February 22, 1953 – January 15, 2019
Heini was born in Denmark. He grew up with his three sisters, mother and father. He spent most of his time learning and helping in his father’s machine shop.
In 1975, Heini became a Germane welder and machinist by trade. He graduated top in his class. Heini then moved on and joined the Danish army. While in training he received a pass to go out for the weekend. At this time in 1976, while still enlisted, he met the love of his life, Jette. He was 21 at the time and she was eighteen. Heini completed his time in the army and returned home to work in the family-owned machine shop and began to build his life with Jette.
In 1984, Heini had his wish come true, he became a father to a beautiful baby girl. Heidi was the sunshine of his life.
In 1987, Heini made arrangements for a wedding and told Jette they had been invited to a wedding. She asked whose wedding. He responded saying, “Ours if you want to come.” They married February 6 of that year.
It was within that same year they immigrated to Canada for Heini to start up his own machine shop in Meadow Lake, SK. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances things did not work out as planned. Heini then moved on to work at Triangle Trenching using his trade as a welder for several years. Later on, he worked for Flying Dust Concrete and Inland Concrete, where he enjoyed shooting the breeze with customers on deliveries.
It was then Heini found his true passion – driving semi-truck, hauling logs. He worked for Cowan Bros Logging Ltd and other companies over the years. He always had good stories to tell about his time spent driving logging trucks and his co-workers.
In 2009, Heini became a grandpa to his granddaughter Kianna. Then in 2012, Grandpa got his little grandson Aiden. Grandpa spent lots of time playing card games, racing cars, kicking the ball in the yard, building and fixing things for both kids. Grandpa also taught them both how to drive the lawn tractor. Many times you could hear the sound of pure giggling as Grandpa pulled the kids on the wagon or kneeboard behind the lawn tractor around and around the yard. Grandpa drove Kianna and Aiden to their activities – baseball, soccer, dance, horse riding, to name a few. He always had some candy stashed away for them to have on weekend visits.
Heini had a great sense of humour. He loved to tease everyone that came to know him. He loved to spend time each summer at Kimball Lake camping with his family and friends. His favourite holiday time was Christmas. On Christmas Eve he enjoyed traditional Danish cooking – potatoes, pork roast, red cabbage, pickled beets, chips, gravy, frikadeller (fried pork meat) and rice pudding with strawberry sauce for dessert.
Another thing that he enjoyed was to go for coffee at Subway with his friends. Many good visits were had.
All who came to know Heini over the years were well aware of his loud voice at times. It was always much better to remain on his good side in life.
Heini and Jette had 44 years together. They built a family and life together that will always be treasured. On September 4th of 2018, Heini was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. Unfortunately there was no treatment to prevent the outcome. He lost his battle with cancer on January 15, 2019 with loved ones by his side.
Heini told his wife in his final days, “I am taking the highway to Heaven and driving my logging truck with a full load up in the sky as fast as I can, because no one can give me a speeding ticket up there.”
Eulogy by daughter Heidi
Dad you will be forever missed. Your pain has stopped and you are now at peace. Thank you for being an amazing dad. You have taught me to speak my mind, to stay strong through life’s ups and downs, and to always be truthful. I know that you loved me so much. You always said I was your wish come true to have a little girl to love. Being your daughter was an adventure – never a dull moment, always teasing me, telling stories and giving me heck when needed. Your love was never once doubted and never will be. You always thanked me for giving you the two best grandchildren. Kianna and Aiden will miss you, but the time they spent with you was precious, lots of fun times and learning was had from you. They will always remember their Grandpa. Kianna will always be Grandpa’s girl and Aiden will always be Grandpa’s boy. The love you had for Mom was so special. She was the air you breathed and the happiest day of your life was when she became you wife. You tried your best for her and me each day, although many times some people made that harder than needed. Your body was not always healthy at most times, but your will to try always shone through in good and not so good times. You have blessed so many people with your caring heart and your unforgettable personality. For that your friends are truly grateful and forever shall remember their Danish friend. Dad, you take care and I shall keep my final promise to you. To always love and take care of Mom, your beautiful wife, and to be as good to my kids as you were to me. Also, not to forget to feed Tico, your beloved dog. You can leave now and rest in peace knowing your life made a difference to all who knew and loved you. The highway to heaven is now waiting for you to drive your logging trucks as fast as you want with no more limitations stopping you. Until we all meet again someday.
Heini is survived by his wife: Jette Knudsen; daughter: Heidi (Matt) Knudsen; grandchildren: Kianna and Aiden; sisters: Linda Knudsen, Bodil (Polle) Jorgensen and Putte (Ragner) Knudsen; brother-in-law: Poul Jensen; and all other family members and friends who knew and loved Heini.
He was predeceased by his parents: Gunner and Nora Knudsen; mother and father-in-law: Sven and Ellen Jensen; sisters-in-law: Janene Jensen and Emma Thomsen; and many other family member and friends.
Tributes in memory of Heini may be made to the Meadow Lake Hospital Foundation Inc. Box 511, Meadow Lake, SK S9X 1A4.
Card of Thanks
Special thank you to J.E. Thomas Funeral Home & Crematorium (service), Marty Bishop (music), Lorraine Klassen (piano), and Unita Esau (eulogy) along with others that helped make the Celebration of Life Memorial Service a memorable day. To the Meadow Lake Hospital staff, Home Care Palliative staff ( whom were enjoyed by Heini and family), Dr. Van de Venter, Meadow Lake Clinic staff and all others that made Heini’s final days a bit easier. Thank you.
Loved and missed by
Jette, Heidi, Kianna and Aiden