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Hero Down: Minnesota State Trooper Derek Jon Haehnel Succumbs To Melanoma

Golden Valley, MN – Minnesota State Patrol Trooper Derek Jon Haehnel died on Nov. 16 after a lengthy battle against melanoma.

The 36-year-old trooper passed away at his home, according to his obituary.

Trooper Haehnel played football at Hamline University, graduating with a degree in criminal justice in 2007.

He worked as a security guard at Regions Hospital and served as a West St. Paul reserve police officer prior to joining the MSP in 2013.

He always dreamed of becoming a law enforcement officer, according to his obituary.

Trooper Haehnel served as a field training officer and received two lifesaving awards during his eight years of service with the state patrol.

He proudly served on President Donald Trump’s Presidential Inauguration detail in Washington, DC in 2016.

Trooper Haehnel was assigned to the MSP’s Golden District at the time of his death.

The West St. Paul Police Department (WSPPD) offered its condolences to Trooper Haehnel’s family and the MSP in a Facebook post on Nov. 21.

The WSPPD said the fallen trooper will be dearly missed by his partners and family members.

Trooper Haehnel leaves behind his wife of 11 years, Holly, as well as his seven-year-old daughter, Eve, and his five-year-old son, Leo.

He is also survived by his parents, Brian and Karen, and his siblings, Jessica and Nate, as well as his in-laws, nephews, nieces, many friends, and the MSP, according to his obituary.

Trooper Haehnel was laid to rest on Nov. 24.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family Minnesota State Patrol Trooper Derek Jon Haehnel, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin

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