FORT FAIRFIELD – Tressa P. Hetherington, 83, wife of Donald H. Hetherington, passed away Thursday evening, Sept. 12, 2013, at a Mars Hill health care facility. She was born May 3, 1930, in Fort Fairfield, the daughter of Edgar and Velma (Partridge) Van Buskirk.
She was a graduate of the Fort Fairfield High School, class of 1948, then became employed with Biglow and Sanford Company, Enfield, Conn. She returned to Fort Fairfield where she established Tress’s Market. She later became employed at the Fort Fairfield Army and Navy Store where she became part owner, remaining there until her retirement in 1985. Tressa was married to Donald H. Hetherington on Dec. 21, 1956, and was a lifelong member of the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Fort Fairfield. She held the distinction of being the first woman elected to the Fort Fairfield Town Council in 1974 and served six consecutive three year terms, acting for many of those years as Council Chair until 1992. Mrs. Hetherington was a member of the Fort Fairfield Alumni Association, serving as president of the executive council. She was named the 1985 Fort Fairfield Citizen of the Year by the Fort Fairfield Chamber of Commerce at their annual meeting, and in 1991 was named to the National Registery of Who’s Who in Government Services. Tressa greatly enjoyed being active in the Senior Ladies Bowling League in Presque Isle for over 16 years and was also an avid bridge player in Caribou. Tressa also served on the Limestone Save Loring Committee and was active in the St. Paul’s Episcopal Women. She was chairperson for several years of the former Fort Fairfield Community General Hospital Advisory Committee and served on the Aroostook Medical Center Hospital Board of Directors. In January of 1993, Tressa was presented a certificate from the Maine State Legislature in recognition of 18 years of dedicated public service.
In addition to her parents, Tressa was predeceased by two sisters and brother-in-law, Marie and Meredith Bragdon, and Clara Porcello; and one brother and sister-in-law, William Sr. and Norma Van Buskirk. She is survived by a special niece, Joyce Milton and her husband, Lester, of Contoocook, N.H.; nephews, William Van Buskirk Jr. and his wife, Sylvia, of Brewer, and William Bragdon and his wife, Rose, of Bangor; great-nephews, Tobin Van Buskirk of Portland, and Lester Milton Jr. and his wife, Jennifer, of Concord, N.H.; great-nieces, Angela Gordon and her husband, David, of Contoocook, N.H., and Dawn Mihelis and her husband, Nathan, of Somerville, Mass.; one special brother-in-law, James Porcello of Suffield, Conn.; and several great-great-nieces and great-great-nephews.
A service to celebrate Tressa’s life will be conducted 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 170 Main St., Fort Fairfield, with the Rev. Kevin Kinsey officiating. Interment will follow at Riverside Cemetery, Fort Fairfield. A time of continued fellowship with refreshments will be held after the interment service at the St. Paul’s Church reception area. Those who wish may contribute in memory of Tressa to the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 737, Fort Fairfield, ME 04742; or the Central Aroostook Humane Society, 26 Cross St., Presque Isle, ME 04769. Envelopes will be available at the service. Arrangements have been entrusted to Giberson-Dorsey Funeral Home, 144 Main St., Fort Fairfield. Online condolences may be expressed at www.gibersondorseyfuneralhome.com.