OBITUARY: Heather Deschenes, 54

Heather Nichols Deschenes, 54, of Essex, Massachusetts, peacefully passed away at home on May 17, with her husband by her side.

She spent her childhood attending Marblehead schools and graduated from Syracuse University, earning her BA in architecture. Her firm, HND Architects, located in Marblehead, designed many beautiful homes and renovations on the North Shore.

Heather Deschenes

Heather was the consummate outdoors woman, never needing an excuse for a long walk. Hiking had also long been a passion; she backpacked in Europe around Mont Blanc and was working her way through the New England 4,000-footers.

She was an accomplished steel sculptor, patenting her own fire pit design recently.

This past winter, a building of her design, The Clean Cannabis Company, was recognized by Efficiency Vermont in the Best of the Best Awards for the most energy-efficient agricultural facility in 2023.   

She leaves her husband, Fred, of Essex; son William of Burlington, Vermont; daughter Ashley and husband Brian Lapointe of Gloucester; and was looking forward to meeting her first grandchild due this month.

She was the daughter of Christine VanRemoortel and the late William Nichols Jr., and stepdaughter of John VanRemoortel, all of Marblehead.

She leaves her brothers, Andrew and wife Krista Nichols of Phoenix, Arizona; Christopher and wife Dara VanRemoortel of Marblehead; and Robert and wife Tatiana VanRemoortel of Downingtown, Pennsylvania, along with a large extended family who all loved her.

A private funeral has been planned, with a celebration of life in early autumn, date to be announced. Donations in her memory may be made to Healing Abuse Working for Change (HAWC), 27 Congress St., Suite 204, Salem, MA 01970.

Arrangements are by Greely Funeral Home, 212 Washington St., Gloucester. For online condolences, visit

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