Derrick L. "Fuzzy" Heyl
1949 - 2020

Derrick 'Fuzzy' L. Heyl

Derrick died from lung cancer Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, surrounded by his family. He was born to Arnold and Barbara (Sprink) Heyl July 13, 1949. He grew up in Pipestone, Minn. He spent four years in the Air Force. Derrick married Renee Walradth Oct. 12, 1976. They raised two sons, Justin and Nathan. The family lived in Rollingstone, for the last 45 years.

Derrick worked his entire career in precision tool and die work. He traveled the world as a trouble shooter for Winona Van Norman and other subsequent companies. He loved custom cars, car races, and custom car building. He was a perfectionist in his work. If you needed a car part that was no longer manufactured, he was your guy. He learned auto upholstery, just so the work met his standards. The engine, tires, rear end, transmission, steering, suspension, body, and interior, all needed be perfect individually, and in perfect harmony with each other. You should be able to follow a line on a car from a range of 30 feet or three inches and always see perfect lines. When driven, the handling, braking, and power must be perfect. When a car was completed, Derrick lost interest. The fun part was over. The joy in the process of working towards perfection is what mattered.

Derrick loved to play cards and tell jokes.

As Derrick grew older he became more politically active. He believed strongly in a progressive, humanistic, science based government. He believed that we must actively participate if we expect our government to work effectively into the future for our children and grandchildren.

Derrick is survived by his mother, Barbara Heyl, Pipestone; his son, Nathan, Rollingstone, his son, Justin, New Brighton, Minn.; Justin's wife, Natalie; grandchildren, Keegan and Tannyr; brother, Paul and his family, Bird Island, Minn.; sister, MaryJo Horner and her family, South Carolina, and his sister, Carla Heyl, West St. Paul, Minn. Derrick was preceded in death by his wife, Renee; his father; and his brother.

Derrick absolutely did not want a big funeral or even a small party in his honor. He wanted his obituary short and this is probably too long. So whether you knew him as Derrick, Fuzz, Fuzzy, father, grandpa, son, or brother, and wish to honor him: Love your family and friends a little more, relax and play some cards with friends or family, take the time to admire the fine work of a great crafts-person, tell a funny joke well, quit smoking, argue intelligently with someone who thinks Trump was a good president, and vote.

To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by Winona Daily News on Nov. 27, 2020.
No memorial events are currently scheduled.
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