Theresa “Terry” Hetherington, age 93, of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, died on August 22, 2022. Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, August 27, 2022 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Mechanicsburg, with a visitation taking place from 10:30AM until mass begins at 11:30AM. Burial will be private and held at the convenience of the family in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Mechanicsburg.
Born February 11, 1929, in Jersey City, NJ, Terry was the daughter of the late Josef and Magdalena (Seija) Grabowski. After graduating from Weehawken High School in 1947 near the top of her class, she took a secretarial job on Madison Avenue in the heady early days of the advertising industry. It was there that a co-worker, Barbara, would arrange a blind date between her brother, Bob Hetherington, and Terry. Despite several miscommunications about their designated meeting spot and a stern talking to by a mounted policeman, the pair decided on a second date. They married on January 27, 1949, beginning a 73-year journey in love and partnership with one another. Their utter devotion to each other was an inspiration to all who witnessed it.
As a young couple, Terry and Bob moved around Pennsylvania and to Washington, D.C., following Bob’s work until eventually settling in the Harrisburg area. Terry worked as an administrative assistant for Commonwealth National Bank before taking the position of executive assistant to the president. Her sharp intellect was an asset to all her employers, and she was often the brains behind any organization in which she was involved.
Her primary job, however, was raising their four children – Bryan, Kathy, and Beth, who came in quick succession, and bonus baby, Marc, who followed twelve years later. From her first to her last child, Terry’s energy and enthusiasm never waned as she served as den leader, athletic spectator, Trinity High School lunchroom manager, and overall director of household fun and order. She later showered her grandchildren and great-grandchildren with the same love, affection, excessive Christmas gifts, endless Hershey’s kisses, and delicious mashed potatoes she had bestowed on her own children. At boisterous family celebrations, of which there were many, Terry liked to jokingly say that among her children there “wasn’t a throwaway in the bunch.” The simple truth is that the home Terry provided her children was the very reason they were able to thrive.
Terry had many hobbies and interests, among them golf, which she took up on her 50th birthday and played through her seventies, gardening and bridge playing. A formidable player, she often belonged to up to three different groups at a time in her bridge-playing prime and delighted in playing up until the very last months of her life. She was a longtime member of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, New Cumberland, and the West Shore Country Club, Camp Hill. When not engaged in these activities, Terry could be found at Ollie’s hunting a bargain. She never met a deeply discounted product she didn’t like. Just as she persisted in her shopping, she persisted in life. Nothing could daunt her, even up to and including her final days.
A loyal friend to many, Terry enjoyed having fun no matter the venue. She had an infectious, easy laugh, a sharp wit, and a sparkle in her eye. Although Terry attended lavish parties, including one at the White House where she met the President, she spoke most fondly of the neighborhood gatherings on Coolidge Street that she and Bob attended as a young couple in the 1950s. She never forgot her roots and treated all those around her with warmth and respect.
On her 93rd birthday, Terry mused, “sometimes I stop and wonder—how did I get so old?” Terry’s answer to a long life was to love deeply and faithfully, to laugh often, to never, ever give up, and to drink a daily Manhattan. She will be deeply missed by all those blessed enough to know her.
Survivors include her husband, Robert “Bob” Hetherington of Mechanicsburg; children, Bryan Hetherington (Susan) of Rochester, NY, Kathryn Couper (Greg) of Las Vegas, NV, Elizabeth Corso (Mike) of Oak Park, IL, and Marc Hetherington (Suzanne) of Chapel Hill, NC; grandchildren, Nathan Hetherington (Rebecca) of Rochester, NY, Matt Hetherington (Christina) of Buffalo, NY, Lizzy Hetherington of Little Rock, AR, Samantha Jayakumar (Jit) of Los Angeles, CA, and Ben and Sammy Hetherington of Chapel Hill, NC; great-grandchildren, Robbie, Isaac, and Joey Hetherington of Rochester, NY; and nieces, Barbara Ann van Siclen of Washington, DC and Nancy Heinrich of Long Island, NY.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution in Terry’s name to Bethany Village’s Associate Appreciation Fund. Checks may be made out to “Bethany Village” and directed to: Asbury Foundation Office, 325 Wesley Drive, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055.