Akkerman-Ingebrand • Mora, MN

Rock-Ingebrand • Braham, MN

Mora, MN • 320-679-1933

Braham, MN • 320-396-2121


M. Heitschmidt webphotoMerv E. Heitschmidt, of Braham, died on Saturday, May 10, 2014 at home.  He was 72 years old.

FUNERAL SERVICE will be held at 2:00 pm on Thursday, May 15, 2014 at the Braham Ev. Covenant Church with Rev. Steve Jennisch officiating.

VISITATION will be held on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 from 4-7 pm at the Braham Ev. Covenant Church and also 1 hr. prior to the service on Thursday all at the church.

INTERMENT will be in the Braham Mission Covenant Cemetery.

Mervin Eugene Heitschmidt, age 72, went to be with the Lord Saturday, May 10, 2014; after a 2 1/2 year courageous battle with stomach cancer.

He was born March 22, 1942 in the family farmhouse in Holyrood, KS to Alfred and Alyce (LaOrange) Heitschmidt. He was welcomed by his older brother Larry. He accepted Jesus as his Savior at the age of 8. He grew up on the farm and attended Holyrood School through his sophomore year. In 1957 the family moved to Cass Lake MN where they purchased Birch Villa Resort. He attended and graduated from Cass Lake High School in 1960. He earned his B.A. Degree in English from Fort Hays State University, Hays, KS in 1966. His first teaching job was in Scott City, KS where he met the physical education teacher, Miss Janice Smith. They were married April 8, 1967. In 1968 Merv and Jan moved to Braham, MN where he continued his teaching/coaching career. Two children were born and raised in Braham, Cristi Jo and Chad Alan. Summers were spent at Cass Lake where Merv worked as a fishing guide. In 1979, Merv took a leave of absence from teaching and purchased a bait shop in Hayward, WI. After three years the family returned to Braham and Merv resumed his teaching and coaching career until his retirement in 2002.

Merv was an active member of the Braham Covenant Church. He served in various leadership roles and also enjoyed singing in the choir, teaching confirmation and leading Bible studies.

He was a kind, thoughtful, positive, loving husband, father and grandfather. He was a great mentor and a fabulous role model to many. He had a good sense of humor, was a practical-joker, a wonderful story teller, an avid sportsman, wrote a book titled “Netting Reel Memories” about his experiences at Cass Lake, and enjoyed teaching rod building for many years.

Traveling and experiencing new places was a strong desire of his.  From family vacations across the US to travels later in life around the world, Merv immersed himself into the culture and made connections with many people along the way.

He was preceded in death by his parents Alyce and Alfred. Merv is survived by his wife Jan; daughter Cristi (Joel Komschlies) and grandson Keaton Komschlies of Olympia, WA; son Chad of Princeton, MN; grandson Colton (Alli) of Zimmerman, MN; grandaughter Ashley (fiance Logan Hershey) of Princeton, MN; brother Larry (Juanita) of Isle, MN and many nieces, nephews and great nieces/nephews.

A Funeral Service will be held at 2:00 pm on Thursday, May 15, 2014 at the Braham Ev. Covenant Church with Rev. Steve Jennisch officiating.  Visitation will be held from 4- 7 pm on Wednesday, May 14th at the church.  Music will be provided by Sharon Hohn, Sara King, and Marie Grundberg.  Casket Bearers are Bill Coleman, Paul Sanborn, Ron Lykins, John Singh, Dave DeVito, and Wes Erbstoesser.  Interment will be in the Braham Mission Covenant Cemetery. 

37 thoughts on “MERV HEITSCHMIDT”

  1. Jan, as you know, my prayers and thoughts are with you and the family. Amidst your sorrow, remember all the joys. If I can do anything for you, let me know. In His love and mercy, Ruth Yoder

  2. Our sympathy, Jan, to you and your family. I’m sure you will always cherish family memories which live on forever. The Donahue family still talks about the Wisconsin vacation we had up north and happy we were able to meet Merv, who by the way, was just as great as you are.

  3. Jan,

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Merv was my favorite teacher in middle school and he was also my homeroom teacher. Remember learnng to make a fishing rod with him as well. About 2 years ago, at my current job, I remember him requesting a catalog from ATK(Federal) which we no longer sent out and I sent him an email stating that. I said to the girls at work, out of all the people I receive these emails from, this is the one person I would like to send an actual catalog to.

    He will be always in our hearts and be dearly missed.

    Rosalie Gerdin-Mika

  4. Sending hugs, loving thoughts and prayers to all of you. So blessed to have known and worked with Merv, he will be missed.

    Marlene and Darwin

  5. Seems so fitting that Merv would be in Heaven for fishing opener. He will be missed dearly.

  6. I am so sorry to hear the news, I only have very fond memories of this man. I have heard many a fish story and learned many things about fishing, I am not sure that I wanted to but I did. When a teacher is special they can teach you things even when your not paying attention. He has my utmost respect for life he lived it to the fullest and seemed so very happy! He was a mentor and very good at it. I wish only happy thoughts to his family. rest in peace please…… char brown

  7. Jan, Christy and Chad,
    Sorry to hear about your loss. I have such amazingly happy and great memories of all of you and the times we had together years ago. My heart was saddened when I heard that Merv was fighting cancer. It is a horrible thing to go through.
    I will always cherish the memories we have made and my kids even talk about “remember when.” I am so blessed they remember those times as your family has always been in my heart and mind even though it has been so long since we have seen you. Merv was such a sweet man and I don’t remember ever seeing anything but a smile on his face. I could always count on you, Jan and him to come to the things that were happening in my life that were special to me. I will always be grateful you were there.
    Thank you for being a bright spot in my life.
    God bless all of you and my prayers are with you.

  8. Jan and family,
    I was so sorry to hear about Merv. My heart breaks for all of you. I have so many fond memories of growing up at Cass Lake and Merv being there.
    Jan, you too have become part of our “family” when we are at the lake.
    I will be remembering that wonderful smiling man that always greeted us with such enthusiasm…

    Take care of each other…give lots of hugs and know that so many people are holding you in the hearts and prayers.

    Barb and Bob Partika

  9. So sorry to hear about your loss. There are lots of memories that will always be remembered. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the whole family at this time.

  10. Sending our sincere condolences for Merv’s family. Our whole family sends there thoughts and prayers.

  11. Jan,
    We are so very sorry to hear of this difficult news. Like many others, a good part of going to Cass was being able to talk to Merv for so many years. He was part of our vacation. Even though we only saw him once a year, he always treated us like old friends. Always smiling or laughing and a true gentleman. We will miss him very much.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all,
    Shannon and Terri

  12. I had the privilege of spending summers at Birch Villa for four years in the early 1960’s. I have only wonderful memories of my time with Alfred, Alyce, Larry and most of all Merv. Merv and I shared a little cabin on the hill and I noticed that only a few of our finely screened exploits were mentioned in his book. His humor was contagious and I was often the brunt of his pranks.

    Jan, thank you for taking such good care of him.

    My best to all of the Heitschmidts.

    Rest well my friend,


  13. Dearest Heitschmidt Family,

    I was very sad to hear of Merv’s passing (although I have a feeling he scheduled it to be on Fishing opener). He was such a kind, wonderful soul.
    I have great memories of him as a teacher, he made learning fun. I also learned more than I ever wanted to know about fishing. A few students knew that if they could get him talking about fishing at the start of class, he would go the whole time (fishing talk was still better than school work).
    We all know that is at peace now and out of pain, but the ones left behind will miss him forever!!

    Hugs to you all, Lisa (Koepke) Rowe

  14. Jan, Cristi, and Chad,

    My thoughts and prayers are with you all. I have so many fond memories of Merv and I am happy to have had him for a teacher. When I think of Merv there will always be laughter and kindness in my heart! Go in peace and with the grace of God.



  15. He was a great man good memories in school and in the boat.I remember cass lake and rod building class with him and my dad like it was yesterday so sorry for you loss he will be missed very much.

  16. Merv was a great middle school english teacher, confirmation leader, fisher, mentor, and man all rolled into one. I remember being in his class and instead of studying for our weekly spelling test. I would instead ask him to quiz me on the states and their capitals since spelling came easy. He was more than just a teacher to many. We will always remember his stories, my favorite was about a cat who appeared to collapse dead after terrorizing everything and everyone until someone put some gasoline under his nose and the cat took off again. The person then said that the cat was never dead, but had just run out of gas. We will all miss you Merv, thank you for all that you have done. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

    David Nestrud

  17. Merv you are with God and fishing buddies at peace say hi to my Dad Reuben Bjorklund miss you all Jan and Family prayers being said when you need a hug we all are there for you all he was a great Man he will be missed

  18. So many great memories of making fishing poles with my dad and Mr. Heitschmidt I still think of him every time I head out fishing. I wish I could make it back to share in celebrating such a great man. You will be missed but I know you are in a better place.

    Shared with heavy hearts

    Jason Melcher and family

  19. Condolences to all the family merv was a great man and teacher he will be missed deeply by Alot of people who’s lives he touched I myself had the Fortune of having him as a teacher in Braham he helped me get through so much in and out of the classroom.

  20. Jan,

    You & your family are in my thoughts & prayers. My heart sunk when I heard the news of Merv’s passing. He truly was one of the best teachers that many of us had the honor of having. He will be missed by many.


  21. Jan, Christy, & Chad,

    So sorry to hear the passing of Merv. A wonderful man he was. Many fond memories I have of Merv growing up. A teacher in school, first year confirmation teacher, & all the church picnics at your place. He was a great spiritual leader and always had a big smile. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.

  22. Our prayers go out to the family, all our children enjoyed Mr. H. classes at Braham school, sorry for your loss.

  23. Jan and family,

    Fran and I were saddened to hear of Merv’s passing from Dorothy Monk. While we are sad to see him go we

    have the promise from the Lord that we will see him again. Merv was a good friend in high school and I will

    always remember him as one of the kindest men I have ever known. Our thoughts and prayers are with you

    at this time Jan.

    Tom and Fran Lyons, Bemidji

  24. Jan and family,

    Fran and I were saddened to hear of Merv’s passing from Dorothy Monk. While we are sad to see him go we
    have the promise from the Lord that we will see him again. Merv was a good friend in high school and I will
    always remember him as one of the kindest men I have ever known. Our thoughts and prayers are with you
    at this time Jan.

    Tom and Fran Lyons, Bemidji

  25. He was the best teacher! (Class of 1973) I babysat for Cristi & Chad when you lived across the street, and then when you moved across town. You 2 were cute, fun kids and your parents were great. Cristi we live in the same state now. Hope we can connect sometime. I am so sorry for your loss. May God bless you.

  26. Jan….

    The Azuma & Hanson families were so saddened to hear of the passing of Merv. My nephews continually talk about their fishing time on the water with Merv and the BIG muskie that got away. Sharing stories about fishing and the history of Cass Lake was like a time warp. Our thoughts are with you and hope that the knowledge of the many lives that he touched will make his passing easier.

    Paul Azuma

  27. Jan and family:

    So sorry to hear about your loss. I remember Merv fondly as a teacher. He will be missed. Prayers to you all.

  28. Jan,

    I just saw the announcement – I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Merv was truly a great man. I looked up to him (literally) as a kid and as an adult I still carry that same respect for him. I still have the fishing rod he helped me make in middle school – now my boys use it (when I let them!). The many memories of him in school, at church, in community life come flooding in – he was such a patient, gentle person. We were all blessed to call him friend.

    May God be with you in the coming weeks and months.


  29. Jan and family,

    My deepest sympathies to you. Mr. Heitschmidt was one of my favorite teachers. He made learning fun, and I loved his fishing stories. It was a blessing, honor, and a privilege to be his peer tutor my senior year. How wonderful his eternal homecoming was opening fishing. He will be missed.

    God Bless,

    Mary Johnson, class of 95.

  30. Jan,
    So sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. From a long lost former co-worker in Chapter One!
    Kim Schmidt

  31. I remember him as a great 8th grade English teacher. He wrote me a note about my report and told me to hold on to the report. I still have both (46 years later, as it was pointed out to me.) I always remember he and talking about the Clutter Family. I found it a fascinating story, and as he had lived in Kansas, at that time, he shared his thoughts and what he heard with me. Pretty cool for an adult to an 8th Grader. I am so sorry for your loss.

  32. Jan,

    So sorry to read of Merv’s passing, you and your family have my deepest sympathy. I remember Merv as an exceptional 8th grade English Teacher in Scott City and a great basketball coach and role model for a young boy trying to find his way in the world. I especially treasurer the summer I spent in 1968 at Birch Villa as a dock boy. I think of you both fondly…my how time passes so quickly and the years disappear in the blink of an eye.

  33. I went to high school with Merv, and I haven’t seen him since 1960. He was the kind of person you never forget, and whenever I thought of him I remembered how he was always smiling and had a good word for everyone. He was a good basketball player and a fun guy to be around. From what I’ve read on the previous comments it sounds like he only improved with age and led a very productive and good life. I wish I would have known him longer. My sympathies to his family.

  34. It’s June 20th and we just learned of Merv’s passing. Hard to believe there is now a world
    without his presence in it. What a wonderful, humble, positive human being. Jan, our hearts
    go out to you…..learning to carry on without him in it, has to be tough. We had such a great
    visit at the last Cass Lake High school reunion. Yes, I rode the same school bus that Merv
    rode, when he was about as sophomore….the tall and kind new kid on the block. We wish you
    and your family great reflections on many treasured memories. He is and will be missed.
    A big hug to you, Jan. Sharon and Gaylord Lasher, Hamilton, MT currently in San Miguel de
    Allende, MX. .

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