Cover photo for Kenneth "Ken" George Hetzel's Obituary
Kenneth "Ken" George Hetzel Profile Photo
1942 Ken 2023

Kenneth "Ken" George Hetzel

May 21, 1942 — November 17, 2023

Richland, Michigan

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Reverend/Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth “Ken” George Hetzel of Kalamazoo, Michigan, passed away on November 17, 2023, at the age of 81. Ken was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on May 21, 1942, to the late George and Edith (Estes) Hetzel. Ken married Margaret (Matthews) on July 26, 1975. 

Ken graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1964 and was immediately commissioned from ROTC in the Army. During his 20 years of military service, he was in Germany; Vietnam; Houston, Texas; Korea; Washington D.C.; Italy; Germany, again; and Fort Meade, Maryland. Kenneth retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in July of 1984. During his time in the service, Ken completed a Master of Science (International Relations) from the University of Houston in 1976.

Following his military retirement, Ken completed a Master of Divinity at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in 1987. Ken went on to serve as a pastor for 30 years to three Presbyterian (PCUSA) congregations: Winona Lake, Indiana; Willow Grove in Scotch Plains, New Jersey; and finally, Croswell, Michigan. Upon retirement in August 2017, Ken and Margaret relocated to Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Ken enjoyed travelling, running, gardening, painting, and going to PBR (Professional Bull Riding) events. He even “tolerated” sporting events (football, baseball, and NASCAR racing) with his sports-loving wife. Above all else, Ken enjoyed spending time with family – he was often heard saying, “whenever the Hetzel’s are all together there’s just chaos everywhere!”

Ken is survived by his beloved wife, Margaret; children, Dawn Hetzel, Joshua (Mandy) Hetzel, Deborah (Scott) Humble, and Stephen (Brandilyn) Hetzel; 3 brothers; 13 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. 

Ken will be laid to rest on Friday, November 24, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. at Fort Custer National Cemetery in Augusta, Michigan, following service held at First Presbyterian Church in Richland, Michigan. Service will begin at 12:00 p.m., with visitation directly preceding at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions made in Ken’s honor to your local cancer and/or heart centers. To view Ken’s personalized guestbook, please visit https://www.langelands.com.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kenneth "Ken" George Hetzel, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, November 24, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

First Presbyterian Church

8047 Church St, Richland, MI 49083

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Friday, November 24, 2023

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

First Presbyterian Church

8047 Church St, Richland, MI 49083

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Burial

Friday, November 24, 2023

2:00 - 2:30 pm (Eastern time)

First Presbyterian Church

8047 Church St, Richland, MI 49083

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Guestbook

Visits: 519

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