HEEG, Donald Christian (Bud)

Posted: May 30th, 2022

March 15, 1930 – October 12, 2021


The family of Donald (Bud) Heeg is very saddened to announce his passing on October 12, 2021, at the age of 91.

Bud became ill in the fall of 2021 and passed away at St. Joseph’s in Medicine Hat. He is predeceased by his parents, Christian and Emma (nee Shultz), brother Art (Betty Lou), and sister Bernice Miller. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Norma (nee Tyrrell), their daughter Dawn Nieman (Jerry), their children Katie Nieman, Christal Nieman (Jonathan Chow, great-grandson Davis), James Nieman (Hannah), brother Ronald (Jeanne), brother in law Bud Miller, as well as many nieces and nephews.

Raised on the family farm in Estuary, Saskatchewan, the second of four children, he started farming with his father at an early age. From the age of 16 to 18 he took winter jobs in Medicine Hat, first at a pool hall and then driving taxi for Deluxe Cabs. Driving the cab led to his meeting Norma one night in the fall of 1950. Bud and Norma married June 7th, 1951, and moved into the Heeg family farmhouse, running the farm with his brother Art.

A lifelong athlete, Bud played hockey and baseball for the local teams. Curling and golf were also favourites, participating in many bonspiels and tournaments. Fishing was a particular love, passed down by his grandfather, who was a commercial fisherman. He also shared this love of fishing with his own grandchildren.

Active in the community, Bud was a member of the Leader Lions Club. He was also a member of the Municipal and Hospital Boards for many years. A dedicated church member, he served on the St. Johns’s Lutheran Church council, and even filled in at the pulpit when the church was without a pastor for a time.

Bud was a devoted animal lover. He especially loved horses (Flicka and Sugarfoot) and cows, and loved seeing them on the pasture hills surrounding the farm house. He also raised and trained many cocker spaniel dogs to become renowned hunting dogs.

The farm was his lifelong passion. Along with his brother Art, Bud took over the family farm upon their father’s “retirement” in 1951. Bud became an expert in machinery maintenance, taking a welding course, and was widely known and sought out for his knowledge and advice. Bud and Norma expanded the farm with a large addition known in the family as the Russell Farm in July of 1955, just a few days after the birth of their daughter, Dawn. They continued to add sections over the next 20 years until the family land holdings became what they are today.

After his brother Artie’s stroke in 1985, Bud continued to farm with hired help until 2012, when he decided to partially retire and began renting out the land. Unwilling to retire entirely, he continued to help with seeding and harvest.

Eventually, Bud and Norma made the decision to move to Medicine Hat. In September 2017 they joined the community at Chinook Village and enjoyed the perks of city life. He enjoyed getting together with friends for coffee and reminiscing at the Bistro. He was a great story teller, and a regular volunteer at the counter of the Chinook tuck shop.

A private graveside service will be held Saturday June 4 at the Estuary cemetery, with a reception to follow at the Leader Friendship Center at 2:30 PM.

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