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1970 Heidi 2021

Heidi Marie Rich

February 18, 1970 — March 4, 2021

After a difficult battle with cancer over the last year, Heidi Marie (Dinkelman) Rich passed away peacefully on March 4 at her home, in her husband’s arms and surrounded by loved ones, including her mother, Gretchen, and her four kids, Max, Lizzie, Bridget and Jack.

Heidi was born on February 18, 1970 to Bill and Gretchen (Kolberg) Dinkelman in Racine, WI. After graduating from Horlick High in 1988, she went on to graduate from UW Parkside with a degree in Psychology/Sociology, she said, with a smile, she was “trying to figure herself out”. In 1992, Heidi and I (her husband, Chad) met at Racine Bible Church and after admiring each other from a distance started to date and fell in love. This last December Heidi and I celebrated: our 26th wedding anniversary, the adventures we have shared together, and the 4 wonderful kids we have. God has been good.

Heidi, described by her children as strong, compassionate, beautiful, spirited, stubborn, dedicated and gentle, raised 4 wonderful children who reflect her well. Many others described her as “Mama Bear,”protecting, loving, caring for and speaking up for many. She made sure that our house was not only a home for us but many others as well. She was a great cook and always wanted to make people feel welcome, whether at home, or in the coffee shop at Fort Wilderness (‘06 -‘18), or at the Butcher’s Wife where she was a barista until she got sick in ‘19. Heidi loved life, her Lord Jesus, her family, food, music and friends - enjoying the good things that our good God has made and helping others do the same.

Heidi was always a huge support to me and even as a strong woman wrestled with her identity, at times. She was my wife and the mother of our kids but she was Heidi first. And all that God placed in her: creativity, grit, passion, confidence, weakness, wisdom, strength and loyalty she brought to all of us and all her chosen endeavors: wife, mother, friend, barista, mama bear, cook, fashionista, music-lover, foodie, volunteer, explorer. You don’t get to hold on too tightly to any force-of-nature like that. You just get to appreciate being there to enjoy the beauty of the lightning-show in the night sky:)

In the light of COVID, and family and friends spread across the globe, we will be celebrating Heidi’s life through an online live Memorial Service on Saturday, March 13th at 4:30pm (find link at In addition we would love you to celebrate, around your dinner table that night, as Heidi would want to- with good food, good conversation, the music turned up a little louder, and maybe a little dancing - Heidi asked us all to do the Electric Slide (she could never leave a wedding before she danced it:) A few of Heidi’s favorites to inspire you: ribeye, sushi, iced americano, French Silk Pie, Moose Tracks ice cream, Chef Boyardee Spaghetti and Meatballs w/ frozen spinach mixed in, Buffalo Wings and Onion Rings. Music: anything Bon Jovi, Oceans by Hillsong Worship, Celtic Worship, Reckless Love by Cory Asbury, Pat Benatar, Duran Duran, Lauren Daigle. Family games: Rook, Dominion, Five Crowns, Phase 10, Rummikub, Dominos, Just Dance - ABBA. Please post pics and videos and memories and menus on Heidi’s Facebook page that night. We look forward to seeing YOU celebrate.

Instead of sending flowers, Heidi and I would love you to plant some in your own yard or maybe a flowering tree that would add to the beauty of your yard and neighborhood. Another idea in honor of Heidi, next time you're in a coffeeshop ask if you can pay for the drink of the person behind you “in memory of a friend of yours that loved coffee.” Lastly, if you are wanting to donate to a cause that you are excited about in honor of Heidi, we would love that, especially a cause that benefits women, children and the most vulnerable.

A Private Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, March 13th at 4:30PM. The service will be broadcasted live for the public online at

Thank you. Blessings. We love you all. Chad & Heidi and the Rich Family
Online condolences may be shared at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Heidi Marie Rich, please visit our flower store.


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