WMSTR Lifetime Member
Michael Heiler, (NY0MN) 64, Dilworth, MN left this world with his wife by his side on Thursday, November 5, 2020 at the VA hospital after a courageous battle with COVID-19. A visitation and time of remembrance will be held from 11:00 AM-1:00 PM on Thursday, November 12, 2020 at Boulger Funeral Home’s Celebration of Life Center (North Side Doors), Fargo, ND. Graveside service at 2:00 PM on Thursday, November 12, at the Fargo National Veterans Cemetery.
Michael Harvey Heiler was born May 10, 1956, to Harvey and Gloria (Stewart) Heiler in Auburn, New York. He was raised by his mother and stepfather Fred Wilt, Sr in Port Byron, NY.
At 17, Mike enlisted in the army in April 1974. He served in the Army four years, then served in the Air National Guard for fifteen years. Mike was very proud of his military service and belonged to several organizations, including AMVETS club #7, and volunteered at the VA hospital.
In 1987, he became a licensed ham radio operator. He always looked forward to Field Day in Sabin each June, the International Ham Fest at the International Peace Garden every July, and the PICONET get-together each year in September. Mike built life-long friendships, both in his local club and around the world, through ham radio. He religiously checked into a variety of nets throughout the week.
He was a member of Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion. In previous years, he shared his love of ham radio with hundreds of visitors attending WMSTR each year. In recent years, he volunteered where needed, always willing to lend a hand.
Mike was united in marriage to Vicki Anderson May 30, 2015. They happily shared their hobbies together, with Vicki becoming involved with music at WMSTR and getting her ham radio license. Mike was a willing roadie as he lugged Vicki’s musical equipment around as she played and sang for veteran’s groups, nursing homes, etc.
After an initial 2 year degree from a technical school, he later received a bachelor’s degree from NDSU. He didn’t find his niche until he earned a degree in electrical technology from Moorhead Technical College. He worked for a local cable company, then as a fire alarm inspector for 20+ years at Johnson Controls.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brother George Wilt, sisters Tracey Wilt and Julie Woodruff.
He is survived by his wife Vicki, daughter Jessie Heiler, two granddaughters; stepchildren Aaron (Samantha) Johnson, Chris (Rhiannon) Johnson, Travis (Nicole) Anderson, Ashley (Daniel) Stratton, five step grandchildren; his brother Fred Wilt, Jr, sister Bonnie (Parris) Pultz, sister-in-law Tammy Wilt; brothers- and sisters-in-law Sheldon (Tammie) Schmiess, Tim (Susan) Schmiess, Jodi (John) Gunnerson; numerous nieces and nephews; and his ham radio family (73).
I found out that Mike died on Nov. 5th from covid19 while at the VAMC in Fargo.
Mike has helped us stringing up wires for the sound and whatever was needed for the job in the Nelson building for a few years.
His wife Vicki plays keyboard, bass, and sings up on the Nelson stage.
Mike was becoming a good WMSTR friend. The sound crew in the Nelson building will miss him.
May he rest in peace