Darrel Claire "Buck" Heegard, 84, of Owatonna, formerly of Austin died Friday October 7, 2011 at Homestead Hospice House in Owatonna. Buck was born January 2, 1927 in Hayward, MN, and was raised in Albert Lea,MN.When he was 16, Buck left high school to join the United States Navy during World War II, serving in the Pacific Theater and participating in the invasion of Leyte Gulf in 1944.After the war, he returned to Albert Lea and finished high school. On September 3rd, 1949 he married Shirley Ann McKallor of Austin, who remained the love of his life until her death in 2006. Buck worked for Hormel Foods in Austin for 38 years before retiring in 1986. He was an avid golfer, union activist and the proud father of seven children. He was preceded in death by his wife, his parents and one brother. Survivors include his children: David (JoAnn) Heegard, Mary (Chuck) Distad, Nancy (Mike) Bowden, John Heegard, Joan (Mike) Jutson, Ann (Brian) Westberg and Joe (Myrna) Heegard; ten grandchildren; five great-grandchildren, with a sixth, Francis Claire, due any day; sisters: Jeanette Godtland, Lois (Roger) Bailey, Marilyn Amerson, and his twin sister Delores (Howie) Petersen. A Celebration of Life service will be held at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at Mayer Funeral Home in Austin, MN, with visitation one hour prior to the service. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery with military rites by American Legion Post #91. Memorials to the Homestead Hospice House of Owatonna or Trinity Lutheran Church of Owatonna Building Fund are preferred in lieu of flowers.