Dana Heil


Dana William Heil, age 60, of Johnston, Iowa, formerly of Bismarck, passed away unexpectedly on February 19, 2023.

A Memorial Service will be held Friday, May 12, 2023, at 1:30 PM at Bismarck Funeral Home, followed by a military burial at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery in Mandan at 3:00 PM. Family will begin receiving friends at 12:00 PM.

Dana was born September 20, 1962, to Duane and Dorothy Heil. After graduating Century High School, Dana joined the Army, achieving the rank of Specialist 4. He went on to join and work for the North Dakota Army National Guard achieving the rank of 2nd Lieutenant, and the Iowa Army National Guard, achieiving the rank of Captain and serving in combat support during the war with Iraq. Dana earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Grand View College and worked as a civilian finance specialist for the Iowa National Guard.

Dana was extremely friendly and always kind to strangers. He never let anything get him down and never said a bad word about anyone. He always gave everyone the benefit of the doubt that they were acting in good faith, and when they weren’t he forgave no matter how badly he was wronged. He had a great sense of humor and an infectious laugh that will be sorely missed. Outwardly he would never want anyone to be bothered or inconvenienced by his death. He would say, “Nah, don’t worry about me. I’m fine!” Inwardly, we know he is appreciating all the prayers and reflections of happy memories had with family and friends.

If you take away anything from Dana’s time on earth and passing away too soon it is this: be nice to people, strike up a conversation with someone, forgive and forget, give people the benefit of the doubt, giggle delightfully and always look on the bright side of life.

Dana is survived by his Stepson Cory (Angela) Sebastian, grandchildren Vincent and Emma Sebastian; his mother Dorothy Braun; brother Dave (Gail) Heil, niece Amber Gambetta and nephew Dave Heil; sister Deidre Handtmann (Randy Brendel), nephew Brandon Baker and nieces Jessica Patch and Kelsie Morris; and sister Desiree Bergquist (Kurt), nephews Camden and Grant Bergquist.

Dana was preceded in death by his father, Duane Michael Heil.



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It was a pleasure to serve with Captain Dana Heil in the Iowa Army National Guard, and to call him a friend. What a wonderfully written obituary! I can absolutely see all of the attributes mentioned in him: Dana was such a good person, and every Soldier in any of the formations that Dana led would echo the sentiment that he was a caring, supporting leader, who would always listen and show empathy to those around him. I am sad to learn of Dana’s passing. May he rest in peace.

I’ve known Dana since high school. He was so kind, caring and always fun to be around. I’ll always remember his laugh and bubbly personality. RIP my Sweet Friend. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Love you guys. We had lots of great times.

So very sad to hear of his early death ! We grew up neighbor kids, so we go way back to Grimsrud grade school ! Dana was just a great guy always kind! I had a nice long conversation at our most recent class reunion! He mostly spoke of his grandchildren , They were obviously his greatest pride and joy. The obituary was so nice and I sincerely agree with all of it! May all that loved him cherish their memories! May he be in a better place !