February 6th, 1955-  August 25, 2016



William Robert “Bill” Heitke, 61, of Paynesville, returned to his heavenly home on August 25, 2016. Funeral Services will be 11 a.m. on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at the Grace United Methodist Church in Paynesville. Burial of his cremated remains will take place in the Salem Cemetery, rural Paynesville. Visitation will take place from 5-8 p.m. on Monday, August 29 and one hour prior to services on Tuesday, both at Grace United Methodist Church in Paynesville.

Bill was born to Robert and Carol (Zimmerman) Heitke, in Paynesville, MN on February 6th, 1955. He graduated from the Paynesville High School in 1974 and later took over his grandparent’s farm and helped his parents on their farm.

Bill grew up farming, hunting, and fishing with his dad. His dad instilled in him a love and appreciation for the land. Bill truly enjoyed farming and was great with animals. During the summer months he and his dad played softball and could be found on the weekends cheering on their favorite cars at the racetrack. In the winter Bill was an avid snowmobiler and raced snowmobiles for many years; he also enjoyed league bowling.
Bill married Ruth (Mehr) Barten on October 4th, 1997. He was very family oriented and had a great relationship with his children Steve, Laurie, and Ross. He especially loved spending time with his grandchildren McKenna, Macey, and Kinley and looked forward to holidays and family dinners spent playing with the girls. He loved to have the whole family together.
Bill loved the trips he was able to take with his wife and family. He often talked about the geysers in Yellowstone, the winding roads in Hawaii, and he especially loved Duluth.
In the mornings you would be sure to find Bill up at Hilltop shaking dice and catching up on the local news. He would often be out playing bingo on Tuesday nights while catching up with friends.
Bill was a kind and generous man. He was a loving son, husband, father, and grandfather and will be greatly missed.

Bill is survived by his wife, Ruth (Barten); his sons Steve (Trish) and Ross Barten of Paynesville, his daughter Laurie Barten of Missoula, MT; his grandchildren McKenna, Kinley, Macey; his mom, Carol of Paynesville; and his sister Kim (Mark) Hoff of St. Cloud.

He is preceded in death by three infant brothers; his father, Robert; and his grandparents, Bill and Julia Zimmerman and Esther Heitke.
Bill will be remembered for his kindness, generosity, and love of all things racing.

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