Belva R. Heckenlaible, age 59 of Menno, SD passed away on Thursday, January 9, 2020 at Avera Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton, SD.

Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at Salem Reformed Church in Menno, SD with the Rev. Michael Hecht officiating. Burial will follow in the Menno Cemetery.

Visitation will be 5 to 7:00 p.m. Monday, January 13 with a 7:00 p.m. prayer service, all at the church. There will also be visitation for one hour prior to service time on Tuesday.

Arrangements are under the direction of Aisenbrey-Opsahl-Kostel Memorial Chapel in Menno. Online condolences may be made at:

Belva was born in Freeman, SD on February 2, 1960 to LeRoy and Betty Kirschenman. Belva attended the Bender 81 Country School and then later attended school in Menno. She married the love of her life, Roger, on November 11, 1978. They were able to share 41 wonderful years of marriage together and were blessed with four children and eleven grandchildren. Belva spent her years providing in-home daycare, working at the school, nursing home, and assisted living at Autumn Winds.

Belva loved to spend time outdoors. She always loved gardening and planting beautiful flowers and just spending time in the sun. One of Belva’s favorite summertime events was camping with family. She always looked forward to that time of year to spend vacation with her beloved family. Family was Belva’s most prized possession. She enjoyed attending all of her children’s events while they were growing up and continued that tradition with her grandkids. Belva knew day to day what her children and grandchildren had scheduled. She was always the one to turn to with questions because she was so organized and knew the answer. Belva was the one that held the family together and will continue to do so by watching over the family from heaven. Belva loved to spend time crocheting, knitting and cross-stitching such beautiful blankets and pictures for her children and grandchildren. This was very special for her.

Belva’s oncologist from Mayo always called her a miracle and she is our miracle for sure. She was a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother. She took great pride and joy in all her grandkids and watching out for them. We all take comfort in knowing that she is at peace with her Heavenly Father and that one day we will all be reunited with her again. We will forever be thankful to God for the time that he gave us with her.

Those of us who were blessed to have shared our lives with her: Husband, Roger Heckenlaible; children: Sherry (Tim) Freier, Krista (Ronnie) Derby, Robert (Kristin) Heckenlaible, Nicole (John) Kisely; grandchildren: Weston, Morgan and Taylor Freier, Kaelie, Rylan and Ashlyn Derby, Emmalyn, Landon and Brinley Heckenlaible and Lee and Ava Kisely; sister, Brenda (Dean) Grussing; brother, Darwin (Carol) Kirschenman; nieces and nephews, Tammie, Stephanie, Pam, Martin, Shauna, Amy and Kellin; aunts and uncles: Mary (Donnie) Mitten, Ilene (Jerry) Dowling, Merlin (Shirley) Kirschenman and Lorraine Howell (Dennis Menke).

Belva was preceded in death by her parents; LeRoy and Betty Kirschenman; grandparents, Daniel and Edith Watson, Eugene and Emma Kirschenman; in-laws, Leon and Lillian Heckenlaible and Daryl and Marlene Heckenlaible and three grandchildren that she never got to meet on earth: Sariel, Faith and Hope Heckenlaible.

Yankton Press & Dakotan

January 13, 2020