Cover photo for Vivian Gertrude Heitke's Obituary
Vivian Gertrude Heitke Profile Photo

Vivian Gertrude Heitke

January 18, 1921 — March 13, 2024

Corcoran

Vivian Gertrude Heitke

To access the livestream for Celebration of Life Service on Saturday, March 23, at 1:00 PM, please click on the church website link: Service of Remembrance for Vivian Heitke

Vivian G. Heitke (Olson) born January 18, 1921, went to be with the Lord March 13, 2024, at the age of 103. She lived her life according to Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” She was so encouraging to her children and taught them through both her actions and faith how Christ needs to be a part of their lives. Her children [and grandchildren] say, “We are blessed,” and speak of her sweet smile, and love of children. She was patient, kind, and humble, a faithful loving wife, and compassionate toward everyone. She was on the Women’s Ministry committee, taught Sunday School and served for many years in the church nursery as a “baby whisperer.”

Vivian was preceded in death by her parents, Peter & Ella Olson; husband, Clinton, of 70 years; 8 yr. old grandson Stephen Williams, son-in-law Donald Williams; brothers- Roy, Erling & Roland and sister, Gunnie. Survived by sons, Timothy (Betty), Daniel (Patty), John (Denise) and Richard (Beverly); daughters, Jane Williams and Judy (Tom) Oas; grandchildren, Ben (Kari), Emily (Ryan) Andrea (Vincent), Nathaniel (Sarah), Adam (Michelle), Ethan (Kayla), Robert (Samantha), Jason (Amber), Andrew (Erica), Jim, Bryan, Ruth (Steven), Joseph (Emily) and David; 18 great-grandchildren, Olivia, Samuel, Henry, Nolan, Caroline, Rafael, Matthew, Theodore, Soren, Bjorn, Priya, Oliver, Ian, Esther, Alexandra, Annalise, Rosen & Ronaldo & one baby girl expected at the end of April & many precious nephews & nieces

Vivian was born of Swedish immigrants and grew up in the Swedish community of Lake Jennie near Dassel, MN, the 4th of 5 children. She moved to Burbank, CA during WWII and worked for the Richfield Oil Company while living with her brother, Erling and wife, Mildred. Her brother Erling and Clinton had become friends, both traveling from MN to California to attend the same aircraft mechanic school. Erling invited Clinton for a visit and showed him around their home. When they got to the kitchen, Clinton said, “Who is this?” Erling quipped, “This isn’t the maid, this is my sister.” Undeterred by this off-putting humor, Vivian noticed a sparkle in his eye that appealed to her. They were married on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1944.

In 1946, the little Heitke family moved with their first born, one-year-old Timmy, to Paynesville/Salem to farm the land his parents and grandparents had farmed. Vivian adapted to living once again on a farm, but this time as a farmer’s wife. Jane, Judy and Danny were born into the family. In 1952, Clinton got a job as an aircraft mechanic in Minneapolis, so the family moved there, with the added blessing of living close to her sister, Gunnie and brother Rollie. That fall began the tradition of Clinton and Vivian hosting the annual Thanksgiving dinner. Two more babies were added to the family, Johnny and Ricky, completing the family of eight. She certainly enjoyed the camaraderie of other young moms in the neighborhood.

In 1960, the Heitke family once again moved back to farm life on Scott Lake in Corcoran, MN. Clinton & Vivian carried on the tradition of hosting Thanksgiving for 20 years. With so much to be thankful for, the tradition continues into the next generation. One of Vivian’s happiest memories is each evening having the family around the dinner table. Over the years, the family grew with husbands and wives, 15 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. The Heitke home was never a quiet one.

Special thanks for the loving care at Cornerstone Assisted Living in Plymouth, MN where Clint and Vivian moved in 2014. Grace Hospice came alongside several months ago to provide compassionate care for Vivian in her last days.

When asked “How old are you, Vivian?” her memory had faded and wouldn’t know, so when told “You’re 103!”, she would respond in Swedish, “Kan du dub grippa!” (can you believe it). She felt blessed to have such a long life, relying on her faith in Jesus Christ with peace, grace and joy in all circumstances. All glory to Him!

A private interment will be in Paynesville, MN on March 19, 2024. A Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving will be held at Westgate Church, 705 Hwy. 101 N, Plymouth, MN on March 23, 2024 at 1 pm with an hour of visitation prior to the service. The service will be livestreamed at www.westgatemn.church as well as archived for later viewing.




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Past Services

Private Interment

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

1:00 - 1:30 pm (Central time)

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Visitation

Saturday, March 23, 2024

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Central time)

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Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving

Saturday, March 23, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

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