Vernon"Pete" Heitkamp, age 90, of Wyndmere, ND, passed away on Saturday, December 3, 2016, at St Francis Nursing Home in Breckenridge, MN. A visitation will be held from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Wednesday, December 7, 2016, at St. John The Baptist Catholic Church in Wyndmere, with a prayer service at 7:00 PM. A Funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, December 8, 2016, at St. John The Baptist Catholic Church, with a visitation one hour prior to the service. Father Tom Feltman is the celebrant. Burial will be at St. John The Baptist Catholic Cemetery in Wyndmere. Joseph Vertin and Sons Funeral Home in Breckenridge is assisting the family with arrangements.
Vernon Peter Heitkamp was born on March 11, 1926, in Barney township, Richland County, ND. Vernon was the second child born to Benjamin and Lucy (Lingen) Heitkamp. He attended rural elementary schools in the Barney area. He served in the United States Army from September, 1950, to October, 1952, as a cook with the 3rd Armored Division at Bad Krueznach, West Germany. Vernon was baptized in the Catholic faith at St. Anthony's Church in Mooreton, Richland County, ND.
Vernon married Arlene Lois Wittkopp on October 5, 1956, in Mooreton. The couple raised their 3 children on the family farm and ranch in rural Wyndmere.
Vernon was a member of Wyndmere American Legion, Sheyenne Valley Grazing Association, West End and Homestead Township Boards, and the VFW in Barney. He farmed all his life, up until he moved into the nursing home. He had a passion for woodworking, and came up with his own designs to make toys and gifts for family members. He enjoyed working in the yard, and fixing and tinkering on machinery, and also lent a hand to help out others whenever he could. He dearly enjoyed spending time with family, especially the grandkids, who fondly called him Papa Pete.
Vernon is survived by his wife of 60 years, Arlene Heitkamp, of rural Wyndmere, ND; his children: Gary (Roberta) Heitkamp, of St. Michael, MN, Dean (Sue) Heitkamp, of Wyndmere, ND, and Deb Olson, of Lidgerwood, ND; 6 Grandchildren: Sara, Joseph, Josh, Dusty, Chelsey, and Jeremy; 5 Great-Grandchildren: Bryce, Brady, Aiden, Kail, and Landry; 2 Brothers: Ralph and Herb; 3 sisters: Betty Becker, Ellenor Krueger, and Delores English, and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Benjamin and Lucy; 2 Sisters: Patricia and Mary Ellen; and 3 Brothers: Raymond, Arnold, and Dennis.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to American Cancer Society, or an organization of your choice.