Monday, October 21, 2013

Helen M. Russell Hietanen, 1928-2013

Helen M. Russell Hietanen, 1928-2013
Another relative that I never met has died. Helen M. Russell Hietanen, born January 27, 1928, passed away on October 10, 2013. The funeral took place last Wednesday, October 16. She was buried in the Millersville Mennonite Cemetery in Millersville, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where her husband Paul R. “Bobo” Hietanen (1935-1996) was buried in 1996.

My second cousin once removed Bob Hietanen, who’s also interested in family genealogy, knew his Aunt Helen and Uncle Bobo pretty well and has amusing stories involving them. I asked him why they were buried in a Mennonite cemetery. Was either of them Mennonite? I was interested mainly because so much of my father's Palatinate German Shanower line and collateral strands from the 1700s and on were Mennonite or a related Anabaptist sect. I thought it would be interesting if someone from my mother's Hietanen side was also Mennonite. But Bob says no, neither Helen nor Bobo was Mennonite and he doesn’t know the reason for a Mennonite cemetery.

Helen seems to have led a pretty active life up until the end. I offer my condolences to the rest of her family and friends. You can read her complete obituary here.

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