Thomas L. Heidenreich of Cherokee ,age 57, passed away from pancreatic cancer at his residence on Tuesday,Aug. 16, 2011. Memorial services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 20 at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Cherokee. Pastor James Steen will officiate.
Tom was born April 1, 1954, in Stockton, Calif., to Maxine (Nomsen) and Donald Heidenreich. He was raised in Wall Lake, where he graduated from high school in 1972. In 1976 he obtained a degree in social work from Morningside College. Tom was employed by the State of Iowa Department of Human Services from 1976 until his retirement in 2009, having spent 33 years working at Cherokee Mental Health Institute. During that time he touched the lives of many people -- patients and families, staff and co-workers, and more than seventy-five doctors and resident psychiatrists.
Tom was an athlete and an avid sports enthusiast who enjoyed bicycling and playing tennis, racquetball and golf, as well as hunting and fishing. When his children were young, he coached youth soccer and Little League baseball, was a Little League umpire, and a member of the Little League board. Having volunteered at Washington High School track meets for many years, Tom was named the Honorary Referee for the 2011 Tomahawk Relays. Tom also served on the board of the North Star Community Credit Union for nine years.
The family spent many summers camping in the Black Hills, and prior to his illness, he and his wife Minda worked two summers in Custer State Park, where Tom was known as "Yard Man" at the State Game Lodge.
Preceding Tom in death were his grandfather, Louis Nomsen; his grandmother, Edna (Carroll) Nomsen; his parents; and his faithful hunting dog, Max.
Tom is survived by his wife of 35 years, Minda; two daughters, Rachel (Ryan) Woratschka of Cadott, Wisc. and Molly (Josh) Gingery of Cherokee; a son, Steve (Stacey) Heidenreich of Stillwater, Minn.; a grandson, Tyler Woratschka; a brother, Jim (Connie) Heidenreich of Kansas City, Mo.; his parents-in-law, Robert and Doris Battern, of Columbia, Mo.; a brother-in-law, John (Julie) Battern of Le Mars; sisters-in-law Kari (Robert) Lucke of Columbia, Mo. and Alisa (Duane) Larson of Eureka, Mo., as well as nieces, nephews, and many longtime friends.