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Henry "Heine" H. Prien

Henry H. “Heine” Prien, age 95 of Tripp, SD died on his birthday, Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at Good Samaritan Society – Scotland. Heine will be buried on Wednesday, April 15, 2020 at Gracehill Cemetery in Tripp, SD. There will be a celebration of life service at a later date.
Henry Herman Prien was born on Wednesday, April 8, 1925 to Henry C. & Elsa (Blume) Prien in Parkston, South Dakota. He was the seventh of ten children. He was baptized on May 17, 1925 by Rev. Lambertus. His sponsors were Mr. & Mrs. Henry Stahl and Mr. & Mrs. Herman Blume. He was confirmed on April 2, 1939 by Rev. Lambertus at Salem Lutheran Church in Parkston. He graduated from Parkston High School in 1942.
Heine served in the US Army in World War II for 30 months, spending two years in the South Pacific. He was honorably discharged in February of 1946. One of his favorite stories to tell was how he drove MacArthur’s car off the ship when he arrived in the Philippines.
Heine and Rose (Wright) Prien were married on October 15, 1946 at Salem Lutheran Church in Parkston by Rev. Martin Amelung. They met at a dance and continued to do so throughout their lives, dancing together often until Heine was nearly 90. Together they had five children: Cheryl, Dick, Karen “Pinky”, Yvonne and Henry.
In January of 1947, Heine and Rosie moved to Armour where Heine worked in a blacksmith shop. In July of 1947, they moved to Tripp where Heine ran the Charles Burchardt Blacksmith Shop for a short time. In September of 1947, they bought the old Champlin Gas Station across from the fair grounds. This was a 20’x40’ wood building and became Heine Prien’s Blacksmith and Welding Shop. The building burned in 1949. At that time, they built the cement block building, where Heine continued to work through the fall of 2015. He often liked to share that he was the oldest originally owned business in Tripp still operating. Besides blacksmithing, Heine also bought and sold old iron. For many, many years, his circus elephant truck was a landmark. He welded thousands of plow lays and just about anything you brought him that was broken.
Heine was a member of the Jelkin-Harms Post #142 for 75 years, having served in every position except Treasurer. He held the office of Chaplain for over 40 years, Roll Call for over 45 years, Post Commander, Adjunct, Historian and Sergeant-at-Arms. An autumn tradition of many, many years, Heine & Rosie, along with Clarence & Luella Lehr, visited the Tripp-Delmont first grade class, teaching about Veteran’s Day, flag etiquette and flag folding.
Heine was also a member of the Tripp Volunteer Fire Department for 33 years and a member of First American Lutheran Church since July 11, 1948. During his years as congregation member, he sang in the Men’s Choir and served on the church council and the 1992 Building Committee.
Heine was a man with a desire for a good auction (“Heine, will you take that for $1?”) or a pinochle game, a loving husband, father, grandfather. He had strong hands and a warm heart. He loved his 3:30pm wine with pickled herring, anything Mother cooked and was proud to lead the prayer at the Blume Reunion every summer. He could tell a good story slower than anyone. He had an endless supply of love for his friends, family and Jesus.
Grateful for having shared his life are his wife of 73 years, Rose; children Cheryl (John) Hirsch of Sioux Falls; Dick (Sharon) Prien of Chugiak, Alaska; Karen (Roger) Huether of Tripp; Yvonne (Chris) Gall of Tripp and Henry (Anita) Prien of Fargo, ND; one brother, LeRoy (Sherrie) Prien of Nampa, Idaho and 16 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, 1 great-great-grandchild and many nieces, nephews and friends. He was preceded in death by his five sisters: Marie Oberembt, Ella Thompson, Martha Prien (in infancy), Eda Mengenhausen and Erna Dangel; three brothers: William, John and Robert; and granddaughter, Teresa Huether.
The entire Prien family wishes to thank each and every worker at Good Samaritan Society-Tripp, Good Samaritan Society-Scotland and AseraCare Hospice for your compassion, your kind words, your care of Heine. Whether it was in the beginning or end of his stay, in the dining room, in the laundry room or in his room, we cannot express our appreciation enough. And may the Lord reward you for your kindness ..." Ruth 1:8


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To the Prien family we extend our sincere sympathy. Your Dad was a great guy. He was a legend in Tripp for all he accomplished and Rosie was a great supporter. Loved the dancing at the Legion Dance nights how the two of them navigated the floor so gracefully. Look forward bro seeing each one of you at his celebration of life. God bless all. Russ & Jean Weller

Russell Wellers Apr 17 2020 1:15 AM

Dear blessings to the Prien family. What a wonderful life your dad lived. I read his obituary and what came to my thoughts was sport day and he always read the winners off for the door(gate) prizes for how many years..The American Legion was a big part of all our lives. Prayers for all of you.

JoAnn (Schoenfelder)Steffen Apr 16 2020 1:57 AM

Cheryl - I was so sorry to read about your Dads passing. Just be glad you were able to have your Dad for so many years. I remember going home with you from college and your parents always welcomed me. Plus our Dads were good friends through the American Legion. May the memories you have remain in your heart forever. My deepest sympathy to all of the Prien family

Jan Skorpik Apr 15 2020 9:48 PM

All of you are especially in my thoughts and prayers this Wednesday morning as Heine is being laid to rest. What an icon he was for the Tripp community. He was such an example of Patriotism. Because of his love for his country, many first graders in my classroom, for several years, were able to witness his love and respect for his country. Veterans Day was very meaningful for first graders as the Priens and Lehrs would share information about Veterans Day, Patriotism, and respect for our flag and country. The first graders loved seeing the actual uniforms that had been worn by Heine and Clarence. What great memories and lessons they provided. Because of their dedication and coming into the classroom for so many years, I am donating money to the Tripp Legion in his memory. I know his memory will keep him close to your heart always. God bless you in this peace.

Vicki Hubner Apr 15 2020 6:18 PM

I was so sorry to hear of Heine's passing. He was blessed with 95 years of life well lived. As I read through his obituary, his priorities in life were very obvious ... family, faith, country, and community. I have many memories, but the one that stands out most is that, when I was a kid, I could stop by the Prein home any day and at any time and know I would be welcomed by Heine and his family. I also knew for sure that Heine would tease me about something and we would have a good laugh! Rest in peace, Heine, and God Bless all members of your beautiful family.

Joan (Vetter) Wermers Apr 15 2020 4:02 PM

My thought and prayer go out to the whole family in this time of sorrow. I will always remember going by in my bike to the pool AND living in the little pink house next door to the shop.

Dennis Batterman Apr 15 2020 4:23 AM

Heine was the only person I knew that shared the same birthday (April 8) as me (Dale). Even though I didn't visit with him very often, Heine was a fun guy to talk to. May the Lord comfort his family at this time of loss.

Dale and Terri Bitterman Apr 14 2020 2:35 AM

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. I remember well the annual 4th of July picnics at Heine and Rosie's house.

Larry and Bessie (Schnabel) Johnson Apr 12 2020 7:57 PM

My sympathies in your loss. Remember all the wonderful memories.

Alvera Konstanz Apr 12 2020 4:09 AM

May god be you all. He was a very nice man.

Nancy Keiper Apr 11 2020 8:15 PM

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