Palo Alto woman drowns while hiking with her family

Heather Noone, 48, was a marriage and family therapist

A Palo Alto woman drowned on Wednesday while hiking with her family in the Feather River Canyon in Plumas County, according to the Plumas County Sheriff's Office.

The woman, who was identified as 48-year-old Heather M. Noone, fell into Rock Creek and was quickly pulled under the water. Her husband attempted to rescue her, the sheriff's office said in a Facebook post, but the current was too strong. First responders received a call at about 3:40 p.m., and began searching the area, which is about 50 miles north east of Chico. They found her trapped underwater beneath two boulders and retrieved her body from the river at 6:44 p.m.

Noone was a licensed marriage and family therapist serving local clients with depression and anxiety. She founded her private practice based in Mountain View, Life and Learning Counseling, in 2015.

She also worked with students with learning difficulties and maladaptive issues as a student attendant with the Palo Alto Unified School District for two years, according to her LinkedIn profile.

She graduated from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, a city within Santa Barbara County, with a master's degree in counseling psychology in 2005. Her goal as a psychologist was to "help people look at the deeper questions and struggles that life brings," according to her practice's website.


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44 people like this
Posted by Molly Naughton
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 18, 2019 at 4:04 pm

The world is a far lesser place today. Heather Noone was an extraordinary human being. She will be deeply missed.

9 people like this
Posted by Sad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 18, 2019 at 9:47 pm

So unfortunate. [Portion removed.] I pray for her family who witnessed it.

41 people like this
Posted by This is a tragedy, she is not in a better place
a resident of another community
on Jul 19, 2019 at 10:56 am

To lose someone at age 48 in such a sudden tragic accident is unbelievably difficult for her family and friends, and a loss to all those she helped through her work. [Portion removed.] This woman's place should be here with her family doing the work she loved. Very sad. My deepest condolences to those who loved her.

2 people like this
Posted by Tragic
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2019 at 7:04 am

Our condolences to the family, what a terrible loss.

We were reminded tragically of the loss of our child's gym teacher in a similar kind of accident -- in that case, he was an experienced swimmer and experienced with those kinds of water situations, and was a safety-first person, so it's hard to see how it could be prevented. What a tragic loss.

2 people like this
Posted by Reader
a resident of another community
on Jul 23, 2019 at 12:53 pm

I did not know Heather Noone, but what happened to her is a tragedy.

This tragedy reminds me of the tragedy of a young athletic former co-worker of mine who drowned while she and her friends swam in the American River in July 2005. She apparently was a strong swimmer and was very familiar with that river.

Unfortunately, my former co-worker did not realize that year’s late snowpack melt would cause swift forceful water currents that could, and in fact did, pull her underwater and knock her unconscious. Heavy snowpack apparently produces cold fluctuating runoff in rivers.

Through a contemporary newspaper article about the 2005 tragedy, a Forestry official advised rafters to wear life vests and for people who enter whitewater to wear a helmet.

11 people like this
Posted by Auntie Pixie
a resident of another community
on Jul 23, 2019 at 3:10 pm

Heather was a joyous, kind and caring woman. She was creative and inventive. Heather loved her family without limits. When she saw a need, she filled it. Her compassion was endless. I am so grief stricken that I cannot put into words the tremendous hole in my heart to lose my niece in this sudden, horrific accident. I cannot fathom that this beautiful jewel no longer shines on planet earth. It is a great loss for all of us. I remember the day Heather was born. I watched her grow into the stellar woman she became. We who knew her best appreciate the outpouring of compassion for Heather’s husband and daughter and her extended family. We are in shock. A healthy, strong woman should not have had to leave us this way. Thank you.

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