Elizabeth Michaels Hearne


Elizabeth Michaels Hearne of Malibu passed away on June 25.

Known to her friends as Liz, Hearne was born in London on Sept. 23, 1947, the eldest child of Leonard and Elsa Michaels. In 1950, the family immigrated to the U.S. and settled in San Mateo, Calif.

Hearne attended Burlingame High School in San Mateo, and earned a B.F.A. from the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design in San Francisco, focusing on weaving large sculptural tapestries. Hearne also earned an M.A. in Psychology from Sonoma State University and became a marriage, family and child counselor.

In 1974, Hearne met her husband, John Hearne, a recent law school graduate and single father of three-year-old Jennifer, when he accompanied a mutual friend to return a borrowed frying pan. John was instantly captivated by Liz. He described the moment as just like the song, “Some Enchanted Evening.”

In 1977, Hearne joined John in Washington, D.C., where he moved to practice law, and they were married later that year. Hearne worked for the State of Virginia counseling abused women and children in rural areas. After the birth of son Brendan in 1979, Hearne formed Elizabeth Michaels Associates in Virginia, which for 32 years successfully advised corporate and private clients on significant art acquisitions and site-specific installations for lobbies, plazas and other public spaces, placing the artwork of many established and emerging artists worldwide.

In 1983, daughter Megan was born, and in 1987 the family returned to California to live in Pacific Palisades and Point Dume in Malibu.

An avid gardener and animal lover, Hearne rescued numerous cats and dogs. Her family described her as a deeply spiritual person, as well as spectacular mother and friend, who could be relied upon for deeply engaging conversation, silly greeting cards and an open heart.

Hearne was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2008, and fiercely battled her disease with remarkable will power and dignity.

“She lived each day with the commitment to make it as normal as possible, but also filled with happiness and hope,” Hearne’s family wrote. “She used her energy to give fully to her family, who were her greatest pride and joy.”

Hearne is survived by her husband, John, her children, Brendan, Megan and Jennifer, and her grandchildren, Caden and Aaron. She is also survived by her mother, Elsa Michaels, brothers George and Peter and countless friends.