Parade of semitrucks lead funeral procession for Minnesota boy, 12, killed in snowmobile crash

One of Blaze Himle's favorite things was lit-up semitrucks. More than 50 semis lined up Saturday to lead the procession for Blaze.

blaze himle
The semi Blaze Himle's papa owns — the one which took Blaze to his final resting place in Theilman, Minn., pictured Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, outside First Lutheran Church in Lake City.
Abby Sharpe / Post Bulletin

LAKE CITY, Minn. — Blaze Himle’s first, and greatest, love was semi trucks.

The love started in the early days of his life, when he was in the neonatal intensive care unit after he was born. His mom, Marie Himle, said Blaze wouldn’t drink his bottle in the NICU.

“My dad, his papa, came to visit him, and my dad was trying to get him to drink his bottle,” Himle said. “My dad told him he has to drink his bottle to grow big to ride in my dad’s semi. Blaze started to drink his bottle then.”

There was then, arguably, no better way to honor and remember Blaze’s life than enlisting semi drivers to form a convoy — which totaled over 50 semis — to lead the procession from First Lutheran Church in Lake City to his final resting place in Theilman, Minnesota, on Saturday, Jan. 14.

Blaze rode in his papa’s truck one last time — the same semi they took to California last summer together.


Blaze, who was described by his mom as “energetic, creative, loving and would help anyone with his big heart,” was killed Sunday, Jan. 8, in a snowmobile crash.

A family friend, Erik Madison, organized the convoy. Semis from all over Southeast Minnesota were in attendance, along with trucks from Wisconsin.

In a Facebook post on Friday, Madison said he’s “been on the phone with folks from Billings, Montana, down to Big Cabin, Oklahoma, & all points in between that are headed to little Lake City MN to join in on this tribute.

“From what I planned on 5 maybe 10 of us local guys to the whole country showing up … I couldn’t be more proud of our truckin family than I am now,” his post continued.

Marie said the support from the community has “been amazing.”

“It’s meant so much to me and the family,” she said. “I know Blaze is looking at all the trucks lit up for him, just smiling.”


A GoFundMe memorial fundraiser page to support Marie Himle and her family has raised over $19,000 of its $21,000 goal as of Saturday morning.

Abby Sharpe joined the Post Bulletin in February 2022 after graduating from Arizona State University with a sports journalism degree. She loves sports, '90s sitcoms, historical fiction and Quentin Tarantino movies. Readers can reach Abby at 507-285-7723 or
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