Deacon Earl Hietter dies at 79; funeral Mass is Saturday

PEORIA HEIGHTS — A funeral Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 30, in St. Thomas Church here for Deacon Earl E. Hietter, 79, a permanent deacon of the Diocese of Peoria since 1979 who served in parishes in Washington, Canton, and Peoria Heights.

Deacon Hietter, a former principal of Sacre Coeur School in Creve Coeur, died on Monday, Aug. 25, 2008, at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria.

Msgr. William Watson, pastor of St. Thomas Parish, was to be principal celebrant of the funeral liturgy. Visitation was scheduled for Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. at the church with a prayer service at 5:45 p.m. Additional visitation will be Saturday one hour before the Mass. Burial will be in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Kickapoo.

Born in Princeville on May 20, 1929, to Leo and Catherine Wiese Hietter, he married Bonnie Dodd on July 9, 1955, in Kickapoo.

He was ordained to the permanent diaconate of the Diocese of Peoria on Nov. 18, 1979, and was assigned to St. Patrick’s Parish in Washington. He would later serve at St. Mary’s, Canton, and most recently, at St. Thomas in Peoria Heights.

Deacon Hietter was the first chairman of the diocese’s permanent deacon council, and was very active in renewal efforts including Cursillo and WATCH.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by three daughters, Maria Sommerville of Canton, Angela Beeney and Lisa Wanless, both of Washington; three sons, Joe of Amsterdam, Patrick of Delavan, and Tom of Los Angeles, Calif; one sister, Rose Koller of Peoria; three brothers, Tom of East Peoria, Leo of Princeville, and Jim of Washington; 20 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by one son, Bill, and a sister, Fran.

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