Barbara Rae Heitzeg, 78

Published 11:17 am Friday, July 22, 2011

Barbara Rae Heitzeg, 78, of Kiester, died Wednesday, July 20, 2011, at her home. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Kiester. Visitation will be from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Bruss-Heitner Funeral Home in Wells, and will continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Sunday. The Rev. Julie Fiske will officiate and burial will take place in Our Savior’s Lutheran Cemetery, Kiester Township. Bruss-Heitner Funeral Home in Wells is assisting the family with arrangements. Memorials are preferred to the Marie Sandvik Center, P.O. Box 583692 Minneapolis, MN 55458-3692.


Barbara was born March 19, 1933, in an apartment over the Kiester Dime Store, the daughter of William and Blanche (Johnson) Gries. Her father loved to tell the story of the big blizzard when the doctor was stranded with a sick child north of Kluender’s Hill and could not get to Kiester, so Bill carried the midwife on his shoulders through the snow banks and blizzard so she could deliver the baby.

Barbara was baptized, confirmed and married at Immanuel Lutheran, now Our Savior’s Lutheran in Kiester. With her friend Sylvia (Tufte) Hagen and the Rev. I.Z. Hyland she organized the first Luther League in the church. She graduated from Kiester High School, class of 1951. She worked as a secretary and bookkeeper for Musser’s in Kiester until she married Louie on Jan. 31, 1954. They lived in Williamsburg, Va., while he was in army training. When he was sent to Korea, she came back home and worked in Paulson’s Drug Store until Louie returned. They then farmed northwest of Kiester until they retired, still living on their beloved Breezy Hill Farm.

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Barbara loved gardening, and flowers were her passion. She had a great love of all styles of music (she played alto saxophone in high school). She taught Sunday School, was active in many circles and served in many positions in WELCA, where she was a board member at the time of her death. She loved to do the bulletin boards in church, which she did for 30 years. She was a great cook and homemaker and loved spending time with her children and especially her only granddaughter Zadie. She will be missed and never forgotten by her husband, children and granddaughter.

Barbara is survived by her husband of 57 years, Louie; daughter, Nancy Heitzeg of Minneapolis; son, Steve Heitzeg and wife, Gwen, of St. Paul; granddaughter, Zadie Heitzeg; brother and sister-in-law: Howard and Yvette Heitzeg of Michigan; sister-in-law, Carol Seljeseth of Oklahoma; lifelong friend, Sylvia (Tufte) Hagen. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews and a host of friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents: Bill and Blanche; parents-in-law: Charles and Mabel Heitzeg; sister-in-law, Kathleen Taylor.