Erika Reutimann Hetherington | Obituary

“Life is Short but Sweet for Certain” were the words Erika Chelsea (Reutimann) Hetherington had tattooed on her right foot. Her short but sweet life came to an end on February 1, 2023 at her home in Lake Forest, California surrounded by her friends and family. In her 31 years of life she became a loving wife, daughter, sister and mother of one.

Erika was born in Seattle, Washington on June 25, 1991 to Pattie and Richard Reutimann. Erika was a lifelong Islander, attending Sunnybeam Preschool, Lakeridge Elementary, Islander Middle School, she was a member of the 2009 graduating class at MIHS. During her high school years, her love for gymnastics shone through when she made the varsity gymnastics team as a freshman, a team which went on to win 2nd place at State. Erika became captain of the Gymnastics Team her Junior and Senior year. She was also captain of the MI Cheer Squad, a member of National Honor Society, and National Charity League.

Erika graduated from Chapman University in 2013 with a B.A. in Business, Marketing and Leadership. In college, she was a Chapman Panther cheerleader and a member of Alpha Phi sorority. She remained in California after graduation working in medical equipment sales for 8 years where she received numerous awards for her excellence.

It was during her time in California, that she met her soulmate and the love of her life John (Cody) Hetherington. They were married on August 17, 2019 at Karma Vineyards in Lake Chelan, WA.

In March 2022, one month before her due date, Erika was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She gave birth to a healthy, beautiful baby girl named Makenna Erika Hetherington. Makenna is truly a miracle. Her spunk and joy for life remind us every day of Erika.

Erika was fierce, strong, brave, determined, focused and perpetually trying to make things better. In her short time with us she personified the meaning of what it is to be a loving wife, mother, loyal daughter and sister and true friend to many. She was truly a light that will forever shine.

Erika is survived by her husband Cody and their child Makenna, parents Richard and Pattie Reutimann, brother Tyler Reutimann.

While there are no words to express our sadness for our loss. We are thankful for the sweetness and light Erika brought into the world.

The Reutimann-Hetherington family would like to extend our love and gratitude to all of you who provided us with love, support and prayers during these difficult times. You can learn more about Erika and her journey on Remembrances can be made to Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

The family will have a private graveside service at Pacific View Cemetery where Erika chose a beautiful plot for all to visit. A Celebration of Life will be held on June 24, 2023, the day before her 32nd birthday, location TBD in Orange County, California.