Pat Heikkinen, lifelong member of St. John’s Catholic Church, Prentice, died April 18. She served as community blood drive coordinator for Prentice.

In a 2018 Appreciation Award, Heikkinen was called “a true steward to the mission of the American Red Cross, dedicated to giving her time and resources to help the Red Cross prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies.”

Amy Kranig, account manager with the American Red Cross in Duluth, offered this tribute:

“Pat was a lovely, funny and beautiful woman … I am grateful to have known her. Because of her involvement and dedication to the Red Cross, she helped to collect nearly 800 units as a blood drive coordinator! Those 800 units helped save up to 2,400 lives. That is in addition to the volunteering she did prior to being the Prentice coordinator.

“The American Red Cross is thankful to have Pat’s support for the community blood drives. Her leadership allowed us to supply our area hospitals in a life-saving way. She had a musical laugh and (I) always enjoyed our conversations.”

Heikkinen’s husband, Dale, shared that they both grew up and were very happy in Prentice; they “were blessed with loving parents, two wonderful children and many great relatives, friends and neighbors.”
Noting how they both loved snow, and Heikkinen particularly loved Christmas, Dale said he recently found this quote among her things:

“If there were more days like Christmas, our world would be filled with the joy of song, the spirit of peace, the colors of happiness, and the hope of believers everywhere. May it always be Christmas in your heart, with the true Spirit of Love at Christmas time.”

Fr. Gerald Hagen officiated at a celebration of Heikkinen’s life May 19 at the First Baptist Church, Prentice.