OTTUMWA — Estelle Ann Swanson Hetzler went home to the loving arms of her Creator at 4:55 on Feb. 13, 2014. She died of natural causes at home, surrounded by her family.
Loved and cherished, she will be greatly missed by many. Estelle was a gift to everyone around her and helpful to those that didn’t even know they needed it. She was willing to listen at all times, yet never passed judgement. Estelle lived her life working for justice, peace and the environment, while raising three kids and working as a social worker. Through her lifetime, she worked with troubled teens, women seeking to start a new life, at an adoption agency and as a wildlife rehabilitation specialist. Estelle served 12 years on the Wapello County Conservation Corps Board of Directors, she produced and directed dozens of stage plays with the Ottumwa Community Players and was active in her community in too many ways to count. Voted Best Dancer in her graduating high school class, she was always the life of the party. Those who knew her have referred to her as spunky, feisty and a spitfire. She was all that and more. The world was a better place with her in it. And as one of her Facebook followers said recently, “The quality of heaven just went up a few points.” Other quotable quotes from her fans include; “My best friend ever.”, “I fell in love with her in about the first 10 minutes I met her and never got over it.”, “Your mom will enter heaven the way she lived life — like a tiger,” and “a fierce mama bear.”
Estelle is survived by her husband of 57 years, David R. Hetzler, and by her three children, Matthew Charles Hetzler, Scott Louis Hetzler (Carla) and Amy Jo Hetzler; many nieces, nephews and their families on the Hetzler and Swanson branches of her family tree; and three grandchildren, Laine Erin Hetzler, Collin Matthew Hetzler and Jonah Samuel Hetzler.
A Memorial and Celebration of Life took place Sunday, Feb. 16., in Missoula, Mont., at the University Congregational Church, 405 University Ave.
In lieu of flowers, please make a gift in her memory to Amnesty International, The Sierra Club, Hospice of Missoula, a humane society or food bank of your choice or any group that serves children, animals or the environment. She would grin a little bit if you donated to Al Franken.