Donald Bernard Heldorfer was born October 19, 1945, in Algona, son of Erwin and Julia (Schiltz) Heldorfer. He was baptized and confirmed at St. John Church in Bancroft and graduated from St. John Catholic School in 1963. Don was active in 4-H and during his senior year, he was the state champion of the Iowa 4-H tractor driving contest. As state champion, he then represented Iowa at the Western U.S. 4-H tractor operators contest in Bismarck, ND, where he placed 4th.
Don graduated from Loras College in Dubuque, IA in 1967 with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. He worked construction for a short time with Nordes Homes before entering the Army in 1967. In September of 1968 after attending Officer Engineer Training School, he was flown to Tay Ninh, Vietnam, where he served as a member of the 588th Engineering Battalion. Don was honorably discharged in December of 1973. Upon returning from the service, he began farming west of Bancroft.
Don was united in marriage to Karen Slaichert on January 14, 1973, and they became the proud parents of five children - Kathy, Alice, Kevin, Bill and Tony. Don was a member of the Kossuth County Pork Producers where he was honored by being named a 1983 Master Pork Producer. He and Karen were both inducted in the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame in 2008 as Don was an active 4-H leader, served on the Extension Council and was instrumental in starting the school run farm safety day camp. Don was also an active member of the Bancroft Rotary Club, the Stateline Coop Board, the Kossuth County Cattlemen and the Greenwood Township Cemetery Board.
Donald B. Heldorfer died peacefully Sunday, November 3, 2019 at his home. He was 74.
Don is survived by his wife Karen of 46 years; five children - Kathryn Fahy of Spirit Lake, IA; Alice (Tommy) Harty of Milesville, SD; Kevin (Leah) Heldorfer of Estero, FL; William (Sarah) Heldorfer of Canistota, SD: and Anthony Heldorfer of Clear Lake, IA; and four grandchildren - Avery, Liam, Annie and Luke. He is also survived by eight siblings - Kenneth (Marilyn) Heldorfer of Bancroft, IA; Betty Fox of Bancroft, IA; Maxine (John) Rooney of Algona, IA; Georgia Carlson of Maple Grove, MN; Philip (Ann Marie) Heldorfer of Bancroft, IA; Virginia Heldorfer, OSF, of Dubuque, IA; Arlene (John) Lensing of Rogers, MN; and Dolores (Leo) Bauman of Bloomington, MN; and one uncle - Eugene Heldorfer of Breese, IL.
He was preceded in death by his parents Erwin and Julia Heldorfer; his in-laws Joseph and Luella Slaichert; two brother-in-laws - Jack Carlson and Bernie Fox; and a nephew Jeff Heldorfer.
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So very sorry. Sorry I wasn’t there for you - I just heard about it tonight. My thoughts and prayers are with each and everyone of you. You have fond memories to cherish.
Enjoyed working with Don for many years talking about livestock ; feed ; and seed. Will be greatly missed .!!!!!
My thoughts and prayers are with Donald’s family and friends.
Out thoughts and prayers are with your entire family. So sorry we are not able to be there at this time, but know we are thinking of you in your time of sorrow. Barb and BJ Shelton
I am so sorry to hear that Don has passed away. He was a kind and gentle man and was alway in my heart and mind along with Kathy and all the children. He always made sure I felt welcome and he shielded me from negativity. May God be with you eternally.
Monique Modest- McKoy (IFYE- 1994 from Jamaica)
My condolences to Kathy and her family on their loss. I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
Our deepest sympathy to all the Heldorfer family. Only met Don a few times but could see he was a great dad and doting grandfather. Thinking of you all.
Bill & Elaine Stevenson
Kathy and family my deepest sympathy to you. Thoughts and prayers are with you.
So sorry for your loss!
My thought and prayers are with the family. I always enjoyed Don's gentle smile and laugh.
Thinking of you and your family. Don was a wonderful man. He truly led with kindness and a spirit of generosity. He will be missed. Prayers for peace for you all
Deepest sympathy to all. May Don rest in peace.
So very sorry for your loss. May God wrap his arms around you and give you peace 🙏🏻
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