In Loving Memory of Peter Theodore Heryla II
September 21, 1939 - January 29, 2024
It is with heavy hearts and profound sadness that we announce the passing of Peter Theodore Heryla II, a loving husband, devoted father and grandfather, cherished friend, and esteemed member of the community. Peter peacefully departed from this world on January 29, 2024, at his residence in Fridley, MN, surrounded by the love of his family. He was 84 years old.
Born on September 21, 1939, Peter spent his formative years in Columbia Heights, MN, where he attended Columbia Heights High School. After graduating in 1957, he continued his education at Augsburg University, where he met the love of his life, JoAnn. The couple exchanged vows in 1964 and embarked on a journey filled with love, laughter, and lifelong companionship.
Together, Peter and Joann started their journey together in South Minneapolis, and then created a warm and nurturing home in Fridley, where they lovingly raised their son Peter III. Family was of the utmost importance to Peter, and he devoted himself to providing a stable and supportive environment for his loved ones.
Throughout his life, Peter had a deep passion for music, specifically jazz. He possessed a natural talent for playing various instruments, including the accordion, piano, and the upright bass. Peter's love for music extended beyond his personal enjoyment; he was also the lead singer of The Dandy Lions, an experience that brought joy to both his life and the lives of those who heard his melodic voice.
Beyond his musical pursuits, Peter dedicated himself to coaching and educating others. For over 30 years, he served as an inspirational educator and mentor, with 17 of those years spent at North Community High School in Minneapolis. His impact on countless students' lives extended far beyond the classroom, as he instilled in them the belief that their potential was limitless. Peter's passion for encouraging young minds to thrive led to his recognition as the Assistant Football Coach of the Year.
In 1994, Peter retired from the Minneapolis School District, leaving behind a legacy of compassion, dedication, and unwavering belief in the potential of others. During his well-deserved retirement, he cultivated a deep appreciation for the great outdoors. Peter spent serene days fishing and hunting, often venturing to Canada or his cherished cabin in Deerwood, MN. He was also a fun and loving grandfather to Peter IV and was his grandson's number one fan.
Peter Theodore Heryla II leaves behind a void that can never be filled. His zest for life, and genuine interest in every individual he met created lasting connections and countless cherished memories. His kind spirit and unwavering love will forever resonate in the hearts of his family and friends.
He is preceded by his parents, Peter I and Sara, and his in-laws Gary and Nancy Krebs.
He is survived by his beloved wife, JoAnn Heryla, who shared 60 beautiful years of love and companionship with him. Peter's memory will also be cherished by his son, Peter III (Rhonda), grandson, Peter IV. He is also survived by his brother, David (Robbin), his nieces Kara (Justin) Knutson, Natalie Krebs, his nephew Sam Krebs. He is also survived by his great nieces and nephews, Chase Rogstad, Tia Smyser and Chloe Smyser. He touched so many lives throughout his fruitful journey.
To honor Peter's life and recount the joy he brought to those around him, a memorial service will be held at Salem Covenant Church located at 2655 5th St NW, New Brighton, MN 55112 on Monday, February 5th, 2024. Visitation at 10:00 AM and the Service to begin at 11:00 AM.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made to the Columbia Heights Alumni Scholarship Foundation or the North Community High School in Minneapolis. Your support will allow his legacy of compassion and dedication to continue to touch the lives of others.
Peter Theodore Heryla II will be dearly missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him. May his soul find eternal peace and may his memory forever serve as an inspiration to us all.