Jerry A. Hieggelke, 70 of Lisbon, North Dakota, died Saturday, April 18, 2020 at Vibra Hospital, Fargo, North Dakota.
On September 28th, 1949, Jerry Allen Hieggelke was born in Fargo, North Dakota, but most anyone would tell you he’s from Lisbon. The middle child of Harvey and Alyce (Grant) Hieggelke, Jerry grew up on a farm near Buttzville, graduated from Lisbon in 1967, and cultivated his green thumb at NDSU through a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science.
Jerry served in the North Dakota National Guard from 1969 to 1975. With a farmer’s tan and a pale buzzcut, he went on a blind date with Hannah Madsen. They married September 7th, 1974 and together raised Clinton, David, Jessica, and Julie.
Like his father before him, Jerry spent countless hours tending farm and creatures with his sons. He loved nothing more than checking pastures and took special pride in raising cattle. Jerry never sat still - if he was, he probably had fallen asleep. He explored many side interests, such as fishing, softball, pinochle, and woodworking. Later in life he even mowed his side lawn into a “golf course” and built a stand to sell his garden vegetables. He always loved spending time in the dirt and got a kick out of growing something new, whether that was kohlrabi or eight-foot-tall tomato plants.
Jerry was sharp as a whip, funny, and a real goofball. He announced he was in good voice before making up silly songs, and always had a Donald Duck voice for his grandkids. He used to claim that a trip only counted if your horse was with you. A “real cowboy,” Jerry loved to cut his own trails while riding. He bonded with Julie (Teckenburg) Merkel over this shared passion, but may have won her over with his tales of his movie star days as an extra in Far and Away, Geronimo, and Crazy Horse. They married December 12th, 2012, and the two collected a herd of horses during their years together.
Jerry Hieggelke is survived by his wife and riding partner, Julie, and children: Clinton Hieggelke of Lisbon, ND; David (Jenna) Hieggelke of Lisbon, ND, with children Dean and Jake; Jessica (Shane) Radtke of Lisbon, ND, with children Peyton and Chase; Julie (Peter Granlund) Hieggelke of Saint Paul, MN; Kaley (Nick) Machart of Valley City, ND; with children Jamison, Colton, and Avery; Kelsey Shaw, Josh Shaw of Jamestown, ND; with children Mason, Liam, and Blake; Payton Merkel of Ellendale, ND; and Riley Merkel of Ellendale, ND. He is also survived by: his sister, to whom he was so close, Norma (Alvin) Novotny of Coon Rapids, MN with children Eric and Tamara; his nephew Stewart Bunt of Fargo, ND; Hannah Madsen of Lisbon, ND; his mother-in-law Marilyn Techenburg of Valley City, ND; his sister-in-law Jennifer (Rich) Hastings of Jamestown, ND; his brother-in-law Mark (Lisa) Techenberg of Fargo, ND; the numerous more to whom he was uncle or great-uncle; and many lifelong friends and his sidekick, Angel.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Harvey and Alyce, his sister Arleen Bunt, his stepmother Florence Hieggelke, and his father-in-law Richard “Wayne” Teckenburg.
The third generation of Hieggelke to claim the farmstead, Jerry deeply loved the land, the town, and the community with which he spent his life. His family is grateful that, before his departure, Jerry felt loved in return. We are eager to gather with his community and celebrate his life, at a date when we can all embrace one another.
A Celebration of Jerry’s life will be held at a later date at Anselm Lutheran Church, rural Sheldon, ND.
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