Bertha (Schaff) Heinrich died early on July 23, 2023, at Missouri Slope Lutheran Care Center. Services will be held at Christ the King Catholic Church Mandan, ND, on Thursday July 27, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. with Father Fred Harvey officiating. Her burial will follow in the Mandan Union Cemetery.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday July 26, at 5:00 p.m., at Weigel Funeral Home, Mandan, ND, with a Catholic Daughter's rosary vigil starting at 7:00 p.m.
Bertha was born on December 31,1924, in St. Anthony, ND - the eldest of eleven children born to Paul and Magdalena (Wetsch) Schaff. She attended public and parochial schools at St. Anthony and graduated from Bismarck High School in 1941. She earned her elementary teaching certificate from Minot Teacher's College and taught in a rural school for four years.
Bertha married Paul Heinrich on October 12, 1941, at St. John's Catholic Church in Odense, ND. They lived on a rental farm for two years before purchasing a farm east of St. Anthony, ND. They practiced diversified farming and raised black Angus cattle for 34 years. Their farmstead received the Outstanding Morton County Farmstead Beautification Award from 1961 to 1963. The ranch was awarded the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (ASCS), now known as the Farm Service Agency (FSA), Forestry, Wildlife, and Conservation awards.
In 1977, Bertha and Paul moved into their new home in Mandan, after which they did extensive traveling, including several visits to family and friends across the U.S. and Germany and trips to Europe, Canada, Hawaii, and Alaska. Previously, they traveled to the World Fair in New York City in 1964. Life was fulfilling with volunteer work, entertaining their many family members and friends, dancing, flower and vegetable gardening, avidly playing and winning in pinochle, and engaging in multiple other hobbies. Bertha was a talented seamstress who, starting at an early age, sewed most of her family's wardrobes and later won first place in a Singer district sewing contest. She loved to cook, bake, crochet, and quilt. Many received her hand-made afghans, quilts, and hand-embroidered dish towels.
Bertha was a member of Christ the King (CTK) Church, the Catholic Daughters, CTK Christian Mothers, Medcenter One Hospital Auxiliary, RSVP North Dakota, and the Mandan Golden Age Club. She also did volunteer work in nursing homes, with Meals on Wheels, and for respite care under Burleigh-Morton County caregivers.
Survivors include her daughter Elizabeth “Bette” (Dave) Poppers, Centennial, CO; two sons, Dennis (Julie) Heinrich, Airway Heights, WA, and Danny (Stella) Heinrich, Littleton, CO; and her son-in-law, Preston Bankhead, Jamul, CA. There is also a very special niece, Carol Friesz, who, after Bertha could no longer do so, lovingly supervised and cared for Bertha's daughter, Joanne. Carol continued her support for Bertha towards her end of life. Survivors also include 12 grandchildren: Scott Poppers, Highlands Ranch, CO; Jennifer Poppers-Karlsson, San Francisco, CA; Korrie Meisch, Hermitage, TN; Kim Storbakken, Wahpeton, ND; Tammy Kropp, Phoenix, AZ; Shelly Heinrich, Spokane, WA; Leon Heinrich, Pinehurst, ID; Juan Peltier, Mandan, ND; Ben Heinrich, Aurora, CO; Nick Heinrich, Centennial, CO; and Andrew Heinrich, Castlerock, CO; 25 great-grandchildren and 15 great-great-grandchildren; one sister, Marianne Blasco (Mike) of Bismarck, ND; three brothers from the Schaff lineage, Joe (Ruby) of Bismarck, ND; Martin (Angie) of Mandan, ND; and Tom (Lois) of Shakopee, MN; two sisters-in-law, Barbara Schaff, Bismarck, ND and Laura Schaff, Mandan, ND; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Preceding her in death was Paul, her husband of 55 years and two days; two daughters, Judith “Judi” Bankhead, and Joanne Peltier; her parents; grandchildren, Dion Heinrich and Tayla Steffes; three sisters, Barbara, Kathryn, and Leona; and three brothers, Anton, Adam, and Paul.
The family requests memorials be given to Christ the King Scholarship Fund, Bismarck Cancer Center, or a charity of choice.
On behalf of her surviving family and friends: Bertha was a beloved mother, grandmother, great and great-great-grandmother, aunt, sister, and friend. We are grateful for her love, dedication, and presence in our lives. She is deeply missed, and her memory will forever be in our hearts, stories, and traditions.