Summer Erika Heath, 27, passed away peacefully at home in Cornelius, NC on Friday, October 30, 2020 with loving family by her side after her 8 year battle with Ocular Melanoma.
Summer was born in Princeton, WV on September 14, 1993 and moved to Cornelius in 1999. Summer graduated with Hopewell High School’s Class of 2011 then pursued her teaching degree at UNC Pembroke, where she was a founding member of the Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority and held the position of New Member Education.
Summer graduated from UNCP in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education specializing in Math. She started her first teaching position as Assistant Kindergarten Teacher at Primrose of Cornelius and later accepted a position as a 2nd Grader Teacher at Langtree Charter Academy in Mooresville where she moved into the role of math specialist.
At age 19, Summer was the third and youngest student from Hopewell High School to be diagnosed with a rare eye cancer, Ocular Melanoma, which prompted a community investigation that lead to undiscovered cases and national awareness of the OM Cancer Cluster in Huntersville and Lake Norman vicinity. After her initial treatments, Summer celebrated 5 years of remission before discovering her cancer had metastasized to her liver then spread to all major organs of her body. Summer was grateful to be treated by the world’s leading physicians at Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center in Philadelphia.
Summer was regularly active in supporting local charities by participating in Angels of ‘97, Lions Club Breakfast Fundraisers, Girls on the Run, Breast Cancer Awareness, Melanoma Research 5k, MS and ALS Walks. Summer enjoyed supporting her students in their extracurricular activities like attending ball games, birthday parties, dance recitals, plays and much more.
Summer enjoyed traveling, watching Netflix, shopping on Amazon, dinner with friends, and cuddling with her two cats, Mookie and Dakota, and her little dog, Bella.
Summer is survived by her mother, Janie Slusarick and husband Scot of Cornelius; father, Freddie Heath and wife Mary from Princeton, WV; brother, Stanson Heath and wife Brittany and their new son Brock of Concord; step-sister Zoe Slusarick of Kileen Texas; grandmother, Freda Hoover and husband Lee of Greensboro; and step-grandparents John and Robbi Slusarick of Stanley. She was preceded in death by her grandparents Stanley and Alice Heath and Del Hollandsworth all of Princeton, WV.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, November 4, 2020 from 3:00-4:00 pm with a memorial service at 4:30 pm at Raymer-Kepner Funeral Home in Huntersville. Immediately following will be a Celebration of Life Ceremony at Sweet Magnolia Estates in Cornelius at 5:30 pm.
A mausoleum entombment is scheduled for Thursday, November 5, 2020 with family and close friends.
All are welcome to send flowers to Raymer-Kepner Funeral Home or make a donation in Summer’s honor in support of the Uveal Melanoma Program at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson.Jefferson.edu/Sato