A funeral Mass for Don Heldorfer was held Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, at 11:30 a.m., at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Bancroft. Burial was in Greenwood Cemetery in Bancroft with military honors conducted by the Bancroft American Legion.
Donald Bernard Heldorfer was born Oct. 19, 1945, in Algona, son of Erwin and Julia (Schiltz) Heldorfer. He was baptized and confirmed at St. John the Baptist Catholic 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, N.D., where he placed fourth.
Don graduated from Loras College in Dubuque in 1967 with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics. He worked construction for a short time with Nordes Homes before entering the U.S. 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 Jan. 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 into 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 Co-op Board, the Kossuth County Cattlemen and the Greenwood Township Cemetery Board.
Donald B. Heldorfer died peacefully Sunday, Nov. 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, Alice (Tommy) Harty of Milesville, S.D., Kevin (Leah) Heldorfer of Estero, Fla., William (Sarah) Heldorfer of Canistota, S.D., and Anthony Heldorfer of Clear Lake; and four grandchildren – Avery, Liam, Annie and Luke. He is also survived by eight siblings – Kenneth (Marilyn) Heldorfer of Bancroft, Betty Fox of Bancroft, Maxine (John) Rooney of Algona, Georgia Carlson of Maple Grove, Minn., Philip (Ann Marie) Heldorfer of Bancroft, Virginia Heldorfer, OSF, of Dubuque, Arlene (John) Lensing of Rogers, Minn. and Dolores (Leo) Bauman of Bloomington, Minn.; and one uncle – Eugene Heldorfer of Breese, Ill.
He was preceded in death by his parents Erwin and Julia Heldorfer; his in-laws Joseph and Luella Slaichert; two brothers-in-law – Jack Carlson and Bernie Fox; and a nephew Jeff Heldorfer.
Oakcrest Funeral Services of Bancroft is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be made to www.oakcrestfuneralservices.com.