Dorothy Heiden

Obituary of Dorothy Florence Heiden

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Dorothy Florence Rathke was born in Dundee, Michigan on June 18, 1936. She was one of two children born from the union of Herman Carl and Edith Mae Clara (Moyer) Rathke. She graduated from Dundee High School with the class of 1954. Just one day after her eighteenth birthday, Dorothy married the love of her life: Gerald “Tiny” Heiden. The happy couple was blessed with the birth of five children.

Alongside her husband, Dorothy devoted her younger years to tending their vegetable farm. Together, they cultivated the land with dedication. Dorothy's skill in canning produced delightful relishes, sweet corn, pickles, tomatoes, and strawberry freezer jam that was cherished by all who tasted them.

Dorothy also had an unparalleled affection for children, which she expressed through years of babysitting not only her own grandchildren but also the children of her neighbors and teacher friends.

Her journey took a significant turn in 2001, when she bravely obtained her driver's license following the passing of her husband in 2000. This act of independence was emblematic of her tenacious spirit.

A passionate bowler, Dorothy was actively involved in several leagues, most notably with Nortel Lanes and Monroe Sports Center. Her love for the sport was generational, as she was in a senior bowling league with her daughter, Brenda, and granddaughter, Hannah. Unfortunately, she set her bowling shoes aside just prior to the onset of the Covid pandemic.

Dorothy was also an avid bingo player, enjoying the thrill of the game three times a week in Monroe and when she moved to Hampton Manor in Dundee, where she formed lasting friendships. Her community participation didn't stop there. She was a dedicated member of St. John Lutheran Church of Dundee, engaging with the Prayer Shawlers, the God Squad, and Bible study, where her faith and kindness touched many lives.

Her knitting talents were exceptional as she crafted dish cloths, baby outfits, and afghans. These handmade gifts were tokens of her warmth and generosity, spreading love to friends and family alike.

Dorothy Florence Heiden, age 87, of Dundee, passed away on Tuesday May 14, 2024, while under the care of Angela Hospice in Livonia. Her passing was preceded by her parents; her

husband: Gerald "Tiny"; a brother and sister-in-law: Howard (Betty) Rathke; an infant son: Gerry Allen; a daughter and son-in-law: Brenda (Paul) Flaugher; a daughter-in-law: Donna Heiden; and an infant great-grandson: Allen Michael Heiden.

To cherish her memory, she leaves a daughter: Deborah (Ted) Brokaw; two sons: Gerald (Anne) Heiden; Brian Heiden (Tiffany Hotter); two former daughters-in-law: Deborah Mitoraj and Alicia Miles; eight grandchildren: Hannah Brokaw, Chad Heiden, Melanie Eby, Nicholas (Jillian) Heiden, Gerry (Mackenzie) Heiden, Melissa (Jessica) Flaugher-Hillman, Thaddeus (Ash-Lee Graves) Flaugher, Kaitlynne Flaugher; step grandchildren: Talea TenHave, Jennifer TenHave (Nick Polley), Monica TenHave (Jon Jordan), Danielle TenHave (Matt Dodd), Louie Tsonos, John Tsonos, Eleni Tsonos; sixteen great-grandchildren: Makenzie, Abi, Mallory, Avery, Felix, Anna-Lynne, Jerry, Aryca, Emilia, Josh Jr., Joey, Silas, Riker, Aliza, Rebekah, Jessie; and ten step great-grandchildren.

Friends may gather from 4:00pm until 7:00pm on Sunday; May 19, 2024, at Merkle Funeral Service, Dundee; 297 Tecumseh Street, Dundee, Michigan 48131 (734) 529-3156. She will lie in state on Monday; May 20, 2024, from 10:00am until the Celebration of Her Life at 11:00am, led by Pastor Janice Locke, at St. John Lutheran Church, 460 Riley Street, Dundee, Michigan 48131. A procession to Oak Grove Cemetery, Dundee will immediately follow.

Online guests may visit www.merklefs.com to leave words of inspiration and comfort or to share a photo. Dorothy’s family is extremely grateful to the team at Hampton Manor of Dundee and Angela Hospice in Livonia for their wonderful care.

Sunday
19
May

Gathering for Dorothy F. Heiden

4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Sunday, May 19, 2024
Merkle Funeral Service - Dundee
297 Tecumseh Street
Dundee Michigan, Michigan, United States
Gathering for Dorothy F. Heiden
Monday
20
May

Lie In State for Dorothy F. Heiden

10:00 am - 11:00 am
Monday, May 20, 2024
St John Lutheran Church
460 Riley Street
Dundee, Michigan, United States
Lie In State for Dorothy F. Heiden
Monday
20
May

Celebration of Life for Dorothy F. Heiden

11:00 am
Monday, May 20, 2024
St John Lutheran Church
460 Riley Street
Dundee, Michigan, United States
Celebration of Life for Dorothy F. Heiden
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Dorothy Heiden

In Loving Memory

Dorothy Heiden

1936 - 2024

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