Cover photo for Franklin "Bud" Heisler's Obituary
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1939 Franklin 2017

Franklin "Bud" Heisler

April 19, 1939 — November 20, 2017

Franklin “Bud” Heisler, 78, Ogema, MN, died peacefully at home Monday, November 20, 2017 surrounded by family and under care of Hospice of the Red River Valley.

A  Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday, November 25 at 10AM in St. Benedict’s Catholic Church, White Earth.  Visitation will be held Friday, November 24 at David Donehower Funeral Home from 5pm-7pm with a 6:30pm Prayer Service.  Visitation will also continue at the church one hour prior to Mass.  Interment will be held in Calvary Cemetery in White Earth.

Franklin Benjamin Heisler, known to everyone as “Bud”, was born April 19, 1939 in White Earth, MN to William “Pa” and Stella “Ma” (Warren) Heisler.   As a young boy he attended school in White Earth and graduated from Waubun High School with the class of 1957.  After school he moved to Waukegan, IL where he worked for Johnson Motors and later American  Motors in Kenosha, WI.   In 1960, Bud moved back to the area where he worked for Johnson’s Bee Farm in Callaway, MN.  On November 5, 1962, Bud was united in marriage to Dorothy Safar in White Earth.  In 1964, Bud and Dorothy moved to Pierre, SD where Bud was employed with the Indian Boarding School.  From 1966-1967, Bud was employed with the Chippewa Ranch Job Corps near Mahnomen, MN.  From 1967 until 1969, he was called back to work at the Indian Boarding School, but this time in Wahpeton, ND.   During the summer of 1969, Bud accepted a position with the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Pierre, SD.  He continued with the BIA until he was offered a job that brought him closer to home.  From 1972-1998, Bud worked at the Indian Health Service Center in White Earth, MN.   He retired in 1998, but was soon approached about coming back to work for the Tribe.  In the summer of 2002, Bud was elected Secretary-Treasurer of the White Earth Reservation Tribal Council. He was elected to a second term in 2006 and served until 2010.   During his spare time, he served on the Wild Rice Electric Board of Directors from 1987-2004.  He was active with St. Benedict’s Catholic Church serving as a parish council  member and trustee for many years.  Bud always enjoyed following his kids’ sporting events.  As he became a proud grandpa, he was always present during his grandchildren’s activities and accomplishments.   He enjoyed hunting, spending time at their lake home on Strawberry Lake and “tinkering” on projects in his garage.   Bud carried through life the perfect mix of personality, humor, compassion, integrity coupled with common sense and insight. He valued everyone,  never passing judgement, but always offering an uplifting word of  encouragement.   He had a heart of gold and an enormous amount of patience that will be missed by everyone who knew him.

Bud is survived by his wife of 55 years, Dorothy of Ogema, MN, their seven children:  Howard (Germaine Cheslock) Heisler of Puposky, MN, Vicki (David) Varriano of Waubun, MN, Deb (Rich) Haverkamp of Detroit Lakes, MN, Donny (Tina) Heisler of Audubon, MN, Skip Heisler of Waubun, MN, Jack Heisler of Cayuga, ND and Matt Heisler of Waubun, MN.  He is also survived by 12 grandchildren:  Kelsey (John) Hammer, Sara Heisler, Ryan Heisler, Dani (Tony) Reller, Greg (Krista) Berg, David (Jen) Varriano, Cristina Varriano, Renata Mosaei, Nathan Haverkamp, Veronica Haverkamp, Alycia Heisler, Sydney Heisler and three great-granddaughters:  Lexi Jo Reller, Amina Mosaei and Eliana Varriano.   In addition he is survived by his siblings:  William “John” Heisler, Richard “Ducky” (Mary) Heisler, Jim (Laverne “Bird”) Heisler, Stanley (Cleone) Heisler along with brothers and sisters-in-law:  Mary Vasecka, Jim (Lynn) Safar, Marge (Merlyn) Jirava, Doug (Jane) Safar and Frank Stech.

He is preceded in death by his parents,  sisters:  Pearl Fabre, Doris “Dubby” Drinkwine, Harriet “Sis” Stech,  Jeanette “Jane Webb” Christofferson, brothers:  Warren “Jiggs” Heisler Sr. and Vernon “Dumpling” Heisler.


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