Franklin John Heining, 75, of Atwater died Saturday, April 10th at his cabin on Diamond Lake. His celebration of life service will be at 11:00 am, Thursday, April 15th at St John Lutheran Church in Atwater. Visitation will be from 4-7:00 pm, Wednesday at the church and continue one hour prior to his service. Burial will be at a later date at Tromso Cemetery near Lake Lillian. Arrangements are with Harvey Anderson Funeral Home in Willmar. www.hafh.org
Franklin “Frankie/Frank” John Heining was born on September 1, 1945, in Willmar, MN, the son of Arnold and Adeline (Norberg) Heining. He passed away at the family cabin on Diamond Lake on April 10th after a long battle with cancer. He put up a good fight, and he kept his sense of humor until the very end.
Frank grew up on the family farm north of Atwater. He was a member of St John Lutheran Church where he was baptized and confirmed. He attended St John Lutheran School thru 8th grade and graduated from Atwater High School in 1963. After graduation, Frank moved to Minneapolis and attended Dunwoody Institute where he took a course in Commercial Art. While attending college, he worked at Dayton’s where he learned to install carpet. After six months, he grew tired of the city life and moved back to Atwater and got a job at Holm Brothers installing carpet. After his dad died in a tractor accident, he took over the farming operation for his mom. He also spent six years in the Army Reserve. He was a member of the Willmar American Legion and the Willmar Elk’s Club.
In 1967, he married Barbara Allen in Lake Lillian, Minnesota. Frankie and Barb were blessed with 3 kids, 9 grandchildren and 4 great granddaughters.
Frank and Barb purchased the family farm from his mom in 1968 and farmed until he realized he wasn’t very good at it. Then they rented the farm land to their neighbor, Brian Mahn. He worked for Todd & Sargeant building the Elevator in Atwater before going to work for BNSF Railroad in 1977 where he worked as a switchman/brakeman/conductor for 30 years. He retired in 2008. Frank loved his wife and family, going to his grandkids activities, staying at the cabin on Diamond Lake in the summer, going to Hawaii in the winter, old cars, dancing to old time rock ’n roll, a good movie, a good cup of coffee in the morning and a good glass of wine in the evening.
Frank is survived by his wife, Barbara, of 53 years; his son, Stacy (Trudy) Heining of Atwater; his daughters, Shelley (Terry) Quam of Cape Coral, FL and Sheila (Nate) Slagter of Lake Lillian, MN; his grandchildren and great grandchildren: Todd (Amanda Ahl) Heining and daughter, Locklyn of Hutchinson, MN; Trever (Sami) Heining and daughters Thea and Tatum of Atwater, MN; Kayla (Eric) Hulterstrum and daughter Harper of Litchfield, MN; Adam Heining of Atwater, MN; Lindsey (Nick Rayman) Quam of Bloomington, MN; Isabel, Dane, Brooklyn and Bristol Slagter all of Lake Lillian, MN; Also surviving are two sisters, LeeAnn (William) Houselog of Grove City, MN and Sherry Elton of Atwater, MN. As well as many nieces, nephews and other relatives.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his in-law’s Howard and Virgene Allen, one brother, LeRoy Heining, brother-in-law’s Wayne Schroeder and Lee Elton, step-father, Neil Forsberg and nephew, John Schroeder.
Frank’s family would like to give a special thank you to Carris Hospice staff for their excellent and compassionate care. Frank looked forward to their visits.