Tree planted in memory of longtime Cortland Mayor
CORTLAND – Kenneth “Kenny” Hetchler served Cortland for 38 years and was the town’s mayor for 32 years. Hetchler died July 6.
To honor his memory, Del’s Family Landscaping Corp. donated and planted a red maple tree in his memory in Hetchler Park, 225 W. Ellen Ave. in Cortland.
Mario Delgado, the landscaping business’ owner, said he had been friends with Hetchler for “many, many years.”
“The tree is hard and nice and will grow big,” Delgado said. “It will grow 4 to 5 inches every year, depending on the weather, and it will turn red in the fall. It’s a great tribute for a longtime friend.”
Hetchler began working for the Town of Cortland in 1955. He began as a police magistrate and after two years was elected as a trustee for a four-year term.
Hetchler was elected mayor in April 1957 and served in that position for 16 years. He chose to run once again and was elected in April 1977 and held the position 20 more years, until 1997. To date, Hetchler is the longest serving mayor for the town of Cortland.
Doris Hetcher, Kenny’s widow, said that trees have always meant a lot to both her and her husband.
“We have lived in Cortland for 69 years, and we have always planted trees on our land,” she said. “I like trees and I know Kenny liked trees, so having this tree dedicated to his memory means a lot.”