Friends relieved about Minnesota couple who died on ship

WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minn. (AP) — Friends of a Minnesota couple who died when an Italian cruise ship capsized in January say they’re relieved to hear the bodies of Barbara and Gerald Heil finally have been identified.

The White Bear Lake couple were active members of St. Pius the X Catholic Church and were known for their service to others.

Jerry Heil would visit Diane Vorland, who is confined to a wheelchair, every Thursday to bring her communion and recite the rosary. And he promised to drive Denny Hardy on errands after Hardy lost his license.

Vorland says it’s good news that the Heils finally have been identified after so long, and that the news should give closure to the family.

Hardy says it’s nice knowing that the Heils are now safely in the hands of God.