Harvey Norman Hielkema, age 86, of Baldwin, WI, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on December 24, 2021 at Birch Haven in Baldwin.
Harvey Norman was born on April 29, 1935, the son of Henry and Nettie (Houtsma) Hielkema. He was raised in Pease, Minnesota, and later San Antonio, Texas, then Orange City, Iowa where he attended Northwestern College. He volunteered to serve in the United States Army from 1955-1956 during the Korean Conflict.
In the fall of 1957, Harvey moved to Baldwin, WI where he bought his first farm and would marry his neighbor, Suzanna, from Orange City, Iowa.
On October 17, 1958, he was united in marriage to Suzanna Zevenbergen in Baldwin, WI. Harvey and Sue milked dairy cows on their small farm in Baldwin, Wisconsin where they had 5 children. Then, he sold that farm and moved to a larger farm in Hammond, Wisconsin where they farmed more land and milked dairy cows.
Harvey was on his way to being quite the entrepreneur. Harvey bought the grocery store on Main Street in downtown Baldwin, re-naming it H & S Super market. In 1977 after two years, he sold the grocery store and started Hielkema Construction, building many of the houses and commercial buildings around Baldwin. In 1981, he started Century 21 Hielkema Realty Inc. in Baldwin to pursue the sale of his newly built properties while still farming in Hammond. Harvey acquired several rental properties over the years. He built and owned the 990 Hillcrest Professional Building and remodeled the old post office into the Heritage Office Center, along with two 8-plex apartment buildings he built and managed. He eventually sold the Hammond farm in 1986 and he and Sue moved into the Village of Baldwin as the children were grown and gone. Harvey developed a large parcel of land south of Baldwin “Dutch Heritage Village.” He sold Century 21 Hielkema Realty Inc. in 1991. Sometime later, he again opened his own real estate company called “Hometown Realty” where he dabbled in real estate once again. Most of his time now was spent on maintaining his dozen or so rental properties and office buildings.
Harvey was always deeply involved with the First Reformed Church of Baldwin. He served as deacon and elder for many years, as well as the mentor for the youth group. He and Sue took the youth groups on several trips over the years. He and Sue also went on several church mission trips, including one to Russia distributing Bibles and Beijing, China with Campus Crusade for Christ. Harvey made 5 trips to Malawi, Africa, building schools for the orphaned children. He also went to Haiti after the 2010 tsunami to assist with clean-up.
Harvey was a very giving spirit, always passionate about helping the less fortunate. In 2012, he said, “God spoke to him” about letting go of his car and tractor collection to help starving children. Harvey held an auction selling his collection of 7 vintage cars, 10 old tractors, and an Amish buggy. He donated all the proceeds to Feed My Starving Children. It was big news for small town Baldwin and received a lot of media attention. He served meals twice a week at the Union Gospel Mission for 20+ years in St. Paul, Minnesota. He loved to fill boxes every year at Christmas time for Operation Christmas Child. One of Harvey’s greatest legacies is his leading by example of how to be good stewards in doing good deeds for others.
Harvey is survived by his children: Jeff (fiancée, Robyn Fox), Jerry (Laura), Jody (Tim) Ramberg, and Joe (Brenda); grandchildren: Jamie, Ashley (Tony) Derjani, Daniel (fiancée, Leannah), Dylan (Emilie), Colleen, Chantal (fiancé, Jake), and Spencer; great-grandchildren: Liv, May, and Naya Derjani; Robyn’s children: Nick Huston, Kendra Huston, and Nicole Anderson (fiancé Cam); Robyn’s grandchildren: Keely Huston and Makiah Kemper; brother, Allan; and brother-in-law, Ed Winters.
He is preceded in death by his parents; wife, Suzanna; infant daughter, Jody Lynn; granddaughter, Stormi; infant granddaughter, Breanna; infant great-grandson, Brixton; sister, Sophie Winters; brother, Art Hielkema; and two sisters-in-law, Marilyn Hielkema and Joan Hielkema.
Private family services will be held, and a Celebration of Life Service is being planned for a later date. Harvey’s service will be livestreamed – click HERE for the livestream at 11:00am on Saturday, January 1, 2022. Interment with full military honors at the Baldwin Cemetery. Memorials are preferred to Habitat for Humanity, or the Union Gospel Mission in St. Paul, MN.