Dean R. Heiny, 76

Published 5:27 pm Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Dean R. Heiny, 76

Dean Rossiter Heiny, age 76, of New London, Minnesota (formerly of Austin) passed away on March 16, 2024, at Apache Junction Healthcare Center, Apache Junction, Arizona. Dean was born on February 13, 1948, to Ivan Heiny, Jr. and Marjorie (Wangen) Heiny in Austin, Minnesota. He graduated from Austin Central High School in 1966. He served as Student Council President, and was a talented athlete in basketball, cross country, and track. He received the Nat Goudy award for sports. He attended University of South Dakota, Vermillion, and Mankato State University before serving in the United States Army in Vietnam. He worked at Hormel Foods in Austin for ten years before moving to Duluth and then New London as a grain inspector for the State of Minnesota. He traveled throughout Minnesota, auditing grain storage facilities which required climbing storage bins that were hundreds of feet high.

Dean was a very energetic man who loved to bid high in cards, fish, golf, and watch sports of all kinds. He played city league softball and basketball. He was a loyal Minnesota Twins fan. He was outgoing and gregarious. Many people will remember Dean for his infectious and joyful laugh. He enjoyed meals with family and friends. Among his favorites – potato salad, walleye, and Chinese buffets. He had high praise for family meals, remarking, “This is State Fair!” He enjoyed reading and wrote many poems. He would often include a poem in birthday letters to family, along with an open invitation to come visit. His poems centered around the beauty of nature, memories, or current events. Dean had a great gift for remembering details of politics, history, music, movies, and sports statistics.

He loved his family and friends, especially his six nieces and nephews and their children. He enjoyed playing cards and other games with them and watching them grow up. He encouraged and complimented them. He taught each of them, plus many others, how to fish. His enthusiasm for fishing never waned. In a letter to a niece, he shared that some of his favorite words were, “Let’s go fishing!” He saw thousands of sunrises and sunsets over Clara and Caribou Lakes near the North Shore, Green Lake in Spicer, and other lakes near where he lived. He could be counted on to be up before sunrise, enjoying coffee and reading the morning paper. He inspired the family to gather for an annual vacation near Caribou Trail at the North Shore. After retiring, he spent winters in Arizona. His fishing and golf buddies were close friends who helped him greatly in his last years.

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Dean is survived by sister, Jan (Jack) Waller of Austin, Minnesota; brother, Bruce (Danielle) Heiny of Austin, Minnesota; nephews, Joseph (Jackie) Waller of Minnetonka, Minnesota, James (Katie) Waller of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Eric (Jannelle) Heiny of Austin, Minnesota; nieces, Ruth (Patrick) Donahue of Arden Hills, Minnesota, Jane (James) Wisker of Maple Grove, Minnesota, and Julia Heiny of Austin, Minnesota; ten great-nephews and nieces; aunts Norma Wangen of Austin, Minnesota and Fran Wangen of Mesa, Arizona; many cousins, and close friends. Denny Rekedal’s friendship and support helped Dean, especially in the past years. Dean was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, many aunts, and uncles. Aunt Alice Tomaschko, and uncles Robert and Russell Wangen were strong role models and friends.

A Celebration of Life is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on Friday, April 5, 2024, at Worlein-Hoff Funeral Home Chapel in Austin, Minnesota with Reverend Shari Mason officiating. Lunch will follow at St. Edward’s Catholic Church, 2000 West Oakland Avenue, Austin. Visitation is scheduled from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 4, 2024, at Worlein-Hoff Funeral Home in Austin and will continue for one hour prior to the service at the funeral home on Friday. Private inurnment will take place at Oakwood Cemetery, Austin, Minnesota later this spring. If desired, memorials may be made to Austin Public Education Foundation, P.O. Box 878, Austin, MN 55912, in memory of Dean Heiny or to a designation of choice. Worlein-Hoff Funeral Homes are assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at