by Nathan Warner
Jeffrey Fiereck of Zimmerman was pronounced dead at the age of 43 on July 13 at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, where he was being treated for severe head injuries.
Fiereck was found lying on the ground by the owner of a home where he was working to install a DirecTV satellite dish. Elk River Police police believe Fiereck died from blunt force injuries sustained in a fall and are waiting on autopsy results for confirmation.
“He lived for his boys,” Fiereck’s father, Jerry Fiereck, said about his son, “and he lived for the now.”
The man is survived by his three sons, Dakota, 15, and twins Austin and Hunter, 14; their mother, Tamara; his parents, Jerry and Audrey Fiereck; his brother, Scott; other family and many friends.
He was born at Unity Hospital in Fridley on April 1, 1968, and grew up in the Anoka area before the family moved to Arizona when he was 13. In Arizona, Fiereck was heavily involved in St. Jerome’s Catholic Church, serving as an Eucharist minister and usher in the parish.
“He was very interested in traditions and anything medieval,” his mother, Audrey, smiled. “In fact, I think he should have been born back then — it would have suited him perfectly.”
His two favorite sayings were, “Strength and Honor!” which he’d tell his boys each morning before going to work, and “We do not remember the days, we remember the moments.”
The Zimmerman man was a single parent and a perfect “Mr. Mom,” according to Audrey, who said his children came before everything. “His single greatest passion was his boys,” she said. “He’d go hiking and fishing with them and they watched lots of movies together.”
He loved quoting movies and the family enjoyed testing each other on famous lines delivered by their favorite actors.
The Fierecks’ son moved to Minnesota last year to get his life back together and start anew with his children. They lived with Jeffrey’s parents in Zimmerman for six months through the summer and made many friends in the community.
“Those boys were Arizona kids, but they loved it here,” Audrey laughs. “They wore shorts for as much of the winter as they could, but finally surrendered to the cold. It was so strange seeing them in pants for the first time.”
The boys and their father moved into a Zimmerman apartment this year, but he wanted to settle down and buy a house. He loved his job at Direct Sat USA, installing DirecTV dishes and was one of two installers in the Sherburne County area. He especially enjoyed meeting people in the community.
“He used to say people were so nice here and he really liked that,” Jerry recalls. “He just loved people.”
“To us, he was JC or ‘go-go-gadget,’” Kip Korbel, general manager at Direct Sat USA, said. “Jeffrey had only been with us for a year, but he rose fast in the company and was very popular and well respected by his fellow technicians. He was a real star down here and we miss him terribly.”
Fiereck’s sons, Dakota, Austin and Hunter, are now living with their mother in Arizona where they have a lot of supporting family, including two doting uncles who will be very involved in their lives now. Jerry and Audrey will be leaving Minnesota in October for the winter and will join their grandchildren in Arizona.
Their son was buried next to his grandmother in Champlin Cemetery.
“He loved his grandmother,” Audrey noted.
Dakota wrote this eulogy for his father, titled
“Strength and Honor.”
“I wonder how you were able to deal
With all the pain that you felt.
I wonder how you made it through the situations
You were dealt.
An ordinary man would have run from your
“But you were no ordinary man,
You did things your way.
Whether it was easy or hard.
And in everything you did, you put in all your heart.
“You weren’t just a father to your kids;
You were a friend.
So when you moved to Minnesota, of course your
Sons all went.
“You worked so hard to take care of your family,
You always said all you lived for was to make us
And you did Dad.
You couldn’t make us more proud,
I wonder why you stuck around.
I guess it was your strength and honor,
Until we see you again.”