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26090 Pine Street
Calumet, MI 49913
Phone: (906) 337-4600
Fax: (906) 337-4699
Rev. Dr. Russell Heikkila

Rev. Dr. Russell Gary Heikkila PhD

Saturday, May 21, 1932 - Thursday, June 27, 2019
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The Rev. Dr. Russell Gary Heikkila, 87, of Port Orange, FL died June 26, 2019 at Emory L. Bennett Veterans Nursing Facility. Pastor emeritus of the Mission Evangelical Congregational Church in Maynard, MA, the Mission to Grace Church in Gardner, MA and Associate Pastor of the Elm Street Community Church in Fitchburg, MA, Dr. Heikkila also helped establish the Vineyard Christian Church of Rindge, NH.
Born in Trimountain, MI to the late Wallace R. and Agnes (Carlson) Heikkila, Russell attended the public schools of Calumet, MI before continuing his education and receiving several degrees from various schools such as Tennessee Temple University and Triune Biblical University, as well as his Ph.D. from Christian Bible College in Rocky Mount, NC. In addition to his pastoral responsibilities, Dr. Heikkila served in the US Army, and was awarded a Bronze Star during the Korean Conflict. In his civilian life, he served as Chaplain for several district courts, police departments, and hospice organizations in Massachusetts. He was honored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and was presented with the highest award for citizenship within the organization – The Citizenship Medal. This award was never before – nor since – been awarded.
Dr. Heikkila was also an author and speaker, penning several tracts, including his autobiography, “From Hollywood to Calvary”, telling of his journey from Hollywood, CA to begin life as a speaker for the New England Association of Evangelicals. Consistently in demand to speak at colleges, conventions, conferences, and church events both local and internationally, Russell was an individual known for his spiritual insight and charming wit, and was honored to have spoken at the Memorial Service for the renowned Pro Life Crusader, Dr. Mildred Fay Jefferson at the Harvard Memorial Church, Harvard University on Friday, November 26, 2010. He also portrayed the first minister of Gardner, the Rev. Jonathan Osgood, at a cemetery reenactment on June 26th, and again by popular demand on September 26th, celebrating the 250th anniversary (1785-2010) of the founding of the City of Gardner, MA. Russell was also the featured speaker at a Bible conference in Katerini, Greece in July of 2010. He also spoke at the Greek Evangelical Church in Katerini.
Dr. Heikkila is survived by his beloved sister, Janice “Jan” Heikkila of Waukegan, IL and many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
On February 24, 2019 Mission Street Congregational Church became the Mission to Grace Church of Gardner. Dr. Heikkila, pastor emeritus, was honored when the church named the fellowship hall: Heikkila Fellowship Hall.
A Private Funeral Service will be held at Shannon Maloney Funeral Home, Port Orange FL, with Rev. Robert Kemp-Baird, pastor of Daytona Beach Drive-In Christian Church officiating. A second funeral service will then take place at Laurium Shining Light Church, 246 Tamarack St., Laurium, MI on July 9, 2019, with visitation from 10:00am to 10:30am, with service starting at 10:30. Burial will follow in the family lot at Mountain View Cemetery, South Range, MI.
An additional memorial service honoring Dr. Heikkila’s life, and glorifying the Lord God Christ whom he served by His mercy and grace, will be held at 10:30 am August 3, 2019 at Mission of Grace Church, 358 Pleasant Street, Gardner, MA with Rev. David Bodanzo and Rev. Dr. Stephen Mayo officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Laurium Shining Light Church, 246 Tamarack St, PO Box 645, Laurium, MI 49913.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Shannon Maloney Funeral Home in Port Orange, FL, (386) 760-9660 in conjunction with Erickson-Crowley-Peterson Funeral Home of Calumet, MI, (906) 337-4600. Online condolences for the family may be left at
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Douglas M. Stone

Posted at 07:48am
With heartfelt condolences, Doug Stone, Stone-Ladeau Funeral Home, Winchendon, MA
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Terry and Renee Aho / Vineyard Christian Church

Posted at 08:30am
"Rev. Dr. Russell Gary Heikkila , Your life blessed our life .
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Terry and Renee Aho / Vineyard Christian Church purchased flowers for the family of Rev. Dr. Russell Heikkila.


Paul Marin

Posted at 09:02am
“Gary has fought the good fight, Gary has finished the race, Gary kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7
I had the privilege of meeting and doing a retreat with Gary in New Hampshire many years ago. We would exchange emails periodically. Gary loved the Lord and served Him with all his heart, soul and body. He was a wordsmith for the Kingdom of God. His passion would come forth as Gary shared God’s word.
My Uncle Ed attended the Elm Street Church in Fitchburg. I remember him telling me as a child on our visits from Quincy about the wonderful young preacher in the Gardner Church. Our paths crossed about 30 years later. Gary blessed many lives in his ministry.
Anja and I extend our sympathy to the family.
“Gary has crossed over from death to life.” John 5:24
Paul Marin
Atlantic Mine, MI.


Posted at 09:59pm
My sincere condolences to the Heikkila family. May you find comfort in your loving memories, and in God's promise to soon "swallow up death forever" and "wipe away the tears from all faces." (Isaiah 25;8) That world will be without conflict and war. With deepest sympathy.

Doug Stone

Posted at 02:16pm
I knew Gary for nearly 30 years and as a minister and funeral director, we worked together on hundreds of funerals. There was never a better or more Godly man. God has certainly prepared a place for him in heaven. In addition to working together, he became a wonderful family friend, whom my wife and I loved a great deal. We have missed him a great deal since he moved to Florida and we would enjoy seeing him on his trips back to New England. He always described death as a baby being born and he is enjoying his well deserved new life and home with the Lord, whom he loved and served so well.

Doug Stone,
Stone-Ladeau Funeral Home
Winchendon, MA

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