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Body recovered March 19, 2019 from Mississippi River near Hager City

Ann M. Heppelmann

Ann M. Heppelmann

Ann Heppelmann, 80, of Bellechester, MN was called home to the heavenly kingdom on March 12, 2019 after a long battle against Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. Born to Hugh and Ellen (Rafoth) Simon in 1938, she was one of 10 children. She was raised in a loving and spirited family where the love of God, duty to country, and family took precedence. She graduated from Leroy High School and Winona State University, then followed her mother's footsteps as a teacher. Her first position was at Goodhue High School as a PE and Social Studies teacher. Ann met her future husband, Richard Heppelmann of Bellechester and they were married on June 23, 1962. She left teaching when they married to raise 6 children. She returned to teaching at Goodhue as her children grew. She volunteered as a class mentor, chaperoned student trips to Washington, DC, coached Matheletes in Math League, sold tickets at sporting events, tutored, and touched the hearts and minds of hundreds of students. She knew it was time to retire when the grandchildren of her original students started to show up in her classroom. Even after retiring, Ann continued to mentor and tutor students in mathematics. She had a patient and uplifting way of making Algebra seem almost easy. It was important that every student knew they were smart enough and good enough to succeed, and she never settled for less than the best a person could do.

Although living an average lifespan, Ann's life was far from average. She loved to travel and experience new things, visiting Italy, Romania, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, England, Costa Rica, and many trips to see her children and grandchildren. She was active in St Mary's Catholic Church in Bellechester and the Altar Society. She loved to read, garden, play cards, and do crossword puzzles, passions that were passed to her children. She had a sharp and wicked sense of humor that was not carefully hidden.

Waiting to welcome her into the heavenly kingdom include her parents and her brothers Jim, Anton, Bill, Ted, Jerry, Claire, and Carl. Those left to cherish her memory on earth include her husband of 56 years, Richard, her children Andrew (Kati) of Steamboat Springs, CO; Linda (Glenn Test) of Mena, AR; Michael (Carrie Jo) of Kasson, MN; Mitchell of Eden Prairie, MN; Larry (Lisa) of North Tustin, CA; and Jerome (Patty) of Malvern, PA, her grandchildren Kyle, Garrett (Christine), Harrison, Josie, Anna, Katrina, Emily, Killian, Cade, Christopher, Maxwell, and Ava, and her two great-grandchildren, Joshua and Hannah, her brother Eugene of Ostrander, MN, and her sister Helen (Weldon Eggler) of Hayfield, MN, dozens of nieces and nephews, as well as many friends and former students whose lives she touched.

Visitation will be at Schleicher Funeral Home in Lake City, MN on Friday, March 22 from 4 to 8pm.

A funeral mass and celebration of her life and home-going will be held at St Mary's Catholic Church on Saturday, March 23 at 11:00am. Her remains will be interred at a later date.

Ann was proud to support the Red Cloud Indian School in Pine Ridge, SD, where her brother, Claire, served as a Jesuit Brother. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made at RedCloudSchool.org or to the St. Mary's Cemetery Fund.

Funeral arrangements entrusted to Schleicher Funeral Homes, Lake City Chapel, guest register at www.schleicherfuneralhomes.com