Our community has lost a fine citizen, gentleman, businessman and civic leader in the death Monday of Walter Frederic "Fred" Hetzler Sr.
He was born in 1919 in Menlo, Ga. Fred became a Chattanoogan at an early age and graduated from Central High School and the University of Chattanooga.
Hetzler entered the U.S. Navy during World War II, and served as an officer on a mine sweeper in action at Iwo Jima and Okinawa in the Pacific Theater.
In the 1960s, Hetzler became president and owner of Eureka Foundry, which three of his sons now run.
He was married to Mary Margaret Delaney. They were blessed with six children, 20 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.
Hetzler was elected as the first mayor of the town of Walden on Signal Mountain.
He also served in various roles in Allied Arts and the Chattanooga Symphony Association, and he was a member of the Rotary Club. He was a communicant of St. Augustine Catholic Church on Signal Mountain.
Hetzler was an outstanding and highly respected citizen of our community and our nation.