A. Henry Hetland – husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather – was 93 years old at his death, of pneumonia, in January of 2006. He had been a parish pastor, a campus pastor, and Executive Director of National Lutheran Campus Ministry. And yet, he left the Ministry in 1968, working until retirement in 1977 as a Relocation Officer for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He said that he had no regrets for his years in the ministry, and in his remaining years maintained, with his wife Phelva, strong and warm relationships with dozens or hundreds of former colleagues and those who had known him as their pastor. Their home in Park Ridge, Illinois, had frequent visitors and cheerful gatherings, often with spirited discussion of spiritual and philosophical matters.
After 64 years of loving marriage, Phelva died in November 2000. Both asked to be cremated, and to have their ashes scattered together at the park in St. Paul, Minnesota, where in 1931 they announced to their Lutheran Bible Institute friends their engagement, and their intention to walk together “to follow Him.” In June 2006 we were able to carry out their wish.
– Maren, John and Jim Hetland