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Esther P. Hetzell  

Esther P.  Hetzell  

January 4, 1929 – October 8, 2013


Esther P.  Hetzell, age 84, of Bear, DE passed away peacefully at her home on Tuesday, October 8, 2013, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Born in Hockessin, Delaware on January 4, 1929, Esther was the 4th of 13 children born to Robert and Ruth Proud and was raised on a dairy farm outside of Delaware City.  Esther met her husband, Frank Hetzell, at the Maryland Skating Center, and on June 21, 1955, they were married.  Together, Frank and Esther had 4 children; Harold, Lorraine, Mark, and Robert.  In addition to caring for her large family, she was employed as the chief cook at Gunning Bedford Middle School for 15 years.  Esther retired in 1992, but returned occasionally to substitute there.

An avid gardener and bird watcher, she loved being outdoors and taking nature walks.  She also enjoyed sewing and traveling to exotic locations with her husband during the cold winter months.  Esther was kind, compassionate, and secretly adventurous.  She always accepted her grandchildren’s requests to ride bikes, scooters, and even roller coasters.  Strong willed and determined, Esther beat stage 4 breast cancer in 1998 because she, “was going to be around long enough to see her grandchildren get married  and have babies.”  Esther received her wish, and was there for 3 weddings and the birth of her 5th great grandchild, who arrived last month.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by six siblings, beloved sister, “Tootsie”, daughter-in-law, Cynthia, and her oldest child, Harold.  She is survived by her beloved husband of 58 years, Frank Hetzell of Bear; daughter, Esther Lorraine Newman of New Castle; sons, Robert Hetzell of Middletown and Mark Hetzell of Bear; grandchildren, Jennifer Goldsborough and husband, Eric of Smyrna, Amanda May and husband, Shane of Orlando, FL, Patrick Hetzell and wife, Roseann of Bear, and Sara Hetzell of Bear; 5 great grandchildren, Aiden, Jake, Bryson, Caleb, and Thomas; brothers, Philip Proud of Wilmington, David Proud of Henderson, MD, and Donald Proud of Sudlersville, MD; and sisters, Ruth Ann Moore of Newark, Doris Alls of Pineville, NC, and Mary McCoy of Dover.

A funeral service will be held at 11 am on Friday, October 11, 2013, at the Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 1000 N. DuPont Parkway, New Castle, DE where family and friends may call from 10 am until 11 am.  Interment will follow in Hickory Grove Cemetery, Port Penn Road, Port Penn, DE.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Delaware Hospice, 3515 Silverside Road, Wilmington, DE 19810 or to the Sunday Breakfast Mission P.O. Box 352 Wilmington, DE 19899.

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  1. Corrine & Jim Goodman, October 8, 2013

    We were neighbors with Esther, Frank, Harold, Lorraine, Bobby, and Mark. Our two sons, Brian and Keith were the same age as Mark and Bobby who played together and went to school together. We also knew Esther’s siblings from Commodore MacDonough Elementary School and Delaware City H.S. and Frank’s siblings from Middletown H.S. We’ll remember our first neighbors in our first home in Delaware City.

    Our sincerest condolences,

    Corrine & Jim

  2. Charlie & Connie Grieshop, October 9, 2013

    With our deepest sympathy.

  3. Bill Dewberry, October 10, 2013

    Frank: You’ve lost a keeper and we send our best to you and your family. May the many fond memories and God’s Grace comfort you at this time.
    Our entire staff, and former staff send their best….. Dewberry Agency.

  4. Bill Dewberry, October 10, 2013

    Frank, we are sadden by the passing of your lovely bride….. may the many fond memories comfort you, along with God’s Grace, in this hour……

  5. Dan and Linda Heeren, October 11, 2013

    Frank and family,
    Please accept our deepest sympathy on the loss of your lovely wife.

  6. Barbara and John Schofield, October 13, 2013

    Frank, John and I were very sorry to hear about Esther’s passing. We had so many fond memories of her on all the trips we took. together. Esther was such a dear person, always glad to see you when you came to visit. She will be greatly missed. Old friends Barb and John.

  7. Patti Finner, October 25, 2013

    I am sorry to hear of your loss. She will always be in my heart. My condolences for the hole family. Ginny Finner also sends her condolences. I loved her peach pie. I did not know she had passed. I would have gone to the funeral.


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