Jean Carol Hetlet

Baltic, SD (Formerly of Milbank)
October 19, 2023
Jean Carol Hetlet, 73, of Baltic, formerly of Milbank, passed away peacefully in her home on Thursday, October 19, 2023, surrounded by family. Funeral services were held Thursday, October 26, 2023 at 11 a.m., at East Nidaros Church, rural Baltic. Interment was in the church cemetery. Visitation was Wednesday, October 25, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to East Nidaros Church.
Jean was born February 4, 1950, to Porter and Mildred Knutson in Brookings. She grew up on the family farm near Volga and attended the country school and graduated from Volga High School in 1968. While in high school she enjoyed being a majorette. She also enjoyed attending basketball games. One game in particular when Volga played Arlington, she met the love of her life, Jerry Hetlet. She said the first thing she noticed about him was his smile. After graduating, Jean went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in education from Dakota State College in Madison. She accomplished this in three and half years so she could marry Jerry as soon as she could. Jean and Jerry married on February 12, 1972, at First Lutheran Church in Volga. They lived in Brookings until moving to Lake Preston in 1979 and to Milbank in 1982. Jean cherished her 30 years of teaching. She found great joy in educating children, also making the children feel loved.
Jean and Jerry moved to Baltic in 2009 to be closer to their daughter and her children. They bult the home of their dreams on an acreage south of town. Jean took great pride in her flower gardens and potted plants. She kept busy making sure everything was in its place, adding flowers here and there. There was no such thing as too many flowers. One of Jean’s favorite hobbies was decorating her home. She made sure she changed the decoration in every room for every season, leaving no corner untouched. She loved the fall. The cooler weather and the change of colors was welcomed by her. But the most special time of year for Jean was Christmas. Every room in her home was perfectly decorated. She could not wait for her family to all be home and celebrate together. She paid careful attention to every detail from how the table was set to making sure every gift was beautifully wrapped. She loved playing her Christmas games and having prizes for everyone. She would plan for Christmas all year long. She made everyone feel special and loved and never forgot the true meaning of Christmas.
Jean and Jerry were each other’s true love. Jerry never left her side and they were a true testament of what love is. The one thing just as important to her were her grandchildren. Jean loved each one of the unconditionally. She tool great joy in helping take care of them when they were little, taking them to preschool, school, shopping for flowers with them, baking with them, teaching them and having them at her home. She never missed an event. If she couldn’t be there in person, she made sure she had a video sent to her or watched it on live stream. Her grandchildren held a very special place in her heart. Jean said “no one can love them like I do”.
Jean’s faith was unwavering. She knew she would be welcomed into the Lord’s house and she said many times how she looked forward to seeing Jesus’ face and seeing her mom once again.
Jean is survived by her loving husband, Jerry, Baltic; children, Chad (Carla) Hetlet and their son, Owen, Ankeny, IA; Pamela (Bruce) Vollan and their children, Kennedy, Maiya and Grady, Baltic; Jason (Marlena) Hetlet and their children, Jackson and Mila, Gig Harbor, WA; sister, Judy Magnus, Brookings; many other relative and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Porter and Mildred (Jensen) Knutson.
Services provided by Minnehaha Funeral Home.