The Life of Harold Heinrichs
Harold was born, June 11th, 1944 to Ben and Helen (Edwards) Heinrichs in Brooks, Alberta. He spent his first 6 years on Harry Veiner’s farm where his father was a hired hand and supervisor due to his ability to speak Russian, English and German. Harold loved being on Veiner’s farm and had many happy memories of playing in the fields, taking care of animals and having the freedom to roam with his friends. Since Harold’s dad wanted to buy property and needed to make more money, he took a job elsewhere; however, this meant Harold had to move into the town of Brooks. As a farm boy at heart, this did not sit well with Harold. Fortunately, 3 years later, Harold and his brothers Bernie, Harvey and Neil, along with his parents, moved to the rural property just across from what is now, Smith Trucking. Harold loved growing up in the country and thrived looking after goats, geese, ducks, chickens and his dogs. He also helped with the market garden but was much more interested in hunting ducks, geese and fishing for the Northern Pike in the lake which was situated in front of their house. At 16 years of age, he welcomed his sister, Brenda Heinrichs (Haley). When he was 19, he moved to Edmonton where he worked at a dry cleaners for 2 years with his friend, Richard Bronstein. After living a meager lifestyle, Harold realized he needed an education and enrolled at SAIT in the Petroleum Technology Program where he achieved marks that made Harold and his parents proud. Upon graduating, he moved to Calgary and then secured oilfield positions in Wetaskiwin and Fort McMurray. Here he began to explore his love of canoeing, building canoes and navigating wilderness areas starting with a number of journeys in the LaLoche area. After 7 years of saving money and training young people in the field, he decided to attend the University of Calgary. Harold LOVED university! He took classes that interested him in areas from theology to physiology and after a 4 year period, he graduated with a degree in Psychology achieving high honors status. From there he procured a job at Hull Home which was a facility that helped children and teens recover from mental illness and behavioral challenges. As he said, “This was a dream job because I got paid to play with kids and take them fishing, camping and adventuring.” It was at this facility that Harold met Dani Gibson, moved to Turner Valley and got married in 1977. They went on to have Kaelyn Heinrichs (Quinton) who was born shortly afterwards. Unfortunately, Hull Home did not provide an income substantial enough to provide for a family so Harold took a job in Drayton Valley testing wells. Two years later, Ryan, his son, was born. When both his father and mother, Ben and Helen (Edwards) Heinrichs, were killed in a car crash, Harold was devastated and started to reevaluate his life. In 1981 Harold, Dani and family moved to Saskatoon where Harold was enrolled in the Masters of Psychological Research Program. While he enjoyed the research and study, he wasn’t sold on a career in this area. Instead, without any real experience, he started a construction/renovation company which he worked at for 3 years. During this time, Dani and Harold separated. When renovations and construction seemed to take him away from his children during the summer months, Harold reassessed his life again and decided to go back to university and become a teacher. This is where he met Kim Heinrichs (Kawula). They were married in July of 1987. Harold was a teacher in Blaine Lake and Christopher Lake Saskatchewan for 2 years and in Sandy Bay, Saskatchewan for 8 years. He also taught Grade 5 at Holy Family Academy in Brooks, Alberta for 1 year and took term positions in Duchess. Harold was very well-liked by students and made a real effort to involve himself in extracurricular activities. In August of 1996, Harold and Kim, Alora and Kaelyn settled in Brooks on the same property Harold had grown up on. He added to the existing mobile home park, became a landlord, designed and built a beautiful, artistic home and created a natural paradise for the family beside the lake he used to love as a kid.
Harold and Kim enjoyed 32 and a half wonderful years together. They thrived in the outdoors with their family – canoeing, wilderness camping, fishing, hunting, quadding, snowboarding, skidooing and experiencing world travel adventures. Most of all, Harold would agree, Kim and Harold experienced more love than could be fathomed. In 1996, Harold and Kim welcomed Alora Heinrichs (Wipf) into the world and created more extraordinary memories with her, Kaelyn and Ryan and extended family.
Harold Heinrichs was an intellect, animal lover, gardener, adventurer, hiker, artist, self-taught master builder, hunter, highly skilled navigator, touring cyclist, canoe builder, canoe instructor, carver, dancer, blues music lover, jewelry maker, hair stylist and chef. His specialty was making bread and cinnamon buns and roasting pig. Nothing stopped Harold from learning or attempting a project or embarking on an unmapped journey.
Most importantly, Harold Heinrichs was an amazing man! He was a fun, involved, caring dad, loyal friend and an outstanding, loving, kind and connected husband. His grandchildren, Willow and Saxon Quinton and Rio and Isla Heinrichs, adored and looked up to him. Colin Quinton, Amy Heinrichs (Potie) and Ryan Wipf, the spouses of Harold’s children, saw Harold as a father figure and mentor. Andreas Iwanegbe, a close friend of the family, became like a son to Harold over the years and remembers Harold’s life-giving smile as his award-winning trademark.
Harold passed away at home peacefully on Tuesday, January 13th surrounded by the love and care of his wife, children and grandchildren.
We will miss Harold but know we are ALL better for sharing life’s adventures with him. We are so grateful for the positive and inspirational influence he has had on our lives.
To Celebrate the Life of Harold Heinrichs the following Services are Planned in Brooks:
• Harold requested that people wear bright colors or outdoor wear or hunting gear
Friday, January 26th at St. Mary’s Catholic Church 6:30 P.M. – Praying of the Holy Rosary
Friday, January 26th at Trinity Lutheran Church 7:15 P.M. – Prayer Service with Reception
Saturday, January 27th, St. Mary’s Catholic Church
10:00 A.M. Live Blues Music
10:30 A.M. The Holy Mass
11:30 A.M. History and Stories about Harold Heinrichs
Noon Harold’s Favorite Pizza Lunch
• Harold stated that, instead of flowers, he would like people to make donations to the Tom Baker Cancer Facility in Calgary, to the Canadian Cancer Society or to their local hospital. He felt good knowing that other patients, like him, would benefit from the generosity of his family and friends.
For further information or to leave a message of condolence, please visit www.thomsfuneralhome.com or call (403) 501-1010. 04p
The Life of Harold Heinrichs