Heidi Louise Habel was expected to be born December 25, 1951. Impatient from the start, she arrived on November 9, 1951 in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, born to parents Dean and Mary (Kiefer) Habel, of Sparta, Wisconsin. Heidi was an only child but was lucky enough to have young parents who joined her in sledding, hiking and skating when she was a child. Throughout her childhood and teen years, her home was where her friends chose to spend time.
Heidi graduated from high school in Fridley, Minnesota in 1970, after living in the community since third grade. She attended Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota from 1970 to 1972; then graduated from Mankato State University in 1974 with a social work degree. She attended law school in Moscow, Idaho 1975 to 1978 and graduated with a juris doctorate degree.
In November 1978, Heidi was employed by the law firm of Bosshard, Sundet and Associates of LaCrosse, Wisconsin. She became the first fulltime, Assistant District Attorney in Monroe County, Wisconsin in September, 1980. Heidi was the first female member of the Monroe County Bar Association and was the person responsible for organizing the Christmas and summer parties. In 1985, she joined the Gleiss, Goodman and McAlpine law firm in Sparta, Wisconsin. Heidi became the first fulltime Corporation Counsel for Monroe County, Wisconsin in 1987.
While working in Sparta, Heidi met her best friend and the love of her life, Tim Donovan. He was a detective in the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, who later became sheriff. They married in Sparta in May, 1984. Heidi and Tim melded a family of 2 schnauzers, a beagle mutt and a springer spaniel.
In 1989, Heidi and Tim moved to Somerset, Wisconsin. Heidi worked as an Assistant District Attorney for St. Croix County in Hudson or 9 years. She was the assigned felony and drug prosecutor.
Heidi’s parents bought a small cabin on Round Lake in1968 and she fell in love with Hayward. Her hope was to someday live there. She and Tim planned to retire in the Hayward Community. They built a home in the woods across the road from her parents in 1994.
The Gods smiled, Tim was hired as assistant chief of the Hayward Police Department in December 1997. They smiled again, Heidi was hired as the first assistant DA for Sawyer County in 1998. They started their fulltime life in Hayward; and it was all they hoped it would be. Heidi continued as assistant DA until her retirement in November, 2006.
Heidi served on the board for the Hayward Area Memorial Hospital from 2002 to 2016. She believed our community is very fortunate to have such a forward thinking facility as the hospital and Waters Edge; and was honored to have a small voice in it.
Tim is the oldest of 9 children, so Heidi married into a family. Lucky for her, two of Tim’s sisters became her best friends, his brothers were her brothers and his sisters in law became her family and friends. They joined the five cousins Heidi grew up with to complete her family. Heidi’s mother in law, Lorraine, was an extra special person in her life, especially after her mother died in 2006. She considered herself very blessed for all the additional family.
At the time of her retirement in 2006, Heidi was completing treatment for her throat cancer. In February, 2007 she was declared cancer-free. The treatment bought her 12 healthy years, during which she and Tim relaxed into retirement. They enjoyed numerous motorcycle trips, an Alaskan cruise with her dad, hosting family and friends for Hayward visits and always, always decking the halls for Christmas season.
Heidi so greatly appreciated the love and support of her family and friends after her final cancer diagnosis in March, 2019. There followed some of the most joyful times of her life. Heidi lost the battle on November 14, 2019.
Heidi is survived by her Husband Tim; cousins, Mary Jane McMullin, Susie (Tom) Beebe, George (Gloria) Kiefer, Kurt (Amy) Kiefer, and Terry Kiefer; mother in law, Lorraine Donovan; 8 brothers and sisters in law; and many nieces and nephews.
Heidi is proceeded in death by her parents.
A special thank you would like to be given to the hospice staff, especially Maria, Bonnie and Chaplain Jim.
A time of gathering in remembrance of Heidi will be held at the Hayward Funeral Home. A visitation will be held from 5:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M. on Friday, November 29, 2019 at Hayward Funeral Home, 15571 W. County Highway B in Hayward; and also one hour prior to the service on Saturday. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 am, Saturday, November 30th at the funeral home. Interment will be held privately.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to Regional Hospice in Hayward and Carbone Cancer Center: head and neck – Madison.
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