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Leroy Clifford Heltne, 83


Leroy Clifford Heltne, age 83, of Winona, MN, passed away on Tuesday, April 26, 2022.

Leroy was born to Clifford and Margaret Heltne on December 22, 1938, in Greenbush, MN. Growing up in Greenbush, Leroy was surrounded by great examples of hardworking people.

While serving in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, Leroy spent 13 months in Korea.

In 1968, Leroy married Ann Marie Mlodzik in Greenbush. They moved to Winona in 1971. Ann passed away in 1998.

Leroy was a member of the Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka, and proudly served as a eucharist minister for many years.

Being a skilled mechanic, Leroy employed those skills while working first at Quality Chevrolet in Winona, and then at the Winona County Highway shop until he retired in 1996.

Leroy was blessed to find a second love in his life. He and Bonnie Speltz spent 23 happy years together and enjoyed camping trips and fishing for muskies. Travel was another interest of Leroy. He and Bonnie ventured to Texas, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Alaska twice, California many times, and Ireland. One of Leroy’s favorite things was going out for breakfast and coffee with friends.

Leroy will be greatly missed by his family and many friends. He was a kind soul, always there to help friends and strangers alike. Generosity with his time, skills and resources was another mark of his exemplary character.

Preceding Leroy in death were his parents; wife, Ann; brother, Carl; sister-in-law, Dena Pulczinski; and brothers-in-law, Rafine Blawat and Rudy Blawat.

Leroy is survived by many family members including Bonnie Speltz, Winona; Bobbi Jean Tanberg-Mitchell (Todd), Downey, CA; Bruce Tanberg II, Rochester, MN; Barb and Ray Halverson, Winona; sisters-in-law, Lorraine Blawat and Alice Blawat, Greenbush; brothers-in-law, Leroy Pulczinski, Greenbush, MN, and Leonard (Rosemary) Mlodzik, Chisholm, MN; cousins, Susie (Robert) Kinland, Perham, MN, and Rita (Dave) Weigshield, Pontiac, MI; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held from 12 noon until the Mass of Christian Burial at 1 PM on Thursday, May 12, 2022, at the Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka, 625 E. 4th St. in Winona.  The Very Reverend Patrick Arens will officiate.   Following the Mass, military honors will be conducted outside the Basilica by the American Legion Leon J. Wetzel Post 9 of Winona.  A luncheon and reception will be held at the church following the military honors.  Leroy will be laid to rest at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Winona.

Instead of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the following: Rancho Los Amigos Foundation 7601 E Imperial Hwy Downey, CA 90242 (Funds for KnowBarriers); The Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka 625 East 4th St. Winona, MN 55987; or to St. Jude Children’s Cancer Cause 1325 G St. NW, Suite 540 Washington, D.C. 20005.

Please visit Leroy’s tribute page at to leave online condolences, and when available, to view a video recording of his funeral service.

Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home of Winona is assisting the family with arrangements.

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