Local News

Friends, Family Pay Respects To Cary Teacher

Posted August 20, 2002 8:54 a.m. EDT

— Family and friends of a Cary teacher who died over the weekend paid their respects at a memorial service in Raleigh.

Wake County School Superintendent Bill McNeal broke the news to Heather Domenie's colleagues at Fred Olds Elementary that she died at her Cary home Thursday night. On Tuesday, he attended her memorial service.

"The circumstances surrounding her death, all of us are not quite sure what happened. It's very tragic. It's very painful," he said. "She was the kind of teacher all of us wish our children had."

Domenie's fiance, Ian Campbell, attended the service with her mother. He called 911 Thursday night after he says he found Domenie unconscious.

"I was shocked. I really was. Ian is such a great guy. He really is and he must be devastated," family friend Alan Mills said.

Last year, Domenie moved to Cary from Canada to start a new life. Students who benefitted from Domenie's loving spirit and generous gift for teaching also spoke at her memorial service.

"She was a nice teacher. She did lots of fun things with us," student Tiffany Blackwell said.

Gail Longmire said her son, Cameron, benefited from Domenie's influence.

"He has always had a hard time adjusting to new teachers and situations, and she was so warm and tender with him and he just took to her right away," she said.

"She was a great teacher. I'm just so sad that she died," Cameron said.

Domenie's body is scheduled to be flown to her hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Wednesday for burial. Police also hope to have the official cause of death from the state medical examiner's office by Wednesday.