Donald John Vanheirseele

Donald John Vanheirseele

January 26, 1940 – July 7, 2020
Age 80 of St. Paul. Born January 26, 1940 in Waukegan, Illinois to Raymond P. VanHeirseele and Laura M. (Michels). He died July 7, 2020 in St. Paul, MN. Don was preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, Melanie J. (Smith), his parents and stepmother, Harriet, brothers Jim (Mary), Wayne (Pat), and Kenny (Kathie). He is survived by his sister Barbara Johnson (Durrell) of Florida, sister-in-law Barbara Petersen (Mogens) of Denmark, sons Todd (Erin) of St. Paul and Jason (Sarah) of Libertyville, grandchildren Katie, Kyle, Olivia, Evan and Elliot, and numerous nieces and nephews. Don graduated from Waukegan High School in Waukegan, Illinois and served in the Marines with the rank of Lance Corporal on the USS Princeton. He married Melanie on June 15, 1963 and they resided in Green Oaks, Illinois. Don worked for North Shore Gas and retired as a foreman after 37 years with the company. He was a member of St. Joseph’s parish in Libertyville, Illinois. In retirement Don enjoyed fishing, golf and gardening. Although his last years were shadowed by memory loss, he still could play a mean game of 5 card stud and a winning hand often evoked the phrase, “(Sometimes a) blind pig finds an acorn.” Private interment to be held at a future date at Ascension Cemetery in Libertyville, Illinois. Family requests in lieu of flowers that donations be made in Don’s memory to Our Lady of Peace hospice in St. Paul (ourladyofpeacemn.org/donate) or the Parkinson’s Foundation (Parkinson.org/ways-to-give). Rest in peace, Pop Pop. (Published in the Star Tribune on July 10, 2020)