Heaven gained a beautiful soul this week. Heather Ann Cushing Cropper left us for a time on August 30, 2021 at Jordan Valley Hospital in West Jordan, Utah. She returned home where “peace which passeth all understanding” is in abundance. We know she will find peace in Christ because she will fit right in with him.
Heather was born in Salt Lake City on April 7, 1980 to Rodney R. and Deborah Throndsen Cushing. She graduated from Highland High School and then the University of Utah with a degree in meteorology, which fit with her love for math, science and weather. She chose, however, to make being a mom her career, which she loved! Besides her formal education, she developed many other talents. Her ability to dance was poetic, provoking emotion and fluidity, just one of her many incredibly beautiful gifts. She played the piano with a divine touch.
On September 7, 2000 she married Matthew Trent Cropper in the Salt Lake Temple. They were blessed with four wonderful children. Her children were her world. When she suspected that Sam might have different abilities, the doctor showed little concern. Heather changed doctors and had him tested for autism. From that time on, she left no stone unturned, finding every available service for him. She volunteered extensively at her children’s schools and loved one-on-one dates with them.
Heather was a friend to everyone. She was warm, delightful, real, and fun. She loved the color purple and calling or texting people on their birthdays. She left us with a determination to strike a pose in every photo, to give generous laughs always, and to be a loyal, kind friend to even the most awkward or lonely. She leaves a group of nine friends who, with her, were known as the “Core 10,” and had loved each other since high school or before, as well as many others who loved her kind spirit, big laugh, and especially her ability to make the person she was talking to feel like the most important person in the world.
Heather was so often found serving and giving selflessly. As a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she served in many ways, most recently in the Relief Society Presidency. The temple was her safe place, and she was there often. She often noticed the lonely, anyone with special needs, anyone new, and anyone who might feel left out. She often compared notes with another “Mama Bear” from the autism community. She was fiercely loyal about keeping her commitments. She was a doer. If something needed to be done, she was in the details and was a true finisher.
While we will forever remember Heather for her remarkable beauty inside and out, it is important to speak of the pain that stirred within her mind. Depression is a very real and serious illness that can prevent the most beautiful people from seeing their value, worth, and the love of those who surround them. Its chronic pain can result in unbreakable earthly grief, unshakable demons and unreachable sorrow and desolation. Depression made it difficult for Heather to ultimately see the beautiful life she and Matt had created, no matter the countless measures she took and tried. In the end, her illness won this battle. But it will not win the war, as in the resurrection there will be no depression. There is peace in Christ.
We invite you, in Heather’s loving memory, to move forward with faith, to mourn with those that mourn, to comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to be mindful of those in your orbit. We never know what extreme, private battles even the most capable and beautiful person may be fighting.
Besides her parents; and husband; Heather is survived by her children, Sam, Tyler, Lilly and Charlie; her brothers, Jason (Verity) Cushing and Brett (Jaymie) Cushing; and her husband’s parents, Leigh and Nancy Cropper; and his siblings Kathy (Dave) Hansen, Bryce (Suzy) Cropper, Mary Ann (Russell) Marchant, Kara (Kazi) Suzuki, Mark (Cheryse) Cropper, and Heather (Matt) Nelson. Heather Ann loved it when her sister-in-law Heather also married a Matt. She will be missed by many nieces and nephews and countless others who love her.
There will be a viewing Tuesday evening, September 7, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at McDougal Funeral Home, 4330 South Redwood Road, Taylorsville, and at the church before the funeral Wednesday from 10:00 to 11:30 AM. The funeral will be at 12:00 noon at the Murray West Stake Center, 5750 South Nena Way, Murray. Masks are required. Interment, Elysian Burial Gardens.
The funeral can also be watched on Zoom at this link: https://zoom.us/j/96374734274
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