A short life can be well lived. Phillip Hett was only 39 when a vehicle accident May 30 took both his life and his daughter Abigail’s. His wife, Jillian, was severely injured but is now recovering.
Phil was known as the chaplain of Bethany Village in Lindsborg. However, he was so much more than that to his family and close friends.
He was born Aug. 21, 1981, to Warren and Marilyn Hett in Newton.
Complications to his health and remarkable recovery later led his father to pursue a seminary education and full-time Christian ministry.
Growing up as a preacher’s kid can be interesting, but Phillip always made friends of everyone of all ages. He was kind, funny, and a bit ornery. Looking back, it seemed that things just happened around Phil.
Phil was a little brother to Martha and a big brother to Maryanne. He was a tease, a pest, a pal, and best friend to both.
He was a doting uncle to nieces Kennedy and Cameron. His expanded family outreach included being a good grandson and nephew.
Phillip graduated from Deerfield High School in 2000. He received his undergraduate degree from Bethany College in 2004.
Soon after graduation, he married Kimberly Peck, and they established their home in eastern Kansas. He worked for the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services and later returned to Lindsborg when transferred to the Salina office.
Accepting a call to ministry, Phillip entered a distance learning program through Luther Seminary in Minnesota. This endeavor allowed the family to stay in Lindsborg, maintaining joint custody of both daughters.
He was ordained to ministry through the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and was assigned in ministry as the chaplain of Bethany Village.
Jillian asks that we remember her dad for being a wonderful dad.
“He was so much more than just a preacher,” she says.
He would change plans to be with his daughters, help Abby with her interest in baking, go camping or fishing, play games, or simply go get ice cream. Phil also loved their pets and took care of their needs.
He was a son, brother, grandson, and dad to be proud of, and we give thanks to God for his life.
Phillip was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Homer and Wilma Hett; his maternal grandfather, Harry St. Peter; and his aunt, Arlene (Hett) Sittner.
Phillip is survived by daughter Jillian Hett, parents Warren and Marilyn Hett, sisters Martha Hett and Maryanne (Hett) Esau, brother-in-law Evan Esau, nieces Kennedy and Cameron Esau, grandmother Marjorie St. Peter, uncles Ben St. Peter and Marvin Sittner, and aunt Ruth Snodgrass.
A celebration of the lives of Phil and Abby Hett was at 2 p.m. June 19 at Bethany Lutheran Church in Lindsborg.
Because of the large attendance, overflow accommodations were available. The celebration also is available through the church Facebook page and YouTube channel.
Memorials will be administered through Bethany Lutheran Church and given to Bethany Village nursing home and an education fund for Jillian.