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Dolorous Marie (Deutsch) Heffner

February 5, 2024 | 3 comments

Dolorous Marie (Deutsch) Heffner, 84, of Trempealeau, WI, passed away peacefully in her home on January 28, 2024.

Dolorous was born February 28, 1939, to Birdella (Coyle) and Michael Deutsch and graduated from Healy Memorial High School in Trempealeau in 1957. Dolorous and Larry J. Heffner were married on August 3, 1957, at St. Bartholomew’s Catholic Church in Trempealeau, WI.

Hard-working all of her life, Dolorous held many jobs, but loved her time behind the wheel of her school bus the most. She drove generations of children to and from school for over 35 years. Dolorous’s family has enjoyed hearing how much she meant to so many of her former passengers throughout the years. “Ma” showed love (sometimes even the tough kind), to every kid who stepped onto her bus, and made a positive difference in so many lives.

Dolorous brought joy and camaraderie into every part of life through her love of music. Starting with the ukelele at age 10, Dolorous was a self-taught musician, who went on to learn the basics of every type of instrument under her esteemed band director, Eugene Steffes.  She loved playing her guitar along with friends and family who played and sang and told stories right along with her. Sing-alongs were a part of every family gathering and community function in which Dolorous was involved.

Dolorous is survived by her sons Dean (Terry), Daniel, Joseph (Perian), and daughter Shirley, siblings Robert Deutsch, Shirley Younce, and Doris Deutsch, as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her husband, Larry Heffner, her parents, Birdella (Coyle) and Michael Deutsch.

Dolorous’s family extends sincere appreciation to all friends and family for your kind words, thoughts, and prayers, and especially to Bonnie of Age In Place, and the staff and caregivers at Moments Hospice of La Crosse, WI.

Visitation will be held at St. Bartholomew’s Catholic Church at 10 a.m., followed by a funeral service at 11 am, with a gathering and light lunch to follow at St. Bartholomew’s parish hall on Thursday, February 8, 2024.

Condolences may be sent to: 11742 King St, Trempealeau, WI, 54661. If you wish to donate to a cause in Dolorous’s honor, please consider the G-E-T Music Boosters or the local radio station her daughter Shirley is forming, Trempealeau Mountain Music, for which her “Ma” is the biggest inspiration.



  1. Beth and Kirk Moon

    Sending love, prayers and condolences to you Shirley and all of your family!

  2. Alice Pawlicki

    Many prayers for all her family. May you all be comforted by the example of a good life she left for you. God has an exceptional musician and vocalist helping with the heavenly choir now. Thinking of you all

  3. Rev. Alvin McMenamy, SM

    I Wish to extend prayers and sympathy to the family of Dolorous. May God be most gracious to her now in heaven with great peace and happiness.

    I am Father Al McMenamy of the Society of Mary. I was privileged to know Dolorous for many years as Spiritual Director with and for her. What a great Lady! May she rest in God’s love now.

    With promise of prayers for ALL the family.


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