Some of my best friends are Finns.  There was a huge Finnish population at Rock Lake North Dakota for a time.  If memory serves it may have been the center of a Finnish Synod.  The Finnish influence in Minnesota North is fascinating.  I met a wonderful Finn serving with Pastor Kirk Douglas in New York Mills a while back.  He was a giant of a man with a great sense of humor who loved to visit.  He has passed away and will be missed.

Minnesota North District
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
PO Box 604
Brainerd, MN 56401

August 25, 2020

Dear Friends in Christ – Co-workers in the Minnesota North District:

We have received word that Rev. Gunard Heikkila (Emeritus, New York Mills) was taken to be with his Savior in heaven on Sunday, August 23, 2020.

During Pastor Heikkila’s ministry he served congregations in Manitouwadge, ON; Callaway and Ogema, MN; Rosemount, MN; Frazee, MN; Buckley, IL and Deer Creek, MN and served as the Minnesota North District Historian and Visitation Pastor at Trinity, New York Mills during his retirement.

A private family Funeral Service for Rev. Heikkila will be held on Saturday, August 29, 2020. Public Visitation will be Friday, August 28, 2020, from 4:00 – 6:00 pm at Trinity Lutheran Church in New York Mills. A Public Burial Service will be at Bethlehem Lutheran Church Cemetery in Frazee, MN at 3:30 pm on Saturday, August 29th.

Please keep his wife, Janice, and the Heikkila family in your prayers, asking that God would soothe their sorrow and wipe away their tears with the precious promises of the Gospel. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!