Harold Virgel Heeren was born Jan. 21, 1929, on a farm near Brunsville, the son of John Albert Everett and Emilie Emma (Jaster) Heeren. He was confirmed at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, rural Merrill. He attended country school near Merrill. Following his 8th grade education, Harold worked as a farmhand for various neighboring families and later worked for the railroad. In 1948, Harold moved to Kingsley. He was his mother's caretaker until her passing on July 23, 1977.
Harold proudly served his country in the United States Army during the Korean War. After earning his honorable discharge, Harold returned to Kingsley to farm. He transferred his church membership to First Lutheran Church in Kingsley in 1954. On Sept. 8, 1963, Harold and Mary Elaine Blatchford were united in marriage at First Lutheran Church. Harold farmed for 60 years and worked at Sioux Rubber Company from 1983 to 1990. Harold never retired; he simply stated that he was "just tired."
He was an active member of First Lutheran Church and had served as a trustee, Sunday School treasurer, Sunday School teacher for 25 years, president of Christian Education and church treasurer. He also received several soil conservation awards and was very proud to win the heavyweight arm wrestling contest in 1977 at the age of 48.
Harold was working towards earning his GED from Western Iowa Tech, however, he passed away before he could take his last class. WIT awarded him an honorary GED on Dec. 3, 2007.
He enjoyed gardening and fishing, but most of all, spending time with his grandchildren. Harold was a good friend to all who ever knew him. There wasn't a time he wouldn't help someone in need. Harold left a good impression with everyone he met. He will never be forgotten and will be missed greatly.
Harold will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 44 years, Mary, of Kingsley; two daughters, Amy Schoep and her husband Jeff of Sioux City, granddaughters Jessica and Rebecca Schoep; Debbie Janssen of Le Mars, grandchildren Amanda, Abby and Garth Janssen; great-grandson Aidan Janssen; son Bryan Heeren and his wife Suzanne of Le Mars; grandchildren Shannon Ivarsen, Gordon Finch and Cody Heeren; great-grandchildren Johanna and Cayden Finch, Keegan and Caleb Nelson; a sister Betty Hulst and her husband Nick of Orange City; two sisters-in-law Dorothy Heeren of Shawnee Mission, Kan., and Teenie Heeren of Canton, S.D.
He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers Daryle in infancy, Stanley and Warren Heeren; a sister Darlene in infancy; a nephew Kent Heeren; and two great-nephews Tracy and Kelly Heeren.
Funeral services will take place at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at First Lutheran Church in Kingsley. The Rev. Duane Miesner will officiate. Burial will follow at the Kingsley Cemetery. Visitation will begin at 2 p.m. Friday at the Rohde - Earnest Funeral Home of Kingsley. The family will be present from 6 to 8 p.m. with a prayer service at 7 p.m. There will also be one hour of visitation at the church prior to the funeral.