Heather Linden, daughter of Ruth and Arthur Linden of Wilton, died June 5, 2018, at the Connecticut Hospice in Branford. Her death was attributed to the onset of metastasized melanoma. Less than three months earlier she was joyfully participating in the handicapped skiing program at Mt. Snow in Vermont, shown in the photo.

Born November 13, 1968, ten weeks premature and weighing only two pounds and two ounces, she was removed from a respirator at one week old and then required a tracheostomy tube. Eventually she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Heather used a powered wheelchair and won a gold medal from Special Olympics for her ability to maneuver the chair. She attended the K-12 special education program in Westport, and completed two years of college at Southern Connecticut State University. She liked to read, write, use Facebook, watch soaps and cruise the neighborhood with her two Golden Retrievers, Daisy and Molly. When challenged in a writing exercise to write the first sentence of her own obituary, she wrote that she liked to laugh and do things with photography to create cookbooks and calendars. She gave many of her relatives a handmade cookbook every Christmas. In the past, she also liked to rug-hook, and go boating on Long Island Sound.

Heather loved to travel and visited many national parks, cities and beaches in all of the contiguous forty-eight states and a few Canadian provinces. Her favorite beaches were La Jolla, Daytona Beach, and Chincoteague: the sand was hard-packed at low tide and she could cruise independently. She enjoyed restaurants, often ordering the most expensive items on the menu, usually filet mignon and lobster.

Heather had an unbelievably positive attitude and was willing to try almost anything. Her smile made instant friends. Her biggest frustration was that her tracheostomy prevented her from having an audible voice, though she rarely complained about her disabilities.

Besides her parents, she is survived by her sister, Kimberly Dawn Linden, her brother-in-law, Stephen Chase Winn and her two nephews, Chase Linden Winn and Alexander Stephen Winn, of Camden, Maine, and numerous supportive cousins, aunts and uncles around the country.

No services are planned. Donations in her name can be made to the Mount Snow Adaptive Skiing Program — Ability PLUS, West Dover, Vermont, 05356 (or online) or to the Connecticut Hospice, 100 Double Beach Rd., Branford, CT, 06405.

To offer the family online condolences please visit boutonfuneralhome.com.