Leonard Heck passed away January 31, 2023. He was born August 27, 1941, to David and Kathryn (Walter) Heck. He grew up on the family farm south of Belfield, ND with 3 brothers and 3 sisters. Work and chores occupied most days of the week, Saturday nights were made for going out with friends, but Sundays were for church, family dinner, and playing music. The sound of accordions, concertina, guitars, organ, and singing could be heard at the Heck farm every Sunday. This tradition continued for quite a few years even after the kids moved out with their own families.
Leonard met the love of his life, Betty Nielsen, after he graduated from the 8th grade. They married on October 26, 1963, and celebrated 52 years of marriage before Betty passed in 2015. They had one daughter, Norma (Kevin). During this time he worked a multitude of jobs including, farming, ranching, vehicle & tractor mechanic, oil field inspector, and being owner/operator with Betty of the Bel-Vu Motel in Belfield, ND for over 30 years until their retirement in 2005. It seems no matter what else Leonard did for a living, he seemed to always be doing mechanic work. So many people would show up asking for his help on some vehicle or tractor issue and off they would go to the garage to fix it.
The motel business allowed Leonard & Betty to meet people from all over the world which encouraged their sense of adventure and love of traveling. After retirement they lived full time in a motor home and traveled the country doing what Leonard loved most, visiting, laughing, playing music, sight-seeing, and dancing. He & Betty could cut quite a rug on the dance floor. While winters were spent down south, mainly in Arizona; summers the motor home was parked in Almont, ND. Here he could tinker on tractors in his shop and visit with everyone who stopped for hours.
A memorial remembrance gathering will be held in the lower level (north entrance) of the Mandan Eagles Club,1400 Collins Ave, on Friday, February 17, 2023, from 12 to 4 p.m. CT. We will have prayer service at 1 p.m. with a luncheon and fellowship to follow. Leonard’s body was donated to the school of medicine in an effort to help teach future generations, so no burial service will be held.
The family is most grateful to all the caring people who watched out for Leonard since Betty passed. We thank the residents of Almont who treated Leonard like family and made sure he was doing well. We thank the staff at Elm Crest Assisted Living in New Salem, Mapleview Memory Care in Bismarck, St. Vincent’s Nursing Home in Bismarck and all the doctors and nurses who participated in his care these past few years. There are not enough words to express our appreciation.