Funeral services for Donald Heikkinen of Hancock, will be held Friday, Sept. 9, 2011 at 4:30 p.m. at the Morris Area Elementary Concert Hall in Morris. Reverend Dell Sanderson and Reverend Dan Carlson will be officiating. Visitation will be held Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris and for one hour prior to services at the school on Friday. Military rites will be provided by the Minnesota Army National Guard Honor Guard and the Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial Association.
Donald Roy Heikkinen, son of Oswald "Nillo" and Mary Lou (Hoath) Heikkinen, was born Oct. 4, 1960 in Wareham, Mass. Don lived in Duluth, where he graduated from Duluth East High School in 1978. Following his schooling, he served two years in the United States Army, based out of Fort Leonardwood. Following his discharge from the service, he continued his education at Hibbing Vo-Tech, followed by Mesabi Community College to become "Chief of Police". He served the community of Boyd, as their chief for six years. In 2000, Don moved to Hancock, where he has continued to serve as their Chief of Police since that time.
Don was a man who was larger than life. He always wore a smile and could put one on your face, no matter what the circumstances. He had the kindest heart and never wanted to see anybody get themselves in trouble regarding the law. He always made time for folks in the community, whether it was setting animal traps in basements or giving the kids rides in his squad car and handing out sports cards.
Don was a huge Minnesota Viking fan and lived for football season to start. He loved the fall because it meant the beginning of pheasant hunting followed by deer hunting. He always had hopes of receiving a moose permit and finally turkey hunting in the spring. His favorite hunting buddy was his beloved hunting machine, "Hannah" (aka: Stink Beast). In the summer, he loved spending time with his friends just hanging out and fishing. He also loved to take the wee ones tubing with his boat. He demanded to be the DJ at every get-together and would always be singing and dancing-even if he had to make up the words as he went along. Don was a whiz with computers and fixed countless friends computers.
The community will never be able to replace his presence. He was a friend to all, loved by all and all will feel the loss of a great man, good friend and fun neighbor. We were all truly blessed to have him as long as we did.
Don died on Monday, Sept. 5, 2011 from a boating accident on Long Lake, near Hancock. He lived to reach the age of 50 years.
He is survived by his wife: Anita Heikkinen of Hancock; two daughters: Mary Lou Heikkinen and Amber Gundy both of Chisholm; two step-sons: Levi and Lincoln Rinkenberger of Hancock; three grandbabies: Caleb Rossi Bionchi Heikkinen, Lola Gundy and Laila Gundy; twin sister: Christine Heikkinen of San Antonio, Texas; sister: Carla Phelps of McMinnville, Ore.; father-in-law and mother-in-law: Ronald and Janet Bouressa of Morris; sister-in-law: Jennifer McClenahan of Willmar; brother-in-law: Scott Bouressa of Pillager, and too many nieces and nephews to count as he has adopted many from the community of Hancock. He was preceded in death by his parents; grandmother: granny Eileen Bouressa and uncle: Freddie Lee Bouressa.
Pallbearers for the service are: Clayton Rasmussen, Bob Bedel, Jay Kilpatrick, Jeff Rasmussen, Brian Krupke, Duane Schmitz, Dave Fanaselle and Tony Fanaselle. Honorary pallbearers are: All Don's Fellow Law Enforcement Officers; Steve Krupke, Danny Krupke, Perry Fanaselle, Pete Fanaselle, Pat Fanaselle, Mike Fanaselle, Joe Fanaselle, Jeff Labar, Puppy Hanson, Bryon Lundy, Art Schmitz, Bert and Ernie and Joel and Snake and All Who Called Don their "Friend."
Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris is in charge of the arrangements. To send online condolences, visit www.pedersenfh.com