Funeral services honoring John, with full police honors, will be held at Carthage College – A.F. Siebert Chapel (2001 Alford Park Drive “Sheridan Road” Kenosha, WI 53140) on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 11:00 am with Rev. Kara Baylor officiating. Interment will follow in West Lawn Memorial Park. Public visitation will be at Carthage College Siebert Chapel on Tuesday from 3:00 – 7:00 pm and Wednesday from 9:00 – 10:30 am.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to “Ron Hetland”. All donations will go into a trust fund established for the benefit of John’s son, Hunter, and daughter, Brooke.
Racine – John David Hetland, age 49; proud & loving father, beloved son, dear brother, faithful friend, dedicated police officer & ambassador of Racine and hero to all; lost his life while saving others on Monday evening, June 17, 2019.
John was born in Racine on December 22, 1969 to Ronald W. and Rachelle R. (nee: Raths) Hetland. He attended Knapp Elementary, Mitchell Middle, graduated from Washington Park High School in 1988 and went on to earn a Criminal Justice Degree from University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. Extremely well respected, John served and protected our community with the Racine Police Department for nearly 25 years. As a leader among his brothers & sisters in law enforcement, John was the current Vice-President of the Racine Police Association and proud member of Wisconsin Professional Police Association. Catholic by faith, John was a member of Saint Paul the Apostle Parish. Among his interests, John loved being in the North Woods -hunting and fishing with his children, mom and dad, brother, uncles and friends. He also enjoyed watching his children participate in sports – helping coach both of them in various sports & and on several teams. John was an accomplished athlete and sports enthusiast & was an extreme Packer & Brewer fan. John looked forward to the season of Christmas – not only as it was his favorite holiday, but more importantly, John knew he would be surrounded with his entire family.
Surviving are his broken hearted family: son, Hunter Hetland (age 15); daughter, Brooke Hetland (age 8); mom & dad, Ron and Rachelle Hetland; sister, Shelly (Jay) LeGath; brother, Jason (Robin) Hetland; nieces, Shannon LeGath and Turner Hetland; nephew, Ozzie Hetland; aunts & uncles, Evelyn (Al Solfest) Squires, Sue (Gary) Weinkauf, Dan (Pat) Hetland, Mike (Debbie) Hetland, Tim (Joanna) Hetland, Joe (Jeri) Hetland, Mary (Dan) Swisky, Jackie (Gary) Pfeilstifter and Paul (Patty) Hetland; and a host of other dear relatives and friends – including his brothers & sisters on the local police, sheriff & fire departments.
Funeral services honoring John, with full police honors, will be held at Carthage College – A.F. Siebert Chapel (2001 Alford Park Drive “Sheridan Road” Kenosha, WI 53140) on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 11:00 am with Rev. Kara Baylor officiating. Interment will follow in West Lawn Memorial Park. Public visitation will be at Carthage College Siebert Chapel on Tuesday from 3:00 – 7:00 pm and Wednesday from 9:00 – 10:30 am. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to “Ron Hetland”. All donations will go into a trust fund established for the benefit of John’s son, Hunter, and daughter, Brooke.
Rudy and Debbie Coca says
Dear family and friends of John, Our sympathies and prayers are offered to you all. John lost his life doing what he was trained to do. He protected our citizens of Racine at the cost of his own life. We pray that our community respect officers
and others at all costs. What an amazing man. May he RIP.
Armintta Franklin says
Thank you for your service Officer Hetland. You sacrificed your life to protect others. I pray that God will comfort your children, family and fellow brothers in law enforcement.
Dave Iverson, #1534 RPD 1978-2001 says
Once in a great while comes a man larger than life with a heart filled with kindness, devotion and selflessness. A man who could make everyone that he met feel special. This man was you John Hetland and the void that has been created by your absence will never be filled. Some how we all must find a way to go on without you knowing that someday we will meet again in the glorious place you now call home, with Jesus Christ our Lord in the house of God.
Will Hagen says
A great police officer and a good person all around. Will be missed very much in Racine and surrounding areas
Twylight Hunter says
It was a pleasure to work with you at Horlick High School. Well done Officer Hetland
Kim Marks says
God Bless and protect the first responders and their families
Mary Gibbs says
You are truly a hero and I will be blessed the rest of my life with having you for a friend and neighbor many great memories ❤️
Toni Ruyle says
My prayers are with the family and friends of John. He was a very good man. We will always remember what a great coach you were. The patience you had teaching my son how to beat was amazing! Thank you for your service! RIP!
Diana Martinez-Strickland n Family says
Although I only knew you in our teenage years, my heartbreaks for your children, your family, friends, and family in blue,, you are what the true meaning of HERO is!! I will never forget you or the ultimate sacrifice you made!! Rest In Heavenly Peace John
Patti Clines says
Thank you soo much for your service! 💙 You won’t be forgotten !!
Barbara Pavlik Riegelman says
I am so sorry to hear if this tragedy. John was a great police officer that I had the privilege of working with when I was working at RCHSD. He gave his all & paid the ultimate sacrifice. My granddaughter, Peyton Hetland, calls him “Uncle Johnny”. He will be sadly & dearly missed in our community. May his family find some peace & solitude in his untimely passingly. Rest In Peace, Officer Hetland.
Rosie soens says
James T Meyers says
As a former Racine School Crossing Guard , I Have great Respect for our Law Enforcement Officers and Our Firemen.My condolences to the family and all the Racine police and Fire personal.May God help you in this time of your loss. My prays are with you.
Kathy Ruback says
John you will be missed by so many ! My heart goes out to your beautiful children ❤️ I’m glad I had the chance to know you , you lived your life to the fullest and cared about your community ! Your among the Blue Angels now ! RIP Officer John Hetland ! Never forgotten🙏🏻🙏🏻 My heart breaks!!
Erin Decker says
John was always friendly to me when others weren’t in high school. So very sorry for the loss of your beloved John.
Jane Reilly (Arndt) says
My deepest sympathy to John’s family. Sending prayers to all.
Barbara Magee-Madisen says
I am so sorry to all of John’s family and all my friends that were also friends of his. All my memories of him are of a good man and very respectful caring person.
Suzy Cruz says
Although I haven’t seen John in years, I remember him as a very warm and special soul. All my Love and support for his many family and friends that will miss him dearly..
Kurt Scherr says
Rest in peace my fellow Blue brother. You tried to protect while off duty. You are a true hero and sadly missed. I pray for your family during this very sad time.
Jackie & Joe Thielen says
Our hearts and prayers go out to the entire Hetland family.
John and Joshua Dean says
Such a shock, such a loss, but not a surprise considering the kind of man he was. He was such a friendly person, always a smile or kind word when we’d cross each other’s paths on our block. Condolences to Hunter and Brooke and the rest of his family. The world is a little darker without his light…
My deepest condolences for the Hetland family Please know that you’re in my thoughts and prayers during this time 💙🙏🏽🖤
Julie Castro says
My deepest condolences for the Hetland family Please know that you’re in my thoughts and prayers during this time 💙🙏🏽🖤
Thank you for your service and the ultimate sacrifice. God speed.
Lonnie Stinewal says
You will be missed my friend! You were a Awesome softball player and though I never got to fish with you! It was always a pleasure to sit and talk with you down by the South Pier while you were on patrol. Prayers to all of his family and everyone that got to know him as a person! R. I. P. John…
Ofc. Anthony LaCombe says
Ofc. Hetland you are an amazing person! Always thinking about others and taking care of others! You are a true hero for protecting the patrons and employees at Teezers! You will never be forgotten and will be a role model for many officers to come! God bless you my brother in blue!!
Robert Hetland says
Rest in Heaven John!!! God give the family comfort as you, and many try to find understanding in this most difficult time!!!
Dave Ciborowski says
John, it was a pleasure knowing you over the years through softball, and mutual friends. You were truly a great man, that always brought joy to everyone around you. My sincere condolences to your entire family, and friends. RIP friend.
Tiffany Lott Stevenson says
Prayers are being sent for the family and friends who will miss Officer Hetland special prayers for The RPD and the city of Racine.
Lori Pavlovich says
Thank you for your service. We send our condolences to the family. From Eddie, Lori & Scruffy. We used to be Racine residents
Julie Creuziger-Appollonio says
Thank you for all you have done for the city of Racine. I want to also thank your family for sharing you with us. I am sending out blessings & healing thoughts & prayers for Officer Hetland’s families- his immediate & police families.
Reyna Barajas says
My Prayers go to the family & friends I send my deepest condolences .! Gone too soon ! Thank you for everything you have done for this country. May you rest easy in heaven !
Curtis Johnson says
I met John in either 1st or 2nd grade at Knapp elementary school. Even then, he stood out as someone special. John was a natural leader, and someone who many of us looked up to at that age. What I respected most about him , was that he was always kind respectful to those around him. I cannot remember him ever not being that way, even through high school at Park, or later on. Rarely are we lucky enough to have someone of John’s character touch part of our lives. The world is a lesser place without you. God bless you.
Sandy Salas says
John. You were a true friend to me. We were strangers at first but then you worked on my Sons case when he overdosed and you wanted to help me get closure. 6 yrs later you still came in my work to see how I was. I wasn’t just a person to you, I was a Mother who had lost her Son and for that I will always be grateful.
Marco A Giron says
John. Was great knowing you, you were a great friend for many years, I will miss very much rest in peace my friend.
Holly Johnson says
Dear family of John Hetland, I grew up with John from Knapp school to Park High. I can tell you he was a kind, sweet, and fun person throughout all of these years. He always wore a bright smile and was a very positive influence to many. You should be very proud of the wonderful person you were able to enjoy throughout his years with us. I must apologize for not being able to attend the celebration of his life. I am a little heartbroken to not be there to celebrate the stamp he made on this earth and the people he impacted in such a brave and positive manner. But know, I have been thinking of you all during your hardest hours. John will be truly missed. I wish you all peace in knowing that your family member was loved by many, me included. Integrity and empathy were amongst his strongest suits. My deepest sympathies and condolences to each of you.
Jennifer Poppler says
I’m very sorry for this incredible loss. May the Lord comfort you as only He can. And may his memory by honored always for his bravery and sacrifice.
May Good Bless our family in blue now and alway
May Good Bless our family in blue now and alway
Jen Borucki says
You gave your life for a community you obviously loved. No greater love has any man than this. May God bless your family.
Mrs. Roy Radke says
Rest in peace in the long arms of Jesus.
Sally and Rich Larrin says
Dearest Rachelle, Ron and family,
We are so sorry for your loss. Prayers to all.
SC 7672 DAKIN says
I am a volunteer police officer in England, my friend in Racine has told me of this sad news … rest easy brother your watch is over❤️
Louise Jennings says
From Florida, we extend our deepest condolences to the family, the Brotherhood, and the entire community of Racine for this profound loss of a great guy. Even this far away, we are touched to the quick by this heinous event. RIP, John. Eric M. Jennings, (ret.) Sgt., Racine County Sheriff’s Office and Louise Jennings, Racine Unified School Dist. (ret.)
J. Flowers says
Dear family and friends, I’m very sorry for your loss. Those who have lost loved ones in death have hope at John 5:28, 29 where it says that all those in the memorial tombs will hear Jesus’ voice and come out. Yes, in the near future there will be a resurrection and we will see our loved ones again in perfect health. I hope this scripture brings you comfort.
Penny Cook says
I first met John when John and Rachel – Hunter was about 6 months old – were visiting Georgia to visit Rachel’s dad. We invited them over for a cookout . I live in Georgia too. He was very outgoing and funny. For Hunter and Brooke – Your Dad Will Always Be in your Heart Always. God Bless Him.
Pete Eide says
Dear family and friends of John Hetland,
My deepest sympathies and condolences to each of you.
John and I were best buddies at Park High School and college years. Being an identical twin in a school of about 2000 students John was one only a handful of people who could truly tell my brother and me apart. He was a great friend to all and the natural leader of our friend group, all the sports teams we played for as well being a leader of all of Park High School.
He was the kindest, most positive and most inclusive person that I knew; he was always respectful to every person he encountered. I cannot count how many times because it was over 100 times that a coach, teacher, or other parents said, John is the role model you should follow, be like John or something very similar and It was very true. I know about a dozen parents who very openly encouraged John to date their daughter. We had a lot of fun during those years and we weren’t always a saint, but what John was a hero then and he is a hero now. I treasure the friendship and honored to know someone of John’s character.
John, God bless you will be truly missed. I wish you all peace and always remember that John was loved by everyone and he truly made a huge positive difference in so many lives.
Linda Groth says
God’s peace to all the ohana and friends left behind. Deepest condolences to a hero who gave all he had.
Megan King says
I would see Officer Hetland at the ER and at Ricky’s.. Such an amazing man who, I believe truly loved his city and his career. He always had a smile on his face and kindness in his heart! My prayers to the entire RPD and Officer Hetland’s family. Thank you for your service and you will never be forgotten! 💙💙
Lenee & Ed Jozwiak says
Our deepest sympathy to all of you😢Our prayers for healing will be with you for a very long time! We thank him with all our hearts for his service🙏🎚🇱🇷
Jim & Ginny Blazek says
We wish to extend our deepest condolences to all the Hetland family and will keep you in our thoughts and prayers in days to come. Thank you officer Hetland for your service and we know what an honor it is to have such dedicated people serving us as we too came from families of police officers. May you rest in peace.
Lynn Booker says
My condolences and prayers go out to the Hetland family so sorry for your loss may God give you strength and comfort in the days to come . God wants to heal you every where you hurt just hold on and keep the faith. 🙏❤😘
Rich & Terry Kropp says
Our deepest sympathy to the entire Hetland family.
Tracy Schemmel says
I lived in the same neighborhood as John when I was a kid. My family and I lived at 2060 Deane Blvd. John, Ray Boske, Chris Felbab, and I and I’m sure others from the neighborhood would play kickball in the alley and hang out. My deepest condolences to the family. Thank you for your service and bravery. RIP John! 💙
Kelli Possing- Lepow says
You will be deeply missed by everyone. You have always been such a wonderful person and I’m so blessed to have been able to have been able to call you a friend for many years.
I will Always treasure our memories with such a fantastic group of friends we shared and all the crazy fun we had ❤️❤️
My deepest condolences to your family
Rosemarie Servantez says
True hero in every aspect RIP officer Hetland. ❤️
Sandra Smith says
My deepest condolences to the family may God help you through your pain
Quita johnson says
Sending our condolences to the family
Kathy Allen says
My deepest sympathies to John’s family. He was a wonderful person, friend and officer. He leaves a big empty space. Rest In Peace. May God bless your family and heal their broken hearts.
Ed Lockhart says
On behalf of the South Shore Fire Department we would like to extend our prayers for comfort and peace to officer John Hetland’s children, family and brothers and sisters in blue. Thank you John for your service and ultimate sacrifice for the safety of our citizens. May God bless and keep you in His comfort. Thank you sir!
Corrine Klaus says
Gone too Soon. Thank you for your service. You will never be forgotten.
Lisa yeagle says
Our prayers go out to all of Johns family and friends. May the support of the community hold you up and comfort you during this difficult time. We have been very blessed to call John our friend and Hero. He will be deeply missed and always remembered.
Love, Chris and Lisa Yeagle
May you Rest In Peace and Thank you for your service
Mrs.Dorothy Kaap says
Prayers going out to Family & Friends,so sorry for your loss,RIP Officer Hetland,Thank you for your service
BURKS, BENTLEY & YOUNG says
Send our deepiest sympathy to officer John hetlands family RIP MILWAUKEE
S. Paasch says
So very sorry for your loss.
Bruce and Laure Steinmetz says
God bless and keep you. Thank you for your generous service.
Your family is in our prayers.
Scott and Debbie Casperson says
God speed my friend .you will always be remembered.my heart goes out ti youre kids thank you Sir for keeping us safe
Detective Vaughn Johnson, Jefferson Co Sheriff says
There are never enough words … never the right words to convey to the family just what it means when we say that John will never be forgotten. Being a police officer is a calling that takes up many hours of a scheduled work week, but to take the action necessary to protect the public when off-duty… that is a special kind of man. Godspeed, we have the watch from here and may your family feel the love of our LE family now and forever.
May you RIP Officer Hetland. Thank you for your commitment to serve and protect Racine. You will not be forgotten. My sincere condolences to the family. May God grant you peace at this difficult and painful time.
My sincere condolences also to the Racine Police Department on the loss of your friend and colleague.
Terri Nelson says
RIP Hero. Thank you for your willingness and commitment to serve and protect. Your sacrifice will not be forgotten. I lift up family and friends, both blood and blue that they may receive God’s peace.
Cheryl Cummings says
Heartfelt condolences to you, Ron, and your family. Your loss is unimaginable. Please accept my hugs and prayers for strength and faith during your difficult time.
James weyrough says
Heaven has gained
Rest in peace
Tim Johnson says
Will be dearly and sadly missed !! A true HERO in every sense of the word !! R.I.P. my friend !!
Virginia Singleton says
I met John at Knapp. I was blessed to be able to watch him grow up through his elementary school years as one of his teachers. He was a remarkable boy who grew up into a remarkable man. He will be missed.
Sabina Bradley says
To often Police Officers do not get recognized for the work they do then again I believe it’s not for recognition but helping others is why they choose to become one. I did not know Officer Hetland but my grandson has close relationships with another officer which I believe that made my grandson become a Police Explorer . So Thank Offcier Hetland and all the other officers that risk their lives to serve and protect.
John, Kim, Jenna, Kara & Jimmy Perez says
Words cannot express the loss we as a community are feeling. To the Family of Officer Hetland, may The Good Lord comfort during this time. To all his fellow Officers may The Good Lord protect you as you do your work to protect our community.
Rest in Peace Officer Hetland
Kimberly Brown says
Kimberly Brown, Im so sorry for the loss of a hero in blue . I hope in time the Racine community will heal but Never forget John Hetland and what he meant to the community.
Jan and Tom Schultz says
Our hearts break for those left behind. John is at peace. Thank you so very much for your service,John. Watch and protect us from up above. Our deepest sympathy to his family and colleagues. 💔💔
Brau Family says
Our deepest sympathies to the Hetland Family! Thoughts and prayers are with you!
Tim Hansen says
RIP my friend
Vanessa Butler and family says
Thank you for your honorable service. Praying for peace and stability.
Sharon Giron says
You will be missed by so many. My heartfelt condolences to your children, parents and siblings. We worked at Horlick together for many years. I enjoyed each and every one of those days. That group of officers were like my brothers, especially John. RIH until we see each other again.
Bob Bojcic says
Love you brother and everything you stood for. I will cherish the memories and miss you forever. RIP Brother!
Craig Richardson says
I would like to express how sorry I am for the family and friends loss. There are not any words that I can say I am sure that will take the pain away from you, but wanted you to know that as far away as I am in Ohio that his life has touched our hearts. My hope is that in time your hearts will heal and all will continue to be as strong, kind and brave as he was. But remember that he will always be with you in your heart and will be watching over you. May God take care of all. Retired Firefighter/EMT and reserve Deputy Sheriff.
Wayne and Marie Schatzman says
The world has lost a hero. Everyone has lost by John not living to a ‘ripe old age’. He will be missed by so many – too many to count.
Melissa Petz and Son says
Another one of our great heroes has gone to join the others. May he rest in peace and watch over us. Love and respect from
Julie Scariot (Friend) says
Such a wonderful friend John was through our school age years, I have so many memories to cherish.
My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.
Dave and Carrie Pettit says
Our prayers go out to John’s children and family. May you find light in the dark moments, and heal with time. Rest In Peace John, you truly are loved and will be deeply missed.
Diane Davis Hebert says
I am so so sorry for this tragic event. My condolences to Ron and your family. (Ron was my boss at ISE).
April Cruz #1885 says
Officer John Hetland #1928, you were taken from us way too soon. You will truly be missed. Even though you refused to tell me Good morning like most of day shift RAPD. I knew you whispered it to me. You were one of a kind – never to be forgotten. Rest in Heaven my friend….. Love always RAPD #1885
Stacey Moore says
I didn’t know officer Hetland, but I do know his presence , protection & service in the community of Racine, He will be missed dearly. Sending sympathies & prayers of comfort to his family, friends & his fellow officers in blue.
Janet Dresen ( Ron was my sure at ISE ) says
My condolences to you Ron and your family! Such a tragedy! Rest in peace John Hetland. You’ll be sadly missed! May prayers and strength help you and your loving family get through this horrible loss!
Riley Weidner and Kari Truss says
There truly are no words that can be said that will heal this wound. Johnny was an amazing police officer and an even better man. He will be missed everyday and will never be forgotten.
I’m so sorry to his children, his parents, his brother and sister and the entire Hetland family. Such great people you all are. To the men and women that worked with Johnny everyday may you find strength in each other and a community that supports what each and everyone of you do everyday to make the city of Racine a better place.
Johnny we will see you again, my friend.
Wally and Gwen Singleton says
Our condolences to the Hetland family. I have worked with many of the family members over the years at ISE and Ron and I were both Supervisors. Ron often spoke highly of his children and he was really proud of his son John.
Tim Mommaerts says
John and I played baseball together for a year at UW-Milwaukee and even shared a room for a few months. John, being three years older, always looked out for me in my college years and I have never forgotten that. John, I am proud to have known you and will miss you.
Michael T. Nelson (Mikey) Twin of Patti. says
To, Ronnie, Susy, and Danny, and ALL of the Hetlands, my words will not cure the hurt you feel for this terrible loss, but alway’s remember he did what he did, because It was the right thing to do. I call you by these names, because this Is how I remember all of you when you lived on the corner of Grange, and 20th St. We lived on the other side of the street In about the middle of the block, and were alway’s great friends. You were missed when you moved to the farm, but I remember visiting with my family. Ronnie you must have moved back to the old neighborhood, because John attended all three of the schools I attended, although much earlier. I will alway’s remember the ENTIRE Hetland family, and once again offer my sincere condolences to ALL involved.
Lakrisha reed says
Sorry for yall lost may God keep his arms around yall
Carole Wilson-Frens says
Dear family – Such heartfelt loss to a hero. Wishing you peace in your hearts. John will be missed.
Al and Colleen LaFave says
RIP Officer Hetland. We will miss seeing you down at the lake front for fishing and coffee.
Linda Kosterman says
Please accept my deepest sympathies and condolences. I am so sorry for you and the department’s loss.
Brandy B says
I am proud to have known you and will miss you John, you will never be forgotten. Thank you for service. Condolences to Hunter and Brooke. Many Prayers to your children and Family. You will be deeply missed by so many. We will see you again my friend.
Stephen Martin. says
Condolences to the family.
Jayson Bublitz says
I played baseball with and against John as a teenager. He was such a genuine guy, an awesome teammate, and a wonderful friend. I can still hear his laugh, as he was always the one who kept things fun in the dugout. My heart goes out to John’s family and friends as they deal with the tragic loss of a true hometown hero.
Jane Stremlow says
May you find kindness to warm you, sympathy to comfort you, and cherished memories to bring peace to your heart.
R. I. P John
R. I. P John Hetland, praying for strength for your family.
Larry White says
John lived on my dorm floor at UW-Milwaukee. He was the funniest and nicest guy I met there. Hanging out with him was one of the highlights of my time at school.
Susan Wrixton says
I am so sorry for your loss. Officer Hetland will forever be known as a Hero to the Racine community for the number of lives he saved that fateful day in June. My prayers are with the family. Your loved one will forever be looking down from you in Heaven.
AMBER INFUSINO says
You are a true Hero, John. Blessed to have known you in high school. Your family and friends are in my prayers. Thank you greatly for your Service and Sacrifice. GodSpeed
LORI HARDIN says
I DIDN’T KNOW OFFICER HETLAND, BUT I DIDN’T HAVE TO KNOW HIM TO KNOW THAT HE WAS AN OUTSTANDING OFFICER ANYTIME A PERSON JUMPS OVER A BAR TO APPREHEND A ROBBER TO SAVE OTHER PEOPLE YOU KNOW THAT WAS A GOOD MAN HE WILL BE MISSED, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN SO YOU TAKE YOUR REST IN GOD’S ARM’S UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN.