Mathias “Matt” Heinert, 77, departed this life on Monday, January 9th from complications of Alzheimers surrounded by his family at the Billings Clinic.
Matt was born in Bismarck, ND on October 5,1928 to Jacob and Margaretha (Judt) Heiner, the 11th in a family of 12 children, 9 of whom survived to adulthood. He was raised on a farm near Odense, ND and attended a country school. He graduated from Mandan High School in 1948. He then graduated from Gale Institute in Minneapolis and worked as a railroad telegrapher in the states of North Dakota and Montana. Matt served in the Army from 1951-1953. While stationed at Fort Monmouth in New Jersey, he married his high school sweetheart, Kathleen “Kathy” Bender, on October 13, 1951, in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Their first child, Cheryl, was born just 1/2 hour before he returned to North Dakota after being discharged as a corporal. He returned to his work as a telegrapher eventually moving to Billings. Matt started work as a postal clerk in 1962. He retired from the post office in July 1991 after 29 years. Their son, Mark, daughters Gayle and Naomi and son Jonathan were born in Billings.
Matt was a charter member of St. Pius X Catholic Church, a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus and past Grand Knight of Council #9976. He was treasurer of the local postal clerks union (APWU), American Legion, Loyal Order of Moose, and former member of the Elks. He also was a member of the Germans from Russia Historical Society in Bismarck and American Historical Society of Germans from Russia in Billings, and National Association of Active and Retired Federal Employees. Matt and Kathy enjoyed 30 years of square dancing with the Mavericks and 59ers where they made many friends. Matt was a collector of coins, stamps, and Avon bottles. He enjoyed fishing, bowling and travel for the last two years. Matt was a resident of St. Johns Lutheran Home where he received loving care.
Matt is survived by his wife of 54 years, Kathy; his children Cheryl (Michael) Lavelle of Glendale, AZ, Mark (DeeDee) Heinert of Aurora, CO, Gayle (Jim) O’Donnell, of Eagle, Idaho Naomi (Gary) Gerber of Billings; and Jonathan (Becky) Heinert of Winona, MN; grandchildren Amy Lavelle; Megan and Jacob Heinert; Patrick, Brian, Darren and Brendan O’Donnell; Alicia and Justin Gerber; and Emma and Molly Heinert; sisters Toni Schnurr of Billings, Rose Corbett of Minneapolis and Betty Hilfer of Mandan, ND and many nieces and nephews.
Matt is preceded in death by his parents; his brothers; Albert, Joseph, Jack, infant Adam and preschooler Jacob, Jr., his sisters; Tillie Wetsch, Mag Schmidt and infant Margaret; and grandson Anthony Heinert.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Alzheimers Association, 3010 11th
Avenue, N., Billings, MT 59102 or St. Pius X Church, 717 18th Street W., Billings, MT 59101.
A Vigil Service will be at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12th and a Funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday January 13, both at at St. Pius X Church.