Heath Earl Tople

June 13, 1970 ~ February 9, 2013

Memorial services will begin at 4 pm, Thursday, February 14, 2013, at Heartland Funeral Home, in Brandon, with Pastor Jason Mueller officiating. Visitation will begin at 2 pm with family present.

Heath Earl Tople was born June 13, 1970, in Aberdeen, SD, to Jack and Penny (Grey) Tople. Shortly after, the family moved to Pierre where Heath was raised and educated. While in high school, he was very active in Boy’s State, music programs, politics, paper routes, and of course, radio at KCCR and Fred Smith. Heath was recognized by the Pierre mayor with “Heath Tople Day” for his attention to detail and assistance in stopping a burglary at a home he was delivering papers to. Heath was a passionate and caring person. Once, while riding his bike along the highway, Heath found a wallet and returned it to a vacationing couple. He also organized a successful strike of the local Pierre paper carriers against the Capital Journal. He later did lose his paper job but everyone got a raise. Heath graduated from Pierre Riggs High School in 1988.

He then attended and graduated from SDSU in 1993 with degrees in Communications, History, and Political Science. Heath again found work in radio at Brookings as well as managed the State Theater.

In 1991, Heath met and married Sabra Richardt. To this union, his two wonderful boys, Jon and Rob, were born. He proved he was a very proud father by showing up at the hospital in a tuxedo and bearing roses for his sons’ birth. Heath raised his sons to be Viking’s fans to the end. Jon and Rob will always treasure the trips to the Minnesota Twins or Vikings with their dad. Sunday’s were spent on the couch as “Viking Men” or playing PS II in all-out gaming wars until they couldn’t see any more. Heath loved to attend all of the boys’ events in school and sports.

Eventually, Heath and the family relocated in Brandon after he took a position at Results Radio in Sioux Falls on KIKN Hosting the popular morning show as Scotty Collins of Collins and Company and the Big Breakfast. He also became deeply involved in the community by holding positions as a Brandon City Councilman (where he was instrumental in establishing Robert Bennis Elementary, the new Brandon Community Library, and expanding/updating the Brandon Country Club and Golf Course), running for mayor, President of the Brandon Lutheran Church, member of the El Riad Shrine, and announcer for the Sioux Falls Stampede.

Tragically, Heath, 42, died Saturday, February 9, 2013, at his home in Sioux Falls.

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  • Thea Miller Ryan says:

    Friends and family of Heath – I am so sorry for your loss. I just sat down at a table with Heath at the Tourism Conference a couple weeks ago. We reminisced about our growing up times in Pierre and had some laughs. He will be missed by many. Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Tammi Pearson says:

    Jonathon and Robert my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family

  • Melodee Shoup says:

    I am so sorry for your families loss. Growing up 2 houses down from Heath, I have alot of memories. So many nights of playing “bloody murder”, the many baseball games in our back yard, working with Heath at KCCR. I know he will be missed.

  • Cheri D. Bartlett King says:

    Heath and I were good friends in High School. He was funny, caring and a really good person. We recently reconnected while I was taking classes in Sioux Falls. I will miss him. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help the family.

  • Don & Rachel Tople MN says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with Heath his family & friends may God’s grace give you peace and guide you in your time of need, don’t let go of his hand.

    Don & Rachel Tople MN

  • I am so sorry to hear of Heath’s passing. Heath worked with all of the Staff @ the City of Brandon for several years. He will be remembered as someone who truly cared about his position of councilman and took it seriously, dedicated, and not self serving. Politics and serving the community was truly his passion.

    Rest in Peace, Heath.
    May God Bless.

  • Brian Poelstra says:

    I met Heath at a journalism camp at SDSU when we were juniors in high school. We became friends then and have been ever since. No matter where or when our paths crossed after that we laughed and had fun. Thinking of the fun we had over the years I am happy that I had the chance to call him my friend. He will be missed.

    Rest in Peace my friend

  • Brian Franks says:

    Heath was always good to me. He dispensed good advice, and listened attentively. He touched the lives of many people. I was just talking to a friend of mine about Heath today, and then I discovered the obituary. I had no idea he had passed. He was so proud of his sons, and he never missed a moment to share news about them. Farewell, Heath. You’re home now.

  • Darcy (Weller) Jones says:

    To Jack, Penny and family,
    Heath and I became good friends in junior high through confirmation. He was such a kind and carrying young man from the start. Then we worked at the movie theater together through high school. We always had such a good time. He always had a ready smile and a contagious laugh. He always wore his heart on his sleeve. Once you were a friend of Heath’s, you were always a friend of Heath’s. He was loved by many and will be missed by all. God is taking care of him now.
    With my sincerest sympathies.

  • Desirae Van Roekel says:

    Jack and Penny,

    Thinking of you and your family during this time of loss.

    May Heath Rest in Peace and may your family find peace in knowing he is in a better place.

  • Lorraine Gordon says:

    Penny and Jack,
    Please know that all of us in Pierre are holding your family up in prayer. May God wrap His loving arms around each and every one of you. May the wonderful memories you have of Heath give you comfort. May God’s Love give you strength and peace.

  • Rosey Quinn says:

    What does one say to express the feelings of a lost very dear friend? Heath was my friend, I loved him and he was so supportive of me and whatever I got myself into. In some aspects we had been down the same road of things in our lives.
    I can only say I will greatly miss him, his laugh, his humor and most of all his friendship.
    Your in peace, Heath your with the Angels now.

  • Deb Evans & Shirley Raue says:

    To the Tople Family, Shirley and I are so sorry, we remember Heath when he come to the Day Care Center with his sister,we have been telling stories about him and remembering all the good and funny times while he was in Day Care. We are thinking of you guy’s.

  • Jackie Fischer says:

    Dear Penny and Jack…

    I just heard the news. I’m so very sorry for your loss. My prayers and love our with you both. Heath is at peace now,he has no more pain and hurt. I know he is with God and watching over everyone. I’m so sorry I can’t be with you in this time of sorrow but I send my love and thoughts to you both. God bless. Rest in Peace Heath. you will be missed.


  • Penny Coster says:

    I knew Heath (scotty) when he worked @ KIKN and he was the nicest man you could ever meet..He actually introdued me to my now husband..He would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it..He will be truly missed. RIP

  • Becky Heinitz says:

    My sympathy to you Robert, Johathan, and family. I know how your dad loved you and was so happy when he heard good news about your school progress. I will pray for God’s BLESSINGS to you as you reflect on good memories of your father.

  • We were so sad to hear that we lost a friend. Heath, we’ll miss your smile and infectious joy that you brought with you everywhere.

  • Bernadine Hinckley says:

    To the family and friends of Heath: I babysat Heath when he lived in Dell Acres. We will always remember Heath. Our thoughts and Prayers are with you.
    Mal and Bernadine Hinckley

  • Dan Tople says:

    Thinking of you all in this difficult time. May God grant you peace.

  • Janelle Holsing says:

    So sorry for your family’s loss. Although I did not know Heath, I listened to him for years on KIKN as Scotty Collins. Such a wonderful country music DJ who started my mornings off with a smile. I believe KIKN’s morning show has never quite been the same since Scotty left it. My prayers are with your family at this time.

  • Jackie Fischer says:

    Jonathon and Robert..i’m so very sorry for your loss. Heath was my cousin. I know Grandma and Grandpa Tople will always be there for you. God Bless you both. Your dad is no longer in pain. I know he will always be watching over you.My prayers are with you both and your Mom. Take care God Bless.


    RIP Cousin

  • anonymous says:

    I met Heath about 2 years ago at my job. He was always upbeat, respectful and joking when I was around him even though it was not a fun place to be. I then ran into him after at a local resturaunt and we chatted. Sorry for your loss.

  • Aaron says:

    I worked with Heath for a short period of time and he was a very nice man. He treated everyone with respect and courtesy. But when I found out about his past because of the internet and media, I unfortunately judged him based off of that and had actually poked fun at his expense. Even though harmless and he never knew of it, I feel absolutely horrible for his families loss and my judgement on choosing to judge someone based on their past and for that I am sorry. My prayers and thoughts go to his family and friends. For the rest of the people who have judged him out their they should read John 8:1-11. The main verse is John 8:7 But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

  • jackie tebbe says:

    im so sorry for youe lose I would always listen to him on kikn and loved having him at the stampede games he will be greatly miss

  • Jack and Penny,
    We have been trying to reach you ever since we learned of Heath’s passing. We are so sorry for your loss. We first got to know Heath when he was a swim class instructor at the Pierre YMCA. Our kids really liked him as he made their lessons fun and because of this they learned to swim at an early age. May Heath rest in peace now and may you and your family keep the good memories close.
    Our sincere sympathies.

  • Sarah Beatty Carlson says:

    I met Scotty at the Stampede games. Counted on him and his timing via a look from the ice. Always greeted with a hug. May God grant you peace – and hold your family close in his arms. Prayers and good thoughts to you all. – Sarah

  • MaRita says:

    To Heath’s family, I am sorry to hear of your loss. I only knew Heath as the funny and talented Scotty Collins. I wanted to take a moment here and say thank-you. Thank-you for sharing Heath with those of us that were lucky enough to hear him for many many mornings on KIKN Country 100.5. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. RIP Heath!

  • Paula (Stolsmark) Krueger says:

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to you all during this time. May the many happy memories you have of Heath bring you peace.

  • Sandee Smith says:


  • Curt Van Oort says:

    I am just one of many, many people who were proud to call Heath a friend. Reading some of the comments about what a giving person Heath was, the infectuous laugh, and how he was a friend for life, I echo those same sentiments. To the family, I pray that God’s grace will get you through this time and that your memories of Heath will be the good memories that have been expressed here.

  • Shannon Rook says:

    I was very sad to hear of Heath’s passing. My prayers are with and will continue to be with the family. To Jon and Rob, (you two make 3 hours of non-stop laughing while playing board games feel like 10 minutes!) Allow yourselves to take one day at a time as “time” really does help heal pain. You have people thinking and caring about you that you might not even realize. Remember the good times with your dad and how together you were able to plow through the bad. Allow the pain you endure at this time to make you even stronger and better vs resentful or bitter. Heath was always very nice to me, my husband and my kids. I will certainly miss his laugh but am sure to hear it again one day.

  • Mark Fokken says:

    I knew Heath while a student at SDSU. We were competitors on the Speech and Debate team and endured many long van rides to competitions. I am grateful for having called him my friend. He made us smile many times! My sympathies to everyone. He will live on in our memories.

  • Deanna Seager says:

    I went to school with Heath Tople for many years and then we connected back on Facebook years ago. He was an inspiration in so many ways to so many of us. I had been visiting with him more recently with lots of words of encouraging thoughts that all was going to be right in the world once again for him. I hope everything is ok for him now. I just wished I could have been closer because I know that words are never as helpful as the human touch. I will miss you my friend, thank you for being an inspiration in my life and I will still visit with you on a few topics we had going. May love hold you tight. And may peace find u and your family . Forever friends

  • Rona Dornbusch says:

    I was so very sorry to hear this news. Please know that I am and have been thinking of you and sending prayers. Such a difficult time. My heart truly goes out to you and all of your family at this very sad and difficult time.

  • Tamara Merrill says:

    My heart goes out to Heath’s family. I went to high school with Heath back in Pierre. He was always so nice to everyone. He will be missed by many, as I know he touched many hearts. I will forever hold a special spot in my heart for Heath. We were starting to reconnect and I will truly miss his friendship. Heaven is lucky to have gained such a WONDERFUL ANGEL.

  • Keith Koupal says:

    Heath was part of our forensic family at SDSU. He was able to make us smile and enlightened those around him…he will be missed.

  • Madonna Wenschlag Paulson says:

    Jack, I’m not sure if you remember me from high school days, but I am so sorry for the loss of you son. What a difficult thing. I’ve ready about Heath and sounds like an extrodinary man and very good father. I would imagine he was a great son as well. As a parent of a young man the same age as Heath I can understand the feelings of loss. May you, Penny and Heath’s family be blessed by God through these most difficult times of grief.

  • jack and penny tople says:

    For those who have come before and those that will come after this reply. Some of you we know and some of you we do not know; however, we appreciate the friendship that was extended to Heath and his family. We have known Heath since his borning cry. We are his parents. We deeply appreciate the kind words and sympathy extended to us and our family. Your thoughts and prayers have help sustain us through this difficult time. Peace and blessing to each and every one of you.
    Jack and Penny Tople

  • Paul says:

    Jack and Penny, I am so sorry for your loss. Heath was a good man and I always enjoyed talking with him. I travel extensively and had not heard the news until today, so I am sorry for the late condolences. God bless you Heath, and may you be wrapped in the warmth and love of the arms of Christ.

  • Jason Barkmeier says:

    Jack N Penny, I have never met you and I am extremely late in hearing of this news. For me this has just happened. I worked with Heath summer of 89 at Nesodak when he first met Sabra. I hope you have found peace as time has a way of helping us do. Just know he was exactly as everyone here describes… he is missed.

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