Dora J. Hetrick

Dora Jane Hetrick was born November 30, 1935 in Reynoldsville, PA to Albert and Grace Hetrick.  Dora experienced pulmonary fibrosis in her later years and reached the end of her life journey on July 2, 2023 at age 87.  She leaves behind two beloved daughters, Amy C. (Robert) McCormick and Connie C. (Greg Liepshutz) Christian; her dear sister, Mary (Alan) Vecchio; as well as cherished nieces, nephews, and their children (Wendy Wetherbee, Tara Greenblatt, Angella Scalise, Samuel Breene, Berry Breene, Aurora Wetherbee, Owen Hannah, Felix Hannah, and Lilliana Scalise).  She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Rev. Gary Hetrick and sister-in-law, Lois Hetrick, their daughters, Rebecca and Barbara Hetrick; sister, Martha Breene and brother-in-law, Charles Breene.

Dora loved and excelled in school, earning a B.S. in Elementary Education from Clarion State Teachers College (now PennWest Clarion) in 1957.  After graduating, she was an elementary school teacher and took music courses at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Allegheny College during summers.  Then, from 1960 to 1962, she attended West Virginia University where she completed a B.A. in Music and also earned a Masters in Music.  Dora loved her work as an elementary school teacher and then as a music teacher, specializing in instrumental music.  Over the course of her career, she taught in various school districts in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Missouri, and finally in Philadelphia.

In addition to being a dedicated teacher, Dora married David Christian in 1960, raised a family in Missouri and New Jersey, and eventually retired to Michigan in 1999 to be close to her daughters.  Her greatest joys were spending time with her daughters and extended family, listening to music, and caring for her treasured pets.

As a younger woman, Dora volunteered with Meals on Wheels, sang in her church choir, and taught Sunday school classes. After retiring, she volunteered for a number of years as coordinator and tutor in her church’s tutoring program which reached out to Lansing grade school students in need.  She loved these children and did everything she could to help them have a good chance in life.  She also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity for a number of years, building houses in the Lansing area until her health no longer permitted. Dora was a truly generous person who accepted and welcomed in her life people of all different backgrounds and circumstances.

Dora will be deeply missed for being the loving mother, sister, aunt, loyal friend, and generous, caring person that she was.

Her Memorial Service will take place on Saturday, July 29, 2023 at Grace Lutheran Church, 528 N. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Lansing, Michigan.  For those attending in person, the family will begin receiving visitors at 12:30 PM with the service to begin at 1:00 PM.  For those who cannot attend in person, the service will be live-streamed at Grace Lutheran Church’s Facebook site:  @GLCLANSING.  All times refer to Eastern Daylight Time.

A private inurnment for the immediate family will take place in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Lansing, on another date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Capital Area Humane Society or Habitat for Humanity of Michigan. Arrangements are by the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel.

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23 Messages to “Dora J. Hetrick

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Tara H Greenblatt
July 4, 2023 at 8:43 pm

From Dora’s Niece Tara: Dora you inspire all of us in this family to believe in our creativity, and stay educated!

Wendy Wetherbee
July 5, 2023 at 10:52 am

From Dora’s niece Wendy: I will always remember Dora for her strength, her belief that all people deserve kindness and equality, and her deep love of animals. The world needs more people like Dora. She is already greatly missed. Dora- may the journey to your next adventure be filled with love and lots of furry companions.

Connie Christian
July 8, 2023 at 6:23 am

You were the kindest person I’ve ever met. I’m so lucky that you were my mom. I did everything I could to care for you. I still feel like I should have done more. I’m just so sorry.

I love you mom.

David Rich
July 12, 2023 at 12:59 am

You always feel as though you could/should have done more. You’re an amazing daughter and you are seen! Love you

David Rich
July 12, 2023 at 1:02 am

Mrs. H. – I will always remember and cherish not only the cookies!!!!! Also, how deeply you appreciate a certain kind of help I once provided you regarding a tenant. Your family has always been important to me and it was my humble privilege to be there for you when asked! I’ll surely miss you. Thank you for your kind heart.

Joelle Beaudouin Yvrose Beaudouin
July 12, 2023 at 3:51 am

We are going to miss her very much she was a nice kind and caring person. She was my neighbor and I would go visit her sometimes and we had good conversations and laugh together. It was a honor to meet your mom she will be missed but not forgotten.. Connie & Army your mom love u very much my mother and I so sorry for your loss

Angella Scalise
July 12, 2023 at 11:05 pm

You were amazing for her. Keeping her home was no easy feat. Don’t kick yourself over things you could have done better, if you were able to clone yourself. Your gift of time gave her a better end than most people get. You served that dear woman well, Comnie Cay.

Candace Farmer
July 8, 2023 at 1:24 pm

Dora was such a wonderful caring person and so generous with her spirit. We shared a love of young people and helping them to succeed! She was one of the first people to help with FROG a weekly after school program at our church. She believed in the neighborhood kids and when one family moved away she maintained contact with them and provided transportation to and from the program. Her kind and gentle spirit will be missed.

Mae Kuykendall
July 10, 2023 at 11:49 am

I believe I met Amy and Connie’s mother just once in Ann Arbor briefly. What I know about her is her fine children and her great care for them. Her.dedication to humans and animals is a role model for everyone. My condolences to Amy and Connie.

Angie Sipsy
July 11, 2023 at 12:24 am

Awwwww man this is hitting me hard ? I had her as a tutor like Grace Lutheran Church when I was younger she helped me a lot through school she was a very sweet lady always made sure that I had everything that they needed I adored her so really sad to see that she passed away may God rest her soul and prayers to the family.

Angella Scalise
July 12, 2023 at 11:07 pm

Thank you, Angie. Dora was my aunt. She loved working with you kids.

Connie Christian
November 21, 2023 at 7:57 pm

My mom loved you too.

Mary HETRICK-Vecchio
July 11, 2023 at 12:27 pm

Dora is a great inspiration to me. As we were separated by 9 years she always was a but of an enigma to me. I finally got to know her really well into my middle years by visiting her in Mi., sitting down, talking in depth of our families dynamics. I was so impressed as she was absorbed by her appetite for knowledge, becoming a perfectionist on her woodwinds and clarinet. When a small child all I had heard of her was in the upstairs of our home , our farm, practicing her instruments. Very dedicated. Life fast forwards time and she put to use her education by teaching and being of influence to thousands of students as she taught them music. She made a change for the betterment if her spirit by going into what she loved and that was music. Dora Jane had a huge heart and strong conscience of the ills of mankind and gave of her time to always be of help. She was also politically motivated and was a part of trying to open up peoples minds to looking at every side of a situation, encouraging bi-partisan thinking. She was motivated and due to her cerebral capabilities kept her reading, involved herself in word games which I envied, as she far outdid myself and all I know who attempted her level of expertise. those abilities, and her pets kept her on her toes. Her daughters were crucial to her as her illness took its toll . They were always there when she needed them and there to help her at all times. She gave fully of what she had to offer to others.

Angella Hetrick Scalise
July 11, 2023 at 12:52 pm

Dear Aunt Dora. I really love her and will miss her. I can hear her laugh when I think of her. I am also eternally grateful that Lilly and I got to say goodbye in person. She was one of the kindest people I will ever know.

Jerry Ward
July 11, 2023 at 5:15 pm

You were such a nice, wonderful person. Kind and understanding and accepting What a great neighbor. May you be in peace.

Stephanie Armstrong
July 11, 2023 at 8:33 pm

I only had the honor of interacting with Dora a very few times, but those very times left a life long impact. Her compassion, quiet strength, and her generosity for serving those in need was in every fiber of her being. Dora lived life true to who she was created to be! Her presence on this planet will leave a ripple through time with an eternal mark. She stood by my side during a very painful and difficult time in my life even though she barely knew me. I could never repay her for what she did for me so I pay it forward. Dora inspired me to be a better version of myself. My heart hurts for those she left behind. Connie, you loved your mother well. Your devotion to her brought her great joy. No regrets my friend, she always knew you did beyond your best. Thank you introducing me to your mom. I wish I could say or do something to ease this time of sorrow. I love you.

Carole Williams
July 11, 2023 at 10:11 pm

From Dora’s second cousin on the Hetrick side, Carole Williams. I first got to know Dora when she was going to Clarion St. College. She would spend weekends with us on our farm. I was probably around 6 or 7. She would bring her clarinet & I loved to watch her practice! Her fingers flew over those keys! She was the reason why I took clarinet lessons. I never got very good & never learned how to use those keys on the side like she did! One time she invited me to spend a night in the dorm with her! I was so excited & I’ll never forget the time she took to be my friend.
Through the years we kept in touch with sporadic visits, but many letters which dwindled when both of us started having health problems. As someone mentioned, she had a wonderful laugh. Im thankful for knowing her! She was a great lady!

Linda Flanagan
July 11, 2023 at 11:20 pm

Dora was a good friend to me in many ways. She was always encouraging and supportive of my work as a parent, a musician and a church leader. I think I will miss her most though every evening when we played each other in Words With Friends. We had at least five games going simultaneously. I missed our games lately as her health declined. Dora was a gentle servant of Christ whom I’ll sorely miss.

Sylvia Jones
July 15, 2023 at 2:16 am

In memory of my sweet cousin. She was my music teacher at Saegertown Elementary. Quiet and sweet. Rest in peace beloved.

Linda Ishman Miller
July 18, 2023 at 7:07 pm

My last in person time together with Dora was in Harrisburg. She and Aunt Grace spent the night
We had a great.They were on their way to Philadelphia and the time was short but the memory will always be.

David Christian
July 27, 2023 at 5:28 pm

Ms Dora was a wonderful lady, that I had the privilege of knowing. I will always remember
her and will miss her. Blessings.

Mary Vecchio
July 30, 2023 at 12:07 pm

I thank you Amy, who gave such a beautiful eulogy, for my sister Dora J. Hetrick. It could not have been expressed in a more respectful and loving way. Sincerely from the heart.

Sharon L. Waters
November 15, 2023 at 3:14 pm

Today I was thinking about a music teacher, Ms. Hetrick, who I had from
1966-1967 at Edison Junior High School in Harrisburg, PA
While looking up the last name, I saw this obituary.
If anyone knows if this Ms.Hetrick taught music in the Harrisburg, PA School System around rhe aforementioned years, please to my email at:
My condolences to the family on the loss of your loved one.


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