FAIRMONT - A funeral service for Rodney P. Heinrich, 63, of Fairmont, Minn., will be 10:30 a.m. Monday, July 7, at Grace Lutheran Church in Fairmont. Burial will be held at 4 p.m. Monday in Lakeside Cemetery, Fairmont.
Rod passed away Wednesday evening, July 2, 2014, at Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont. Visitation will be 5-8 p.m. Sunday, July 6, at Lakeview Funeral Home in Fairmont, and will continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Monday.
Rodney "Rod" Paul Heinrich was born July 22, 1950, in Fairmont, Minn., the son of Hugh Wesley and Manda Marguarita (Hilgemeier) Heinrich. He attended school in Fairmont and graduated from Fairmont High School in 1968. During high school, Rod played basketball and received 1st-team All-State basketball honors. His stunning basketball abilities earned him a full ride basketball scholarship to South Dakota State University, where Rod helped lead the Jackrabbits to the Division II Elite 8 in 1971 and 1972. Rod earned his degree from SDSU in 1972. Rod would go on to work for Congoleum Corp./Sales of St. Paul, Minn., where he worked as a District Manager in Atlanta, Ga., and later as Vice President of Marketing in Kearney, N.J. He then took a position with Salem Carpet Mills in Chattanooga, Tenn., as Vice President of Sales before joining L.D. Brinkman Distribution, where he worked as a General Manager of Operations in Denver, Colo., and later as District General Manager of Operations in Phoenix, Ariz. In 1992, Rod joined his childhood friend, John Welchlin, and became partner in the Fairmont National Agency in Fairmont, Minn. On June 29, 1974, Rod was united in marriage to Deb Cadwell in Mitchell, S.D. To this union, three children were born, Jennifer, Jeffrey and Justin. Rod kept busy with many activities upon his return to Fairmont. He was a member of Grace Lutheran Church, served 15 years on the Fairmont Baseball Association Board, where he was instrumental in building B diamond and dugouts, as well as helping to facilitate the updates to the varsity fields. Rod also served on the Fairmont Boys Basketball Association for 22 years, the Let's Go Fishing Board, was on the Class of '68 reunion committee, and was proud of his 22 years on the Minnesota State High School Basketball Coaches Association. Rod was inducted into the Fairmont Cardinal Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994. He also found time to be an instructor for the 55 Alive Driving Class and was a lifetime member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. In his spare time, Rod enjoyed taking care of himself and being physically active. He loved riding his orange recumbent bicycle and was known to put on 20 miles a day. In addition to riding his bike, Rod enjoyed exercising and lifting weights. Rod shared his passion for basketball and baseball with many kids throughout the years. He coached traveling baseball and basketball for 10 years and was also a high school basketball coach for 15 years, coaching varsity, B-squad and junior high teams. During the 2008-2009 basketball season, Rod was awarded the Assistant Basketball Coaches Award for Section 2AA. In addition to his passion for sports, Rod enjoyed studying and researching insurance updates and regulations. He took pride in educating his customers and friends in the value and necessity of insurance. Rods zest for life will be greatly missed by those who loved him and called him a friend.
Left to cherish his memory is his wife, Deb Heinrich of Fairmont, Minn.; children, Jennifer Heinrich of Baltimore, Md., Jeffrey (Jen) Heinrich of Maple Grove, Minn., and Justin Heinrich of Sioux Falls, S.D.; grandson, Jackson Rodney Heinrich; brothers, Les (Peggy) Heinrich of Fairmont, Minn., and Roger (Sandra) Heinrich of Fairmont, Minn.; step sisters, Carol (Randy) Cress of Fairmont, Minn., Connie Erickson of Park Forest, Ill., and Judy Carlson of Rochester, Minn.; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-laws, Michael and Linda Cadwell of Sioux City, Iowa, Lori and Todd Thie of Sioux Falls, S.D., Doug Cadwell of St. Paul, Minn., Terryl Cadwell of Sioux Falls, S.D., and Marlene and Rox Cooley of Brooklyn Center, Minn.; as well as nieces, nephews, extended family and many friends.
Rod was preceded in death by his parents, Hugh and Manda Heinrich; step-mother, Irene Heinrich; brother, Wesley Heinrich; parents-in-laws, Bernard Cadwell, Dennis Cadwell, and Dorothy (Christensen) Cadwell Smith.
The family requests memorials be given in Rod's name to the Fairmont Dollars for Scholars, Fairmont Boys Basketball Association or the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research.