and they cherished her,” reads Stevenson’s obituary, published Thursday.

“When she spoke of Connor and Ava, her eyes lit up. When she stood next to them, she had her arms around them. When she cheered them on at hockey games, she cheered the loudest. And when she tucked them into bed at night, she always took the time to cuddle and review their day.”

Stevenson died in the line of duty on April 19, one of 22 people killed during a shooting rampage in multiple rural Nova Scotia communities. She was a 23-year veteran of the force.

READ MORE: Here’s what we know about the victims of the Nova Scotia mass shooting

RCMP Const. Heidi Stevenson. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-RCMP MANDATORY CREDIT

 RCMP Const. Heidi Stevenson. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-RCMP MANDATORY CREDIT

“There are no words to describe the pain,” said Nova Scotia commanding officer Lee Bergerman.

“Two children have lost their mother, and a husband has lost his wife. Parents have lost their daughter, and countless others lost an incredible friend and colleague.”

Strong, independent girl

Stevenson grew up in Antigonish, N.S. Her loved ones described her as a smart, independent girl who always stood up for herself. She was an active member of the local 4-H club and an avid reader and baker.

“Her parents, Avon Brophy and David Burkholder, taught her from a very young age to embrace her creativity, be open-minded and to always be herself,” reads her obituary.

“She carried these traits with her through life and because of them was always up for a challenge or to try something new.”

READ MORE: ‘One of a kind’ — Comedic couple Greg and Jamie Blair celebrated by family after N.S. shooting

Stevenson attended Acadia University and graduated with a bachelor of science in 1993. That’s where she became interested in rugby — a sport she would later coach as part of her dedication to inspiring young girls and giving back to her community, according to family. University was also where she developed a passion for policing, working part time with campus security.

“Heidi loved her chosen career. There was no doubt in her mind when she graduated from Acadia that her next step was going to be the RCMP,” the obituary continues.

“Reaching that goal wasn’t always easy but her incredibly strong work ethic, driven personality and resilient nature got her to exactly where she wanted to be.”