Nov. 26, 1971 – Dec. 24, 2013

Sean Lora-Hetzner, a City Honors School graduate and community advocate who was pursuing a master’s degree in urban planning at the University at Buffalo, died Tuesday of a heart attack at his family’s Buffalo home. He was 42.

Mr. Hetzner was an active member of numerous community organizations and passionate about the environment and housing rehabilitation.

He has been agency relations manager at United Way of Buffalo & Erie County since 2006 and worked to rehab two homes in the Delaware District over the past two years.

He was a member of the Partnership for the Public Good, Buffalo Micro Parks, Erie County Youth Services and the West Side Community Planning Cooperative, among others, according to his father, Donald Hetzner.

His death was believed to be the first from the City Honors Class of 1989, whose members learned of their classmate’s death Tuesday evening. He was also beloved by friends and family, who posted tributes on his Facebook page.

“He was an outgoing, friendly guy, just easygoing,” his father said.

Born in Buffalo, Mr. Hetzner attended School 56 and graduated from City Honors. He earned a bachelor’s in urban and policy studies at UB, held both a National Hispanic Scholarship and an Empire Minority Honors Scholarship, and was on the dean’s list from 1992 to 1995.

From 1998 to 2006, he worked at Grover Cleveland High School as a full-time substitute teacher before joining United Way.

He was completing his master’s degree at UB and attended an intensive summer program at University of Havana in Cuba as part of the degree. His mother, Coralia, is from Cuba.

He is survived by his parents and a brother, Matthew Joseph.