Cover photo for Richard Heck's Obituary
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Richard

Richard Heck

d. December 22, 2011

Richard J. Heck Sr., 69, Fort Rice, ND, died December 17, 2011 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, MN following a valiant battle with heart problems and cancer.
A funeral service will be held at 12:00 noon on Thursday, December 29, 2011 at First Lutheran Church, Mandan, with Reverend Jack Carlson officiating. Burial will be at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery with full military honors provided by the Mandan VFW Post 707 and American Legion Post 40.
Cremation has taken place and visitation will be held from 6 to 8 pm on Wednesday, December 28, 2011 at Buehler-Larson Funeral Home, Mandan, and continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Thursday.
Richard was born February 10, 1942 in Mandan to Peter and Mabel (Stuhldrehr) Heck. He was raised and educated in the Fort Rice area. Richard was drafted into the US Army in 1967 and served in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969 as a helicopter mechanic and gunner. On June 20, 1970 he married Karen Bliese in Mandan. In 1976 he became a member of the Boilermakers Union 647. Often traveling for work, he spent time in Minnesota, South Dakota, Chicago, and Connecticut. He was particularly proud that he helped build and maintain the existing power plants in ND. A talented and meticulous finish carpenter, he enjoyed teaching these skills to his sons. Ricky and Shawn, along with other family and friends, were always there to lend a helping hand for his projects. An avid hunter, he always looked forward to spending time with his family during the hunting seasons. Richard was a one of a kind man who didn’t mince words. He was a hard worker and if something needed to be done, it should have been done yesterday. A true leader with knowledge of many things, Richard liked to take charge and give sound advice. After his retirement he made it his goal to clean up Fort Rice and make it a clean and safe community for his family and friends. He also enjoyed fishing when he wasn’t in the kitchen helping his wife (and the only time he wasn’t “the boss”) and was always quick to point out how he was getting overworked. His grandchildren were his pride and joy. He was happiest when he was spending time with all of them. They have fond memories of Grandpa giving treats, slipping them money, and eating funny food concoctions to make them laugh. Richard had been known to start food fights with his family that leaves many memories and laughs. Even after his health declined, Richard found ways to help his children. He liked that they’d ask for his advice. If he didn’t have the answer right away he would sit and think about it until he would come up with a solution. Richard was also proud that the manufactures, along with his doctors, used him as a spokesman for the artificial heart pump (LVAD) he had installed–after he experienced such good results after his surgery. Richard leaves a legacy of love, valuable lessons and skills, and laughter that his family will treasure. His passing leaves an emptiness that only love and happy memories can fill.
Blessed to have shared his life is his wife of 41 years, Karen Heck, Fort Rice; three children and their families, Rick (Sherry) Heck and their children, MaeKayla and Levi, Mandan, Heidi (Ryan) Hertel and their children, Skye and Rayne, Bismarck, and Shawn (Nikki) Heck and their son, Parker, Bismarck; sister, Rosella White, Mandan; brother, George (Darlene) Heck, Puyallup, WA; brothers-in-law, Harold and Raymond Bliese, Fort Rice, Mike (Cori) Bliese, Rapid City, SD, and Gus (Bonnie) Bliese, Ronan, MT; sisters-in-law, Judy Heck, Mandan and Elsie Heck, Germany; and special friends, Clyde Graff and all of the Boilermakers.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents; father and mother-in-law, Herman Bliese and Marge Muccie; four brothers, Fred, Robert, Duane, and Kenny; sisters-in-law, Irene Heck and Ida Heck; and brothers-in-law, Kenny Bliese and Robert White.

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