Jack D. (1935 - 2006)
Contact: Audrey Roedl
Surnames: HEIKKNEN SILLANPAA NEEB THAYER RITACCO SCHULTZ STARR WIRRE
----Sources: Loyal TRG 16 Aug 2006
Heikkinen, Jack D. (10 JUL 1935 - 13 AUG 2006)
Jack D. Heikkinen, 71, Sparta, Minn., died Sunday, Aug. 13, 2006, at St. Rafael’s Health and Rehabilitation Center, Eveleth, Minn. Visitation will be held from 5-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 16, at Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home, Gilbert, Minn. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m., on Thursday, Aug. 17, at United in Christ Lutheran Church, Eveleth. The Rev. Gary Terrio will officiate. Burial will be in Gilbert Cemetery.
Jack Duane Heikkinen was born July 10, 1935, at Sparta Location, Eveleth, to Theodore "Ted" and Vienna (Nee Sillanpaa) Heikkinen. He was raised and attended schools in Bellflower, Calif., Duluth and Gilbert. He was active as a drummer in Gilbert High School’s marching, concert and prep bands from grade 4 through graduation. He was an active Boy Scout and became a first-class scout. He played football and was a hockey goalie. He graduated from Gilbert High School in 1954. He graduated from Virginia Junior College in 1956 and attended Stout State College, Menomonee in 1956-57. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in August 1958 and was honorably discharged in 1960. He again attended Virginia Junior College in 1960-61, and attended Winona State College from 1961-63, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in industrial arts education with a minor in art and driver’s training. He married LaVaun "Vonnie" Neeb on March 23, 1963, at the Loyal Methodist Church. He taught industrial arts and driver’s education from 1963-65 at Waterford, Mich., and was a member of the Michigan Teachers Union. He also worked as a substitute teacher in Virginia, Minn., in 1965-66. He taught welding and related classes at Eveleth Vocational Technical College from 1966-97. He taught numerous welding-related night courses and apprenticeships across the Iron Range. He was a member of the advisory board of Ely High School’s vocational welding program. In 1972, he was chairman of the Minnesota Welding Instructors Association. He also was a member of MFT or MEA and held many offices as well as serving as union representative. He retired in June 1997. For many years he owned and operated Spartan Sauna Heaters Inc., which was founded by his father and is now operated by his son, Scott. He was an active member of United in Christ Lutheran Church, and served the United Lutheran Church of Gilbert as a council member for many years. He was an active member and past president of the Gilbert Blue Line Club, a life member and long-time treasurer of the Sparta Community Club, a charter member of the American Welding Society, a member of the Gilbert Senior Citizens Club, a member of the Winona State College Alumni Association, and a member of the Trade and Industry Association. He enjoyed dirt track racing and was a pitman for many years, most recently for his son, Scott. He also enjoyed attending his grandchildren’s activities and sporting events,
Survivors include his wife LuVaun "Vonnie" Sparta: one son, Scott (Penny) Heikkinen, Sparta; two daughters, Lynette (Jon) Thayer, Champlin, Minn., and Holly Heikkinen, Eveleth; five grandchildren, Stacy and Patrick Heikkinen, Sparta, Sean and Amanda Thayer, Champlin, and Nicholas Paul, Eveleth; three sisters, Jeanne Ritacco, Estacada, Ore., Peggy (Jim) Schultz, Champlin, and Patty (John, Jr.) Starr, Blitt, Minn.; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Preceding him in death were his parents; and one sister, Marjorie Wiirre.
Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home, Gilbert, is assisting the family with arrangements.
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