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Magdalene Hettler, 101, retired Daemen College math professor

Magdalene Hettler, 101, retired Daemen College math professor

Dec. 17, 1917 – Oct. 25, 2019

Magdalene Hettler, of Snyder, a mathematics professor at Daemen College for 20 years, died Oct. 25 in Harris Hill Nursing Facility, Clarence, after a short illness. She was 101.

Born at home on her grandfather’s farm in the Town of Grove in Allegany County, the former Magdalene MacTarnaghan grew up in Castile and attended Castile High School.

She received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1939 from Smith College in Northampton, Mass. Later, while teaching at the University of Buffalo, she earned a master’s degree in mathematics and did further graduate work.

While at Smith, she met Robert Hettler, an Attica native attending nearby Springfield College. They were married in 1941.

She taught math at York Central High School and Castile High School and at Amherst High School, where her husband was a teacher and coach.

She taught in Jacksonville, Fla., while her husband was stationed there in the Navy during World War II, and at Erie County Technical Institute, now Erie Community College.

In addition, she did private tutoring.

Mrs. Hettler joined the faculty at the former Rosary Hill College, now Daemen College, as an assistant professor of mathematics in 1963, became an associate professor in 1973 and retired in 1982. She was included in “Who’s Who Among American Women” and established a scholarship at Daemen for the teaching of mathematics.

She was a life member of the Smith College Alumnae Association and a member of Kappa Delta Pi, an honor society in education.

A longtime Snyder resident, she was a member of Amherst Community Church and an active member of Group 16, a women’s group at the church. She also was a member of the College Club of Buffalo, the Amherst Book Club and the Suburban Women’s Club of Buffalo.

She and her husband were members of the Silver Lake Country Club for more than 50 years and took many golfing vacations in the Caribbean.

She traveled extensively in Europe and the United States with her daughter and other family members.

She continued golfing, boating and spending summers at Silver Lake until she was in her mid-90s.

Her husband, who became athletic director at Amherst High School, was the first high school basketball coach in New York State to win 500 games. He died in 2006.

Survivors include a daughter, Cynthia Hettler Ingerson; a son, Michael R.; two grandchildren, two step-grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.

A memorial service will be held at 11:30 a.m. Dec. 27 in Amherst Community Church, 77 Washington Highway, Snyder.

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