Cover photo for Heidi Joanne Makela's Obituary
Heidi Joanne Makela Profile Photo
1969 Heidi 2023

Heidi Joanne Makela

March 28, 1969 — May 5, 2023

Heidi Joanne Makela, 54, passed away unexpectedly on May 5, 2023. Heidi was born March 28, 1969, in Virginia, Minnesota to Clarence and Joanne (Ouren) Makela. Heidi spent her early years in Minnesota before the family moved to Boulder, Montana. Heidi graduated from Jefferson High School in Boulder in 1987.

Heidi was best known for her selfless, caring spirit, which was displayed throughout her life. She spent endless hours babysitting her 8 younger siblings, while managing multiple high school sports teams. After graduation, she became a nanny for families in Maryland, Virginia, and California for a number of years. Heidi then came back to Montana to become a caretaker for her grandparents during their final years, for which her family is ever grateful. She continued her devotion to caring for others as she navigated a career as a store manager and then Human Resources manager. She climbed the corporate ladder with Shopko/Pamida, taking her to Wisconsin, Kentucky, and North Dakota. During this time she was also working on her degrees, eventually earning an Associates of Science-Business from Rogue Community College and Bachelor of Arts - Business Administration with Human Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Before Heidi passed, she had spent 16 years as a Human Resource Manager at Menards in North Dakota.

Heidi was spontaneously adventuresome and would leave us in wonder as she told of her continuous travels. She was determined to visit all 50 states. Sadly, she was not able to visit Alaska before her death to complete the goal. During her early travels, she collected a variety of southwestern pottery, prized possessions which somehow survived countless moves around the country. A favorite adventure was a trip to Italy and the Vatican with her Aunt Mary. Heidi frequently traveled hundreds of miles over a weekend to be present at her niece’s and nephew's sporting events and to initiate random family occasions. Heidi had a passion for baking for her family and friends while putting her own twist on family recipes. She enjoyed betting on the horse races with her dad and playing the lottery with her grandpa which built special bonds.

Heidi's tireless work-ethic was second to none and was honed early. She begged her parents to let her get a paper route in 5th grade, which started a family tradition and led to 8 years of continuous, predawn wakeups. She pursued additional early employment at Dairy Queen and Mountain Good Restaurant while balancing school, playing softball, being a basketball manager, and doing various baby-sitting gigs throughout town.

Heidi was a woman of substance and set a fine example for her siblings. She taught us about the wide range of life’s experiences, from the joys of the finest champagne to an appreciation for the diviest of dives. She was a patron of the arts, sharing the joy of theatrical productions, museums and galleries, as well as fostering a well rounded taste in music. She was a wonderful photographer, graciously taking the time to teach those skills to her siblings. Though Heidi had no children of her own, she certainly was a “Fairy Godmother” to us all. We will never forget her magic.

Heidi is survived by her father Clarence and her siblings: Ty (Brenda), Teresa, Travis (Julie), Mitzi (Mike) Chappuis, Tiffany (Adam Cordeiro), Jodi (Dylan Haymans), Trent, and Rhett. She is also survived by her nieces and nephews: Chase (Anna), Madison, and Brooke Chappuis; Kary, Dayna, and Tyra Makela; Ellie and Arik Makela; Birdie and Hanchor Haymans. She is also survived by numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins. Heidi was preceded in death by her mother, Joanne Makela, brother Richard Makela, paternal grandparents Elmer and Ida (Peterson) Makela, maternal grandparents Oscar and Marie (Dooper) Ouren, and step-mother Dorothy “Dot” Creechley.

A celebration of Heidi’s life is being planned for August 5, 2023 at 11:00 AM from St. Catherine's Catholic Church in Boulder to celebrate everything she meant to her family and friends. Burial will follow in St. John's Cemetery.  Contributions in memory of Heidi may be made for her funeral expenses in the care of Madison Valley Bank- Boulder or to St. Catherine’s Community Center or St. John’s the Evangelist Church, Boulder Valley.

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

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, August 5, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)

St. Catherine Catholic Church

214 South Elder Street, Boulder, MT 59632

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


St. John the Evangelist Cemetery

Montana 69, Boulder, MT

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 11

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree