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Published: Wednesday, 7/28/2010

Edna Hetrick, 1906-2010: Teacher was last surviving child of Ohio Civil War vet

BY MARK ZABORNEY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

FINDLAY - Edna Hetrick, a former schoolteacher who was the last surviving daughter of an Ohio Civil War veteran, died Monday at the Grand Court Findlay assisted living facility. She was 103.

She lived independently at home until a series of falls last October. She was in declining health recently, her daughter Jane said.

She attributed her longevity to a good breakfast: juice, toast, cereal, even eggs and bacon. "It didn't hurt her," her daughter said.

Mrs. Hetrick was among 17 known surviving daughters, according to the Web site of the national organization, Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

She was the last surviving daughter in Ohio, said Sue Howell of the Daughters of Union Veterans' Harriet Brubaker Tent No. 139 in Fostoria.

"She was a delight, very interesting to talk to," said Ms. Howell, a great-grandaughter of a Union Civil War veteran.

Last summer, at a reunion in Findlay for relatives of men who served in the 21st Ohio Volunteer Infantry - including her father - "she was pretty much a celebrity," her daughter said. "She was one of the few remaining daughters. That was pretty special to her.

Findlay Mayor Pete Sehnert proclaimed July 24, 2009, "Edna Hetrick Day."

Mrs. Hetrick's father, David Huffman, was 62 when she was born, Dec. 2, 1906. She was the youngest of 12 children from Mr. Huffman's two marriages.

He was wounded at the 1863 Battle of Chickamauga in Georgia. But as Mrs. Hetrick grew up on the family's farm near Rawson, Ohio, "she didn't like to hear the war stories he told around the table, so she never paid that much attention," her daughter said.

She was 15 when her father died and 20 when her mother, the former Chloe Helsel, died. She didn't join the veterans daughters group until 2002.

Mrs. Hetrick was a 1925 graduate of Rawson High School. She attended what was then Findlay College and what is now Bowling Green State University.

Her father had been a teacher, and she taught in one-room school houses in Benton Ridge and Mount Cory, Ohio.

"Up until a few years ago when we used to go out more often, we would run into kids she taught, and they knew her," her daughter said.

She and her husband, T. Gerard Hetrick, married July 10, 1930, and school rules forced her to quit her job, their daughter said.

She joined First Presbyterian Church in Findlay in 1930. She was a deacon, a former president of the women's association, and a member of the Tuesday morning prayer circle and the book review club.

She was a member of the Blanchard Valley Hospital Auxiliary and volunteered at the hospital.

She had a positive attitude and did not shy from a century's worth of world changes.

"She said if her parents ever would come back, they would not know what to do," her daughter said. "She came from the horse and buggy to jets to video conferencing, which she did with her great-grandson who works for Microsoft in Washington state. He took us on a tour of his condo. She thought it was great."

Her husband died Oct. 26, 1983.

Surviving are her daughters, Carol Baker and Jane Minard; four grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 11 a.m. today in Coldren-Crates Funeral Home, Findlay, where the body will be after 9 a.m.

The family suggests tributes to the First Presbyterian Church of Findlay women's association.

Contact Mark Zaborney at:

mzaborney@theblade.com

or 419-724-6182.



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