Mandan News

Obituaries – December 24-30, 2011

Florence Ereth

Florence Ereth, 90, died Dec. 23, 2011, at St. Vincent’s Care Center in Bismarck.

Services were held on Friday, Dec. 30, at Weigel Funeral Home, Mandan, with Rev. William Ruelle as celebrant. Burial was at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery. Cremation has taken place.

Toots, as she was affectionately known by most of her friends and family, was born in the winter of 1921 in Glen Ulin. She was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. As a bonus, she was a great cook and holiday meals at her house always included wonderful homemade German desserts. Although Alzheimer’s robbed her of her memory and kept her confused, it could not take away her love for people. She always had a smile and a big hug for everyone. Toots was especially fond of children and loved her many nephews and nieces as if they were her own. Her biggest love was her grandchildren, Charlie and Kim.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard Ereth; and her siblings, Anne Coleness, Josephine Martin, and Edward Martin.

She is survived by her son, John Kuntz; grandchildren, Charlie Kuntz and Kim Brunelle; great-granddaughter, Kayden Brunelle; sister, Rose Schafer, all from Washington; brothers, Francis and Johnny Martin in California; sisters, Virginia Brigl, Sr. Audrey; and brother, Clarence Martin, all of Bismarck.

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Richard Heck Sr.

Richard J. Heck Sr., 69, Fort Rice, died Dec. 17, 2011, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minn., following a valiant battle with heart problems and cancer.

A funeral service was held on Thursday, Dec. 29, at First Lutheran Church, Mandan, with Reverend Jack Carlson officiating. Burial was at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery with full military honors provided by the Mandan VFW Post 707 and American Legion Post 40.

Richard was born Feb. 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 U.S. 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 North Dakota. 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, Wash.; brothers-in-law, Harold and Raymond Bliese, Fort Rice, Mike (Cori) Bliese, Rapid City, S.D., and Gus (Bonnie) Bliese, Ronan, Mont.; 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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Gary Mormann

Gary Mormann, 60, Mandan, died Dec. 19, 2011, at Medcenter One Hospital in Bismarck.

Mass of Christian burial was held on Friday, Dec. 23, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Mandan, with Rev. Shane Campbell as celebrant. Burial was at the Mandan Union Cemetery.

Gary was born on May 9, 1951, to Jacob and JoAnn (Milner) Mormann. He was raised and educated in Mandan, graduating from Mandan High School. After receiving his degree at Bismarck State College, Gary owned the Men’s Mart store in Mandan for several years, later closing the doors in 1992. He then worked as a salesman at Bill Barth Ford until 1998, then worked maintenance at Bismarck State College.

Always staying active, Gary enjoyed playing golf and softball, along with hunting, fishing and camping. Above all, he enjoyed every minute spent with his family and friends, and taking the annual spring break family ski trip to Red Lodge was extra special to him. As a master on the grill, his friends and family will especially miss his barbequing.

His positive and outgoing personality will be dearly missed by his wife, Donata; two daughters, Danielle (Christopher) Barnett, Rose Hill, Kan., and Alisha Larson (special friend, Gerrit Huizenga), Mandan; sons, David Banning, and Andrew Banning, both of Arizona; two grandsons, Christopher, Jr. and Damien Barnett; mother-in-law, Bev Schaner; sister, Jackie (Rod) Bitz, Surprise, Ariz.; sister-in-law, Pam (Dale) Speckmann, Mandan; and brother-in-law, Jeff (Kristy) Schaner, Mandan.

Gary is preceded in death by his parents.

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Lyndabeth Polensky

Lyndabeth Polensky, 65, Flasher, died Dec. 19, 2011, at Mandan Living Center in Mandan.

Mass of Christian burial was held on Friday, Dec. 23, at St. Lawrence Catholic Church, Flasher, with Rev. Dan Berg as celebrant. Burial was at the St. Lawrence Cemetery.

Lyndabeth was born Aug. 31, 1946, daughter to Frank and Anna (Hasenmaier) Schwartz. She was raised in the Hebron area, graduating from Hebron High School. Lyndabeth moved to Flasher in 1980, where she met and married Ron Polensky. As a young girl, she learned from her father and mother a strong work ethic. This started with milking cows on her parents’ farm and it was a trait that she lived by. Along with a dedicated work ethic, she was a perfectionist whether preparing a meal or in a variety of jobs she performed. She loved being around people, above all, Linda was a caretaker. She was considered the hostess with the most, taking care of others first, and then she would take care of herself. This was done with a positive attitude and always with a smile, combined with a great sense of humor. Lyndabeth worked for Mor-Gran-Sou for 31 years, where she learned to drive equipment and became certified in operating a skid steer and a payloader. This caring and gentle woman will be missed by her many friends and above all, her family.

Linda is survived by her beloved husband, Ron; daughter, Rusalyn “Rusti” (Johnny) Maitlen, Aurora, Colo.; one grandchild, Ronnie Lynn Maitlen; sister, Noreen Restad, Billings, Mont.; and brothers, Duane Schwartz, Hebron, and Ron (Kathy) Schwartz, Pueblo, Colo.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

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Donald Schaff

Donald “Jack” Schaff, 61, of Rawlins, Wyo., died at Medcenter One in Bismarck Dec. 14, 2011, after a diagnosis of cancer on Nov. 12, 2011.

Rite of Christian burial was held on Tuesday, Dec. 20, at Weigel Funeral Home, Mandan. Burial was at the North Dakota Veteran’s Cemetery, with military honors provided by the VFW Post No. 707 and American Legion Post No. 40.

Don was born in Mandan on July 19, 1951, to Lenus and Magdalena (Schaaf) Schaff. He attended school and graduated high school in Flasher in 1968. Following his graduation, Don served in the United States Navy.

Don and Cheryle Koenig were married Feb. 1, 1974, in Mandan. Four children were born to their marriage; Dominic, Dar, Danielle and Derek. Don and Cheryle lived in a number of small communities prior to making their home in Wyoming in 1985. Cheryle was diagnosed with MS in 1984 and preceded Don in death Feb. 22, 2008.

Don worked for Western Gas Resources for over 20 years, and was working in the oil fields near Watford City at the time of his death. He will be remembered as a warmhearted man, a thrill seeker and outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting, fishing and camping.

Don is survived by his sons, Dominic Schaff and Derek Schaff both of Gillette, Wyo; daughters, Dar Steele of Wright, Wyo., and Danielle (Beau) Jackson of Helena, Mont.; three grandchildren, Garrett, Cameron and Ryder; his mother, Magdalena Schaff, Flasher; brothers, Leonard (Gerry) of Haven, Kan., Alvin, Huff, and David, St. Anthony; several nieces and nephews and extended relatives and friends

In addition to his wife, Cheryle, Don was preceded in death by his father.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to American Cancer Association.

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