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Lt Col Edward J. Hettinger, 91

Lt Col Edward J. Hettinger, 91

Lt. Col. Edward J. Hettinger, USAF, Ret., passed away on January 12th at the age of 91.  Ed grew up in Marblehead and graduated from Marblehead High School with the class of 1950.  He attended St. Michael’s College in Vermont, graduating in 1954.  Ed entered the US Air Force as a 2nd Lt. in January 1955 and began a career that spanned almost 30 years.  He held staff and command positions across the country and the world.  He did two tours of duty in Vietnam and received many awards and decorations throughout his military career including the Bronze Star.


Upon his retirement from the Air Force, Ed returned with his wife and family to Marblehead and began a second career as a Senior Logistics Consultant at Dynamics Research Corporation.  He retired in 1997.  


Ed was the strong center of his family, and he was a proud father and grandfather, passing on lessons of fortitude and perseverance through his example.  He enjoyed football, golfing and good times with great friends.  He was appreciative of the simple things in life and took the time to be thankful for what he had.  Someone who served under Ed when he was a Squadron Commander at Aviano Air Base in Italy writes, “Ed was a great leader who stood up for his men, and I was proud to be one of them.”


Ed was predeceased by his beloved wife, Irene, who he met and married when he was a young officer stationed in London in the 1950’s. Together they raised three children who survive him:  Michael Hettinger of Canberra, Australia, JoAnn and her husband Greg Tobin of Southboro, Elizabeth and her husband Pat Tarmey of Newton; and grandchildren Corinna and Jimmy Tobin, Ed and Jim Tarmey, and Phoebe Hettinger.  He is also survived by his brother, Capt. Louis Hettinger USN, Ret., and his wife Olga and several nieces and nephews.  He was predeceased by his cousin Sister Diane Leary.


Ed was a lifetime member of the VFW, the Air Force Association, the Military Officers Association (MOAA), and the Gerry 5 VFA of Marblehead.


He was dearly loved, and he will be deeply missed.


The family will receive friends from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 21, 2023 at Eustis & Cornell of Marblehead, 142 Elm Street, followed by a funeral service at 11:30 a.m. and then by interment at Waterside Cemetery, Marblehead.  Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Hettinger family.