Family and friends will gather virtually Saturday to remember Jonathan M. Hetzel. Here’s the remembrance they’re sharing with the community:
Jonathan Mark Hetzel died peacefully at 8:44 pm on 12/15/2020 at St. Anne Hospital in Burien. He was 35 years old. He was surrounded by family, including his parents who were bedside, and siblings virtually. Jon is survived by many friends and family including: parents Mike and Anna Louise Hetzel; siblings Charlene McRae, Dave Hetzel, Michelle Hetzel, and Steve Hetzel; many cousins, including Stephanie Stone; and five nieces and three nephews.
Jon was a hard and diligent worker. By trade, Jon was a marine pipe fitter with U.A. Local 32 Plumbers and Pipefitters. He worked at Foss Maritime for almost 14 years until mid-2020, when he became too ill to work. He was a valued employee and his colleagues in the shipyard will miss him. Jon specifically enjoyed going out on Puget Sound for test runs after making fixes to tugboats or other marine vessels.
Jon was active in his union and appreciated the support and collective-bargaining strength that came with union membership. Because of his work history and union protections, his health insurance was maintained for months after he wasn’t able to work due to health problems. When he wasn’t able to work, he was concerned his health insurance would run out. We are deeply relieved, and grateful to UA Local 32, that he had continuous health insurance until his death.
Jon was a beautiful combination of extrovert and introvert. He could talk your ear off and very much enjoyed the company of others. He could make friends with almost anyone and specifically enjoyed the company of those who were older than he was. He also enjoyed his own company and often kept to himself. In the last several years, Jon’s health deteriorated and he suffered the loss of several friends who passed away. He felt the loss of his friends deeply. Jon was notoriously private and kept his friends and family separate; only in his passing are we beginning to meet each other.
Jon was an incredibly kind, compassionate, and gentle soul with a variety of interests. Jon was an avid reader and had boxes upon boxes of paperback novels. Jon particularly enjoyed learning about history and regularly watched the History Channel. He was knowledgeable about electronics and had many computers; he had a penchant for disassembling and repairing or upgrading them. Jon had a special relationship with puzzles – he found them particularly cathartic when he was going through treatment for his illness. Jon enjoyed traveling to far-off places. His most notable trips included Europe; Central America; Southeast Asia; and the Mediterranean. He loved learning about other cultures and was an adventurous eater, with a willingness to try local cuisine and apt enthusiasm for spicy foods.
Jon loved to barbecue with friends and was a regular when cookouts were held at Big Al’s Brewery; beer Mondays and BBQ Wednesdays were standing commitments on his calendar. Stubbs barbecue sauce was a mainstay in Jon’s fridge and pantry, along with meats and cheeses; chips and sour cream; fried chicken; gummy bears; and Jolly Ranchers. Jon chose fruit over vegetables and meat over anything else. His only foray into cooking was meat and jalapeño poppers. For dessert, he preferred ice cream or the occasional slice of apple pie.
Jon was active in the local White Center community. He was an enthusiast for small businesses, specifically restaurants including: Full Tilt; Proletariat Pizza; Itto’s Tapas; Young’s; Super Deli Mart; and Beer Star. He enjoyed White Center Art Walks and Jubilee Days. Jon made frequent trips to Lincoln Park, where he’d bring his breakfast and soak up the views.
In the last couple years, Jon became an active member of the White Center Eagles Club. He was there almost daily, socializing with everyone. The club members became like a surrogate family for Jon, making sure he had holiday plans and checking on him when his absence was noted. Since his passing, club members have stepped up to support the family and honor Jon’s memory. He was valued as a kind and caring member of the club.
A Zoom memorial for Jon will be held on Saturday, January 2nd, at 2 pm. A celebration of Jon’s life will be held this summer at Lincoln Park and will include a display of Jon’s favorite sarcastic T-shirts. Friends, coworkers, and others are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org to participate in either or both events.
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