Donald Joseph Vanderheiden, the son of Benedict and Dorothy (Kunz) Vanderheiden, was born on May 23, 1938, in Winnebago, MN. In 1939, Don and his family moved to Heron Lake, MN, where he graduated from Heron Lake High School in the class of 1956. Don began working at his father’s electrical repair shop before meeting the love of his life, Mavis Bruns. Together they were united in marriage on April 4, 1959. To this union, four children were born, JoAnne, Douglas, Laurence, and Robert. Together they raised their four children in Heron Lake and Don continued to work as a radio, TV, and appliance repairman for many years. Most of that time he worked for Sears in Worthington, MN before starting his own business. The last 10 years of Don’s career was spent at Ag Co in Jackson, MN building farm equipment. Last year Don and Mavis moved to Alexandria to enjoy their retirement at the lake home he helped his father build.
When Don was not working, he was volunteering his time to the community he loved. Don was a volunteer fireman for the Heron Fire Department for 40 years and was the former Fire Chief. He was also on the city council and was the former mayor of Heron Lake. Don was a member of the Jaycees, Marsh Club, a director in the North Heron Lake Game Producers Association, and was a member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. He taught religious education and gun safety for many years.
Some fond memories of Don will be of him cooking in the kitchen making omelets, camping with his family, and gardening. Don was a do-it-yourself kind of guy who liked woodworking and remodeling. He also liked to go hunting, fishing, golfing, and vacationing with his family and friends. He was a devote Catholic who rarely missed a Sunday Mass. Don will be dearly missed by those who knew and loved him.
Donald J. Vanderheiden, died on Monday, March 6, 2023, at his home. He is survived by his loving wife of almost 64 years, Mavis Vanderheiden of Alexandria; daughter, JoAnne (Jim) Roland of Fruita, CO; sons, Doug (Margaret) Vanderheiden of Arden Hills, Larry (Charlotte) Vanderheiden of Alexandria, and Bob (Jodi) Vanderheiden of Alexandria; nine grandchildren; three great grandchildren; brothers, Chuck (Cindy) Vanderheiden of Spring Hill, FL and Richard (Sharon) Vanderheiden of Lakeland, FL; brother-in-law, Ray Hussong of Shakopee; nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister Phyllis Hussong.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, March 14, 2023, at 11 AM at the Church of St. Mary in Alexandria, MN.
A visitation will take place one hour prior to the mass at the church on Tuesday.
Donald's service will be livestreamed and can be viewed on his obituary page on the funeral home's website.
Interment will be in the St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Alexandria.