Hetsel, Carl Kenneth Jr.

Carl Kenneth Hetsel, Jr., USAF
August 08, 1950 – June 19, 2018

Carl Kenneth Hetsel, Jr.

Salem – Ken passed away Tuesday, June 19th, 2018 at his home in Salem, Oregon. He was born August 8th, 1950 in Little Rock, Arkansas, to Carl Kenneth Hetsel, Sr. and Florence May Johnson Hetsel. Before moving to Salem, Oregon, in July 2008, he had resided in Memphis, Tennessee, since 1956.

Ken was predeceased by his parents; half-brother Jerry Draffin; and his sister Geneva Bennett. He is survived by his wife, Sue; his daughter, Jana, of Atlanta, Georgia; and his brothers Howard and Joseph of Memphis, Tennessee; his step-daughter Debbie Dorris Koreski (Bob), and his grandchildren Bo and Annie. Also surviving are one niece, two great nephews and cousins living in Ohio.

Ken attended Gragg Elementary School and graduated from Treadwell High School in 1968. In 1969, he enlisted in the Air Force serving as a helicopter mechanic and seeing combat in Vietnam. He attended Memphis State University and worked as an accountant and insurance agent. He was well known as an advocate for those with mental health needs and the homeless. He regularly attended community and organization meetings serving on the advisory councils of many. In 2014, Ken was elected to the Marion Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Directors serving as Secretary/Treasurer.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to: The Dorris Neuroscience Center at Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California or for liver research at the Knight Cancer Center at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.


July 5, 2018
Dear Sue and Family,
Ken was an astounding advocate, leader and volunteer. He chaired our Disability Services Advisory Council with great passion and kindness. Ken was someone we could always count on and who showed a high level of care for those most in need. He was an amazing advocate for community members experiencing mental health difficulties, homelessness, ailments, and other life challenges. He was a great asset to our organization. He will be missed by many.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Sincerely, Zaira Flores Marin, Council and Volunteer Coordinator, NWSDS
Zaira Flores Marin, Salem, OR

July 4, 2018
I had the good fortune of knowing Ken on the Marion Soil Water Conservation District Board of Directors. He was a thoughtful, caring person who advocated for the poor, the marginalized people, even when it was neither popular nor politically convenient to do so. The board will miss him greatly, as will I.

July 4, 2018
One of the finest citizens in the City of Salem and Marion County has passed: Ken was extraordinary.
Jon Christenson, president, Pringle Creek Watershed Council
Jon Christenson

July 3, 2018
Dear Sue and Family,
On behalf of the Marion Co. Master Gardeners’ Association I would like to tell you that Ken brought to the Association new ideas and concepts about what we could do as gardeners not only in our backyards but as a community.
He had a vision for growing veggies and fruit for all that needed them. Even though his vision never came to fruition, his thoughts contributed to the impetus to make changes in the organization so as to reach as many people as we can to help grow a garden no matter how small or large.
His smile and ease of being will be remembered by many.
Our sincere condolences are sent to all for you know that Ken touched so many and gave so much.
Regards, Carol for the MCMGA

July 3, 2018
CANDO is very sorry to hear of Ken’s passing. He contributed a great deal to his/our community, and will be much missed.
Sarah Owens, Salem, OR

July 3, 2018
Dear Sue and Family,
Ken was an asset to the entire community. His comments in organization meetings always showed compassion, great perspective, and deep wisdom. We relied on Ken to be the soul of the effort.
Many will miss him greatly. I am one of those. Thank you for sharing Ken with us.
Delana Beaton

July 1, 2018
It is always sad losing a loved one. I am sorry we did not take more time to see each other. My condolences to all the family.
Alan Steel, An Ohio cousin

June 30, 2018
My heartfelt condolences to the family and friends. May you always cherish the memories that you have with your loved one, and remember that God is always there for us like it tells us at 1 Peter 5:6,7. I hope you continue to feel love and support from your family and friends.
M. C.

Integrity, Honor, and Respect
Some of the best things cannot be bought, they must be earned

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