Donald "Big Don" Heikkila

 

April 3, 2024

Donald "Big Don" Heikkila was born to Henry and Anna Marie Heikkila on February 12, 1954 and passed away from complications from RSV on March 25, 2024 at the age of 70. Donnie and his twin sister are the oldest of 8 children. He grew up in Ulm, Montana until the age of 12. After that, he lived in group homes in Boulder, Polson, and Ronan. He moved to Big Sandy in 2000 and has lived at the Big Sandy Activities Group Home since then. His life at the group home was surrounded by more than just employees. The staff that worked with him became a part of his family and he became a part of theirs. This was especially apparent during his last days as they sat by his side comforting him. He was surrounded by some truly special people.

Donald enjoyed many activities while living in Big Sandy. In his younger days he enjoyed Karaoke at the Eagles Club in Havre. His favorite song to sing with Larry was "Oh Lord, It's Hard to be Humble." He made friends easily and he would mingle among the people at karaoke. They all enjoyed Don and made him feel like a part of the Eagles family, including treating him with long-neck "beer" (NA).

Donald was able to experience many memorable and fun times with his family. He attended weddings for his brothers and sisters and for some of his nieces and nephews in Montana, Idaho, and Washington. He attended a Garth Brooks concert in Billings. He was able to go on an Alaskan cruise on a Princess ship. Every summer during the Great Falls Fair his family gathered together to be with Donald and have a family reunion. His summer activities with his family included just hanging out, family picnics, boat trips on Holter Lake, attending baseball games, attending outdoor concerts, or spending time at the State Fair in Great Falls.

He loved to go fishing and spend time outside. He enjoyed a good cup of coffee in the morning. When you drove up to the group home, Don would often be sitting outside in the sun listening to his music. He always greeted you with "how you doing" with a big smile on his face. He also deeply loved the Lord and his time worshiping at the Church of God.

Donald is survived by his four sisters, his twin sister Karin of Belt, Lois of Spokane, Janice (Tim) of Ketchikan, Alaska, and Kris (Kevin) of Spokane, and his brother Paul (Diane) of Belt. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews. In addition to his family survivors, he is survived by his very close friends Larry Brumwell and Gary Hart and everyone that cared so deeply for him through the years. Don was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Ross and Alan.

His service will be held at the Big Sandy Church of God at 2:00 PM, Saturday, April 27 with cookies and coffee to follow.

 
 

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