Ellen Hetz Obituary

Ellen M. Hetz

May 21, 1940 – January 26, 2024

Ellen Marie Hetz (nee Stahl) was born to John and Alfretta (nee Wilkening) Stahl on May 21, 1940.  The oldest of four girls, she was baptized at Holy Cross Lutheran Church on Miami Street in St. Louis in June of 1940 and confirmed there in April of 1954.  Through Holy Cross and its school, she met her husband, Ronald.  After grade school Ellen attended and graduated from Lutheran High School in 1958.  She earned her degree in education from Concordia College in River Forest (now Concordia University Chicago) in 1962.

Ellen’s first call to teach was at St. James Lutheran School in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  When her mother fell seriously ill, she returned to St. Louis to be closer to family.  From that point on, Ellen’s entire teaching career was spent in Lutheran schools in St. Louis.  First at Holy Cross Lutheran School and then Ascension Lutheran School (later known as Word of Life).   She was joined in holy matrimony to Ronald on July 10, 1965.  She took a ten-year break to raise their two children, Ross and Rachel from 1969-1979.  She resumed full-time teaching again at historic Trinity Lutheran School and then at Word of Life.

She received several awards and honors throughout her 30 plus years of teaching.  She was recognized as Teacher of the Year by LEA (Lutheran Education Association), Teacher of the Year by Emerson Electric Corporation, a Teacher of the Week from a local radio station, nominated for Disney’s Teacher of Excellence Award, and was selected as the National Lutheran Parent – Teacher League Teacher of the Year.  These awards were well deserved but she would tell you her greatest reward was to be able to share the love of Jesus.

After retiring, Ellen continued touching children’s lives by volunteering at Word of Life as an OASIS (Older Adults Serving in School) tutor.  She also read to kindergarteners every Wednesday.  In addition to these acts of love, she served her Lord by calling members of her congregation on their birthdays, or when listed as household or youth of the week.

Ellen went to be with her Savior on January 26, 2024.  Her suffering and challenges are over.  She is now with Ronald and so many other loved ones who placed their faith and trust in Jesus.

Ellen is survived by her two children, Ross and Rachel and their spouses, Megan and Mark (Hofman); grandchildren Rose, Romy, and Rory Hetz and Matthew Hofman; her three sisters; several nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews, cousins, and in-laws.  She was preceded in death by her parents, one nephew, one niece, and her husband.

Ellen’s visitation was held February 2, 2024 at John L. Ziegenhein & Sons South City Chapel.  Funeral service was held February 3, at Holy Cross Lutheran Church.  Interment in Concordia Lutheran Cemetery.

Memorial gifts may be given to:  Ascension Lutheran Church, 5347 Donovan Avenue, St. Louis, MO  63109, specifically for the support of its music program or Lutheran Elementary School Association, 11123 South Towne Square, Suite F, St. Louis, MO  63123 to supply student scholarships to Lutheran schools.

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