Thursday, April 18, 2019

Eagle Butte

Mabel Lorene “Babs” (Heideman) Mahin

Mabel Lorene “Babs” (Heideman) Mahin, Wahpteton, ND, passed away at Sheyenne Crossings in West Fargo on November 23, 2018, under the care of Hospice.  She was 75 years old.  She battled cancer for over 14 years, including colon, breast, and finally bile duct cancer.  She never gave up and fought with a remarkable positive outlook to the very end.  After learning that her diagnosis was terminal 4 years ago, she made a list of everything she wanted to accomplish before she passed away.  She was blessed to live long enough accomplish everything on that list AND start on a new list. Cancer didn’t beat her, but spurred her to live fully and joyfully every moment she had left on this earth.

Lorene was born June 8, 1943 in Buffalo, South Dakota to Loren and Mable (Maynard) Heideman.  She was raised and attended school in Eagle Butte, South Dakota.  While waiting tables in the local café, she met a tall, dark, handsome stranger, who became the love of her life.  She married Duane W. Mahin on June 24. 1960, and moved to Bismarck, North Dakota. 

In Bismarck, she worked as a nursing assistant in Pediatrics at Bismarck Hospital until she began her own family.  Julene was born in 1964, and Brion in 1967.  In 1970, they chose Carrington, North Dakota, to settle and raise their family.

In Carrington, she and Duane opened the Montgomery Ward Catalog Store on Main Street.  They both began taking business and accounting classes through the satellite program given by UND in Carrington, which opened new career opportunities to her.  After selling the downtown store, she became the Business Office Manager at Golden Acres Manor.  During her time at Golden Acres, she became a favorite of some of the long-term residents; she loved people and was happiest visiting and chatting with everyone.  In Carrington, she was an active member of the Jaycees, Bridge Club, and Trinity Lutheran Church.

In 1985, after her children had graduated from high school, Lorene and Duane moved to Wahpeton, North Dakota.  Lorene continued her education and became a licensed Real Estate Agent in 1990.  She absolutely loved working with people and finding them the perfect home.  She earned many top sales awards and had a very friendly, competitive relationship with her fellow agents, becoming close friends with them as well.  She retired in 2012.

She was an avid bridge player, loved to garden, crochet, paint, jet ski, and ride snowmobile, and play all sorts of games. She was competitive and compassionate, and always focused on the positive in every person and situation. 

Her greatest joy was spending time with her husband and lap-poodle, Cesar, at “the lake”. She especially loved when her grandchildren visited every summer.  She entertained them with endless stories, taught them to play cards, dominoes, make s’mores over the campfire, admired the frogs they caught, and made sure they watched the sunset over the lake on the pontoon whenever possible. She loved following and cheering for her grandchildren in their school and sporting events and was a doting grandmother.

Lorene is survived by her beloved husband of 58 years, Duane, of Wahpeton; her children, Julene (Brian) Thom, Louisville, Colo., and Brion (Laurie) Mahin, Grand Forks, ND.  Also left behind to cherish her memory are four grandchildren, Taylor and Michael Mahin, and Caelan and Bryce Thom; brother, Richard (Geneva) Heideman; sister, Lila (Bud) Sever; and many beloved nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers, George (Paulette) Heideman and Jerry (Barb) Hinzman; and her sister, Janet (Heideman) (Bud) Fullmer.

Memorials are suggested to go to the Hospice of Red River Valley or any other charity of the person’s preference. 

Condolences and memories may be shared at

A memorial service for Lorene will be held at a later date.