Marie Heinitz, age 97, of Crookston, MN, formerly of Mountain Lake, MN passed away on June 25, 2022, at Villa St. Vincent in Crookston.

A visitation will be on Friday, July 8, 2022, from 10:00 am to 11:00 am at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mountain Lake.

Funeral Service will be held at the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church on Friday, July 8, 2022, at 11:00 am.

Burial will be at the Mountain Lake City Cemetery immediately following the service at the church.

Arrangements are with the Sturm Funeral Home in Mountain Lake, MN.

Online condolences and memories may be left for the family of Marie at www.sturmfh.com.

Marie was born on April 23rd, 1925, to Fred and Helen Stenke. Marie spent the first 91 years of her life in Mt. Lake. In 2016 she moved to Crookston to be closer to her youngest daughter, Jan. Marie was raised on the family farm, where she learned how to work hard. However, occasionally she would take unsanctioned respite in the outhouse to read books. This passion for reading continued throughout her lifetime. She loved novels, poetry, and the bible. The Stenke household rule was once you were old enough to milk the cows you could start the day with coffee. At five years old, Marie’s fondness for coffee began. And so it was, a melding of her determination and hard work had begun.

Marie attended country school and went on to graduate from Mt. Lake High School in 1943. Her father thought, having completed country school, that it was time for her to stay home and work on the family farm. Marie felt otherwise, and once again, her steadfastness paid off. For the first two years of high school, she would ride her horse to town, leave it at her grandparent’s home, and walk to school so the town kids wouldn’t detect her mode of transportation. Her persistence allowed her to achieve her goals and receive an education.

On April 26th, 1945, Marie Stenke and Jack Heinitz united in marriage at Trinity Lutheran Church in Mt. Lake. That handsome dark-haired boy had been in her midst all along. They attended country school, Sunday School, and church together at Trinity throughout their youth. They went on to spend 61 years happily married, cherishing and nourishing one another. Marie and Jack passed this exemplary example of a good marriage on to their four children.

Besides being a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, she was a wonderful baker and cook. Every Saturday, she baked bread and zwieback for the family. And she passed on the art of making vereniki, a German delicacy, to her kids and grandchildren.

As a person who loved to work, Marie also had a career. She worked at several businesses in Mt. Lake throughout her lifetime. It began scooping ice cream at Worthmore in high school and went on to include the telephone company, bookkeeper at Balzer Manufacturing, and later at the Mt. Lake Clinic.

In their retirement, Marie and Jack took up golf and began walking two to three miles daily. Marie continued this tradition of daily walks into her nineties. They also enjoyed playing cards and cribbage. Keeping reams of tallies of their wins and losses, Marie loved the game and preferred winning in her own unassuming competitive way.

Marie’s most important relationship was with Jesus. Throughout her life, she was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church, where she had been baptized and confirmed. She was a student of the bible. Marie dedicated several years of her life to becoming a Bethel Series Instructor, teaching adult classes, and working with the Sunday School program and youth. The messages of Jesus’ love and compassion encompassed who she was as a person. She shared it abidingly and generously with her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and all those she encountered.

For all those who knew her and whose lives were touched by this beloved woman, with her smile of warm embrace, she will be remembered and greatly missed.

Survivors include her four children: June (Gene) College of Omaha, NE, Jim (Becky Hotzler) of Brandon SD, Jack (Joli Johnson) of Blue Earth, MN, and Jan (Dave) Aamoth of Crookston, MN. 11 Grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. Sister, Helen Evers of Windom, MN and brother-in-law Stanley Heinitz of Spring Hill, FL. Marie was preceded in death by her parents Fred and Helen Stenke, her husband Jack, and her brother Fred Stenke.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider a gift in Marie’s honor to The Benedictine Living Community – Crookston (Villa St. Vincent) Foundation.