Debra Ann Heitland, 61, of Kasson, MN and formerly of Clear Lake and Mason City, IA, died Friday, January 12, 2018, at the REM Oaks Home in Kasson. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 PM on Friday, January 19, 2018, at Major Erickson Funeral Home, 111 N. Pennsylvania Avenue, with Rev. Ron Stein of the First Baptist Church officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service. Interment will take place in Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to the family of Debra Heitland.
Debra was born February 29, 1956, in Mason City, the daughter of C. Burr and Dorothy A. (Mathahs) Heitland. Deb was born on a special day (leap day) and was one of God’s special children with an extra chromosome. She lived at home and attended special education classes in Mason City until 1973. In September of 1973, she moved to Opportunity Village in Clear Lake. Debra blossomed with the love, care and guidance of her family and the caring staff of Opportunity Village. She continued her education at the Village by taking NIACC Life Skills classes. Deb’s passion in life was music! She was especially fond of Elvis, The White SideWalls, country music, and most music of the 50’s. She loved to attend all dances offered by the Village and out in the community. She enjoyed dancing to bands at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake. Deb was a member of the Celebration Ringers Bell Choir, Ribbon Dancers, Friendship and Fun Club at the Village and was also a member of the North Iowa Lion’s. She enjoyed bowling, going to movies and plays, and going out to eat. Deb was a participant in many Special Olympics, winning numerous medals and ribbons in track and field. Debra held several jobs in the Clear Lake community. As a member of the Village Cleaning Crew, she worked at Pizza Hut, Waterfront, Petrol Pumper, Burger King, Super 8 Hotel and The Other Place. She also held jobs at the Village Work Center. She worked in Green Production, Laundry, Village Store, and the Kitchen/Cafeteria. Deb liked to travel and made trips to Graceland, Duluth, MN Zoo, and The Old Log Theater. Debra loved her family and relatives. She enjoyed visits to see them and especially enjoyed speaking with them on the phone. In 2000, Deb saw one of her dreams come true as she gained her independence and moved into her own apartment at Lakeland in Clear Lake. She was very proud of her apartment and enjoyed all the responsibilities and freedoms that came with it. In November of 2013, Deb moved to Hayfield, MN and lived in the assisted living wing of Field Crest Villa. She lived there until October 2014. She then moved to REM-Woodvale’s Meadow site in Kasson, MN. In 2017, she moved to REM-Oaks in Kasson. In the fall of 2017, she became a patient of Mayo Hospice. The family would like to thank the staff of all the above listed facilities for their love and care throughout Deb’s life.
Debra is survived by father: C. Burr Heitland of Mason City; 3 siblings: Greg Heitland and wife Doreen of Mesa, AZ, Sandy Krekling and husband Jeff of Hayfield, MN and Scott Heitland and wife Barb of Mason City; nieces and nephews: Cristopher Heitland, Katie Heitland, Kasey Krekling, Tyler Krekling, Jordyn Krekling, Gabe Johanns, Wade Johanns, Shaye Petersen; and a great niece: Mila Sadaka.
She was preceded in death by her grandparents; and her mother: Dorothy Heitland.
Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery