Reporting Liz Collin
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A summer night four years ago changed a family’s life forever but a Minnesota woman is proving love can be found again, even after an unimaginable loss.
Jeff Hettwer was just 30 when he died days before he would have celebrated seven years of marriage with his wife, Kelly. He was riding in a car driven by a drunk driver when it crashed in Oak Grove.
This summer, Jeff’s widow re-married and a popular reality show not only helped plan her big day but also helped her heal.
TLC’s “Randy to the Rescue” featured Kelly’s story on Friday as part of the season finale. Randy Fenoli takes his work seriously, connecting women with their dream dress.
“I think those poor people end up being therapists in a lot of cases. Especially mine,” Kelly Hettwer Olsen said.
A widow at 30, Kelly had built her life around her first love — a talented Twin Cities artist she’d been with since she was a teenager.
Randy was the first person Kelly gave Jeff’s artwork to since his death.
“This is actually one of his paintings she was kind enough to give me,” Fenoli said, as he pointed to the picture that now hangs in his house.
“He’s even nicer in person if that’s possible,” Kelly said of Randy.
When she married in June, Kelly walked down the aisle in an Alvina Valenta gown and in true Minnesota fashion, she made the most of her dress. She even went fishing in it.
Her new husband is a professional fisherman. Turns out, Kelly has known her new husband, Ben Olsen, since middle school. They actually dated in 8th grade.
She said she is at a point, where she can look past what she’s lost and be thankful for all Jeff brought to her life, even saying something that just a few years ago, she never thought possible.
“I’m just super lucky,” Kelly said.
Jeff is still a very big part of Kelly’s life. Every month she speaks out about drunk driving for MADD and she is also writing a book for other people who have lost a loved one.
There is a scholarship offered at the University of Minnesota each year in Jeff’s name. It’s the largest art scholarship offered at the school.
There’s a golf tournament coming up on Sunday, Aug. 26 to raise money for the scholarship. More information can be found here.