Edward J. Hetsko, Jr., helped to rescue G. Stephen Connatser and his wife, Laura N., from burning, Round Mountain, Texas, July 10, 1971. Connatser, 24, commercial artist, and his wife, also 24, were involved in a highway accident and trapped inside their automobile, which had upset onto its right side. Flames broke out, and there was an explosion at the fuel tank. Hetsko, 30, U.S. Air Force, ran to the burning vehicle to aid the occupants, as did a college student and a plumber’s helper. The left door was opened; and Connatser was pulled from the automobile. He, Hetsko, and the other two men then righted the automobile. When the passenger door was opened, Hetsko, Connatser, and the other two men removed Mrs. Connatser, who was unconscious. Soon afterward flames engulfed the vehicle. The Connatsers recovered from their injuries and burns.
52826 – 593052826-5930
Edward J. Hetsko, Jr passed away on 15 August 2009, with his family by his side in Hot Springs, AR. At the time of his death, he was a resident of Hot Springs Village, AR.
He was a true American patriot and proud of his veteran status. Ed was born on 20 December 1940 in Dumore, PA to Edward J. Hetsko, Sr and Evelyn Louise Hetsko. He graduated from Dunmore High School in 1958 and enlisted in the United States Air Force in April 1959. He married the love of his life in 1972 in San Antonio, TX.
His USAF career spanned 22 years, including a tour in Vietnam and assignments all over the world. His service career included the field of cryptology with his last assignment as the First Sergeant of the 601st Supply Sq at Sembach AB, Germany. He received his BBA from Texas Lutheran College in 1973 and his master’s degree in Aviation Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 1980. He received the Airman’s Medal and the Carnegie Medal for heroism. His post-service career included employment with Ford Aerospace at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston and various government jobs in the information assurance and protection industry. He was the founding president of the Northern Virginia Chapter of ISSA, an international professional organization for information security personnel.
Ed loved flying and obtained his private and commercial pilot’s license. His other hobbies included traveling around the world, music, photography, and enjoying life to its fullest. He was a loving husband, son, father, brother, uncle, grandfather, and friend. He was a dreamer and a doer who inspired all who knew him.
Ed is survived by his mother; his wife, Cynthia A. Hetsko; his children, Edward J. Hetsko, III, Victoria R. McCracken, Joanna L. Collins, and Joshua L. Hetsko; his nine grandchildren; and six brothers and sisters.
Published in San Antonio Express-News on Aug. 30, 2009.