Christopher James Hettinger Obituary

Christopher James   Hettinger
Chris Hettinger
Christopher James Hettinger

June 30, 1977 - December 1, 2022
Born in Sioux City, Iowa
Resided in Pleasant Hill, Iowa
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Christopher James “Chris” Hettinger, 45, passed away Thursday, December 1, 2022, at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines. The family will receive friends from 5 - 7 p.m. Friday, December 9, at Iles Westover Chapel. A Trisagion (prayer) Service will follow after the visitation. The second Trisagion Service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, December 10, and a funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. in the same location. Cremation will follow services. The funeral service will be live-streamed on the Iles website. Go to at 10:45 a.m. Saturday and scroll to the bottom to join in the service.

Chris was born June 30, 1977, in Sioux City, Iowa, to James Donald and Philothea (Malaktaris) Hettinger, and had three older sisters, Cindy, Tena, and Penny. Chris’s early life was full of many moves. Between 1977 and 1989 his family moved to many different cities in Iowa and Missouri. His family finally settled in Norwalk, Iowa where he attended school and shined on the cross country team. His athleticism earned him a scholarship to attend Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa where he studied computer science and business.

Chris met Holly in 2004 and they were married in 2007. It was during this time that he attended William Penn University where he graduated Suma Cum Laude with his Bachelor of Science in Business. In 2012, Heath was born. Harrison was added to the family in 2016. Chris and Holly separated in 2018 and remained friends and loving co-parents for their children. Chris later met his partner, Christine, and her son, Theo. Chris and Christine bought a house together in Pleasant Hill and created a blended home for them and their three boys.

He was a senior software engineer at Vermeer Corporation for the last five years building web based solutions for their horizontal drills. He particularly enjoyed the teamwork and family atmosphere of the company.

There are not enough words to describe Chris, but if you knew his father, then you know Chris; for he was his father’s son. From Jim, he learned to be thoughtful and thorough in everything he did. These traits were best expressed in his relationships and hobbies.

While his first priority was the terrain under his feet as a cross country runner, his interests were numerous. He found an early love of model trains, graphic design, and photography. In quiet moments, he could be found relaxing by creating pencil drawings, stippling, sketches, and calligraphy. He spent many weekends holed up in his apartment or a hotel ballroom with friends playing monthly LAN party games or Dungeons and Dragons. During this time, he was briefly interested in auto racing and enjoyed a drive around the track in his Infiniti G35.

Chris found the most joy in his life when he shared play time with his sons. Many days were spent in epic Nerf battles using discarded Christmas paper as forts. They shared remote control cars, airsoft guns, kayaking trips, and amusement park adventures. He carried the legacy of his own athleticism by encouraging sports with his boys. He enthusiastically supported Heath on the hockey rinks, and coached Harrison’s first soccer team.

Chris loved to share his interests with friends and family. He often joined them in PC gaming or sharing game designs and other personalized technology with his nieces and nephews - he was a Greek geek. Offline, he was always bringing out his new board games to play, and often had a jigsaw puzzle on the table to piece together with visitors. In more recent years, he developed a love of cooking.

He enjoyed traveling with his family. This love began when he and his family explored many national parks including the Grand Canyon and Yosemite. Later travels included ski trips to Colorado, sailing in Belize, hiking in Hawaii, camping in Yellowstone National Park, fishing in the streams of the Rocky Mountains, sight seeing in San Francisco, and touristing in New York City.

Many of his youth interests were the foundation of lifelong friendships. During a typical lunch break at work, he could be found with coworkers playing D&D, card games, or the latest game he backed on Kickstarter.

With the community, he shared his deepest passion: LEGO. What started out as bricks scattering the floors of his childhood homes became personal designs and builds displayed in many shows and public spaces throughout the region. In 2010, he attended Brickworld, a LEGO convention in Chicago, and connected with other LEGO enthusiasts from across the country. It was this event that inspired him to co-found the Iowa LEGO Users Group. In 2013, he co-designed a scale model of the Science Center of Iowa that is still on display today. His love of LEGO inspired many personal designs to be displayed at Brickworld and throughout Des Moines.

Chris valued play as life’s most important research. In all things he was boundlessly creative, and matched his creativity equally with meticulous planning, analysis, and reflection. One example of his preparedness was his choice to be an organ donor. Chris’s family has chosen to honor his wishes and his donations are making miracles for many other families due to his loving consideration.

Chris is survived by his two sons, Heath and Harrison Hettinger, and stepson, Theo Ballagh; his mother, Philo Hettinger; three Sisters, Cindy (Steve) Bostinelos Wood, Tena (Adam) Bostinelos Wensman, and Penny (Tom) Bostinelos Craft; five nieces and nephews, Stefani Wood, Zane Wensman, Kalliope (Jacob) Amos, and David Craft; the mother of his sons, Holly Hettinger; and his partner, Christine Gordon. He was preceded in death by his father, Jim Hettinger and nephew, Zack Wensman.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions may be made to the Science Center of Iowa.






Iles Westover Chapel
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322
Friday, December 9, 2022
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Trisagion Service
Iles Westover Chapel
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322
Friday, December 9, 2022
7:00 PM
Trisagion Service
Iles Westover Chapel
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322
Saturday, December 10, 2022
10:00 AM
Funeral Service
Iles Westover Chapel
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322
Saturday, December 10, 2022
11:00 AM


Science Center of Iowa
4500 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50312